Last week I went to the beach for the first time this year with both of my kids--3 and 8 months old. I've been pretty much avoiding it as I knew it would be tough without hubby there. Luckily I went with my sister and a friend, and they were extremely helpful!
When we got there, I of course took care of the kids first and go their sunscreen on them. I remember distinctly putting on my own sunscreen. I was having a difficult time putting it on my back and very well could have asked for help, but at the time I didn't. I didn't want to be anymore of a burden to anyone than I was with getting help with the kids. Do I slopped on the sunscreen and did the best I could, which later turned out to be not so good!
When I got home, my friend pointed out that I had blotches of sunburn as told me "you really need to have someone else put your sunscreen on next time." Of course! It dawned on me. This is what parenting looks like, or motherhood for that matter without any help. We can do it, yes we can do it all, but it doesn't look so pretty and we miss a few things. A few spots here and there.
This is one of my biggest struggles as a mother to ask for help.
I never want to ask too much or be a burden to anyone.
It's so silly, I know, but I know a lot of you moms can relate. I love helping others, so why would anyone not want to help me? That is what life is about. The sunburn is what we have to deal with if we don't ask for help. The missing parts and the feeling inadequacy because we didn't ask for help when we know we needed it the most.
Asking or help is a necessary part of motherhood, especially when you know you need it. I knew I needed help putting on the sunscreen, but I didn't ask. Just like we know we could use an hour to get something done, or have someone watch the kids, or one child so we can run to the store, or ask someone to pick up a child or bring them to practice. All of this can help make the day a bit smoother. We can think more, and we can breathe a little more. We can't do it all. If we try to do it all, we miss pieces. We make a ton more mistakes, and we fall on our face a lot more.
Our children become more flexible from being around others, and they get to see a HAPPIER MOM. She isn't trying to do it all. She can breathe a little easier, and know that the world has her back. We got this, together.