On Asking for {and Accepting} Help

Confession time – I think I’m a little bit addicted to stress. I imagine if I woke up one day and my to-do list wasn’t out of control, and I hadn’t filled my afternoons with too many commitments, I might feel a little empty and hollow inside; maybe even a little un-important.

There’s a strange adrenaline rush that comes from being perpetually needed, and always having “something to do”. On the rare day when I don’t have a scheduled meeting or deadlines to deal with I’m almost lost. You need to relax my friends and family tell me, and of course I think – what is this relaxing business that you speak of, and how do  I go about getting started with relaxing? Should I make a list of all the steps involved?asking for help 3

This weekend I felt beat. I was exhausted to the bone yet I had planned to tackle three major work projects, clean my house, attend an event, take my kids to a movie, and fill the freezer with home cooked food for my family to eat when I’m away next week. Any sane person can see that, that is too much to do in 48 hours – but I’ve often questioned my own sanity when it comes to to-do lists, and commitments so let’s not pull at that thread.

When I hit a wall of sheer exhaustion on Sunday just before I was about to head to the grocery store to buy the supplies for my cooking marathon, I remembered a conversation Salma and I had a few weeks ago. We were on the phone and I was running around the house cleaning like a mad woman. I told her I had to wash the dishes in my sink because my mom was coming over and if I didn’t do it, she would do it. And then Salma said “why don’t you let her help you, why don’t you let her do that?” She was absolutely right about two things; I needed help that day, and moms are always happy to help. In theory it makes total sense to me – if you are going to ask for help, your mom is the best place to start, yet I rarely even ask my mom for help because asking for help is not a part of my nature. I’m a doer. I’m the one that always helps – I don’t ask for help! 

{I feel it’s important to share a little back story here. I went through a period in my 20’s when I was forced to be “rescued” a lot, and many times I had to ask for help out of desperation. It took me a long time and a lot of hard work to get back to a place where I felt like I could take care of myself again. Whenever I consider saying I can’t do something myself, or I need help there is a little voice in my head that says “don’t be that person again, you don’t need help”. I’ve somehow equated asking for help with weakness now, and I’m working my way out of that trap.}

You might be wondering what the point of this ramble is by now, and I assure you I have one. So, on Sunday I didn’t cook, instead I hit up the freezer section of my local grocery store. I loaded up my cart with chicken nuggets,  pizzas, Eggo waffles, and even {oh the horror} paranthas. Yes, I bought frozen paranthas. I didn’t stop there either … I bought two weeks of packaged snacks and some Kraft mac & cheese for the kids to eat while I’m gone. {Mr. T’s cooking skills are limited to frozen foods, KD, and take-out}. And you know what; the Earth didn’t stop rotating, the sky didn’t fall down, and most importantly, my kids didn’t care!

asking for helpOf course I felt the urgent need to make a confession to both Nisha & Salma about my freezer section liaisons. {And since we are being honest here; I was only partly kidding about being worried that someone would see me buying frozen paranthas}. asking for help 2

It turns out that no one seems to care as much as I do if I don’t do everything. Imagine that? Accepting help from the grocery store might not seem that amazing, but for me it’s a baby step towards self-care, and learning to ask for help. 

I guess I’m also officially started on #18 from my 35 before 35 list.

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8 Comments

  1. February 16, 2015 / 8:11 am

    I agree! It’s us who beat ourselves up coz of our high expectations. Once we scale down, it feels like everyone else also breathes a sigh of relief 🙂

    Glad you found it and you have girlfriends who support you!

  2. February 16, 2015 / 1:24 pm

    LOVE this post! I often feel like I have to do it all but am slowly realizing that in order to live a fulfilled life, I need help from other people and even shortcuts like you mentioned. Thanks for the honesty!

  3. February 16, 2015 / 1:33 pm

    You’re a good mother. That’s all that matters. Great post and reminder that I don’t have to be super woman all the time. Thanks for sharing!

  4. February 16, 2015 / 3:25 pm

    Love reading this post…
    Thanks for sharing !

  5. salmadinani
    February 16, 2015 / 8:37 pm

    Very proud of you 🙂

  6. February 17, 2015 / 12:56 am

    Thank you for being honest and real. So many blogs try to portray a perfect life with perfect stories and perfect photos. The posts that resonate the most with me are the truthful ones. I hope you enjoy a little rest (you deserve it!) and those frozen parathas!

  7. May 18, 2015 / 12:53 am

    LOL! Frozen parathas are a lifesaver for me too!! And I feel like a sham too but hey! atleast the kids are fed 😛

    • May 18, 2015 / 6:31 am

      That’s true Trish – as long the kids are fed we are all good! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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