I have a friend who I’ve always admired as a super-woman and wondered how she does it all. I recently discovered she went through something very difficult–and I had no idea. My heart broke that she’d gone through this and hadn’t reached out, hadn’t asked for more help. I know many other women who are guilty of the same thing, and rarely want to ask others for help, thinking it’s a burden to others or exposing their own shortcomings. How many times have you learned something about a friend and, when you asked why she didn’t ask for help, she said she was ashamed?
“How do you do it all?” is a question so many moms hear every day.
My secret? I don’t. I am not alone. I have friends and family who support and help me through each step along the way. There is simply no way I could raise five kids, run a business, practice law, and fill my other various roles alone. Here are just a few examples:
When my husband was out of town and I was in the hospital, 9 months pregnant, and so sick with the stomach flu that my baby was in distress, I didn’t do it alone. My mom picked up my other kids from school and watched them, while one of my best friends grabbed the puke bucket for me and stayed with me in the hospital.
When we had 5 kids that needed to be in three different places on the same evening, my husband took one route, I took another, and we sent a child along with a close friend. (Let’s be honest, this happens all. the. time.)
When I had to teach an early morning class and my husband was gone for work, my teenager got up with my younger kids until I got back home.
When I had to have surgery, the instructors who work with me picked up all of my classes and my husband watched all of the kids. A friend even invited some of my kids over for a while to help him out!
When my husband and I went out of town for a couples’ trip, family members watched our children and my friend watched our dog.
When I ran out of time to pick up Easter eggs for the spring party at school, my friend grabbed an extra dozen for me. (A couple months later, I grabbed her an extra t-shirt for a kindergarten art project.)
This is only the tip of the iceberg, and I know none of it is shocking or unique. My point is this: we aren’t alone. None of us. Don’t feel like you have to be super-mom, super-employee, or super-wife above all else. It is simply impossible to be everything to everyone all the time. Pick and choose what is most important in that moment (not just urgent) and get it done. Lean on your friends and, in turn, let them lean on you.
Above all, don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help. You are not alone.
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