Tag Archives: asking for help

Slacker

I was thrilled to be featured on Life By Me, last week. I really love talking about multigenerational living as a way to create the life you want. The life what that will live up to your personal expectations, allow you to thrive, and provides room for you do life the way that fulfills you.

The feedback and responses were positive and supportive, and then there were some comments that fit in the “other” category. Why “other”? Because I don’t know exactly how to classify these types of comments and inquiries.

Here are the top five from the “other” category:

  • It’s great that you have that help. Do you feel like you are giving up a lot as a mom?
  • Your family sounds wonderful, but I think I would feel like I was slacking as a mom, if I had that set-up.
  • Do you feel exposed and judged to have that other set of eyes in your home?
  • I think I would be admitting failure if I needed a live-in grandmother.
  • How do you give up so much control?

I sat with this feedback for a while. I didn’t spend time analyzing my life based on it, but I did wonder why these female commenters were in a space I would describe as self-judging?

Where is it written in stone that a mother has to do everything in her household to be enough? Where is it stated that asking for help means you are lacking? Where is it posted that having an extra set of hands means you are failing as a good mother or wife?

[If anyone can point me to these rule sources – I would appreciate it.]

I shared this feedback with my mother-in-law to get her take on it. She said she was a bit surprised that “modern women” would feel this way since there are so many more options for women, now, than my mother-in-law felt were available to her. She flipped her hand up, dismissively, and said, “Seems like they are the ones with the issues.” She also said she was pretty impressed with me for being so empowered to figure out how I wanted to run my family and go for it.

I have never heard her say anything like that before. Her comment made me feel smart; smart in that I am empowered and I get to decide how I want my life and family to run. I get to decide how I want to enjoy parenting. I get a say in whether I want to be a duty-driven mom or a mom who has time and freedom to play with my kids – and not just get stuff done. I get have my kids grow up with their grandmother so they can appreciate her and spend lots of time with her. I get to support my husband by having his mother with us – so he doesn’t have to wonder if she’s being well cared for. I get be a relaxed wife, which benefits my husband, because I’m not frazzled and stretched too thin. I get to create a multigenerational home, write about, grow from it, work through whatever sh*t that comes up, and empower other people who are considering a “new”clear family lifestyle.

Whether women and/or moms opt to have a multigenerational household or not – that’s totally up to them. I encourage them to let go of the superwoman cape and to take up the sane living badge – and to ask for help in whatever areas they need. Each of us can create our ideal life and it doesn’t matter what “other” comments are thrown at us – we can choose.

What are you self-judging yourself about, as a woman? How does this serve you?

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Asking for help. {Do supermoms do this?}

My friend and I were talking about work travel and how nuts it can be when it comes up at the start of the school year.

Both of us are fortunate enough to have granny nannies to support us as we balance successful and busy careers, childcare (2 kids for me – 3 kids for my friend), and making sure our husbands are managing well in our absence.

My mother-in-law only had to manage my 12-year-old for one night while I was on my work trip. Hubby and the four-year-old were able to accompany me, so that was a nice perk.

My friend’s children haven’t started school yet, but they will start next week. In her case, her husband will be traveling for the entire week and she will have a lot of late nights at work. Her mother (aka granny nanny) will be stepping in to support additional childcare, but what about evening and witching  hours?

I told my friend it was OK to seek out additional help to support while her husband was traveling. Her response, “Don’t you think that is a bit indulgent since I already have my mother helping out?

{scratched record sound}

What?

No, I do not think it’s indulgent to ask for additional help, and even it is – who cares? If you need more help, go get it.

My friend said she sees other working mothers handling all the work and parenting duties with no sweat. They have their acts together and manage things effortlessly with little to no help.

I told her there is always something more lurking behind the curtain. I’m sure there are a lot of “supermoms” out there who can get it all done without breaking a sweat. Hurrah and good for them.

Then there are the rest of us – me included – who want help, need help, and have no problem asking for help. I think I lose more when I buy into the myth that I can handle it all by myself. Nope – not true, and I will not put additional pressure on myself to make it true.

I asked my friend to tell me who told her it was wrong and indulgent to ask for more help while her husband was on travel? Her response, “Myself.

We spent the rest of our conversation brainstorming who she could reach out to and how she would talk to herself if the “indulgent talk” crept up again. We came up with a list that would calm her inner naysayer:

  1. I want more help and that’s OK.
  2. I deserve to take care of myself – this is not negotiable.
  3. Asking for more help allows me to take better care of myself – and my family.
  4. If anyone is judging me because of this – that’s their problem – not mine.
  5. Doing it all, by myself, is not the path I want to take.
  6. It’s OK to ask for help. (Needed to be repeated – in case the inner naysayer because boisterous.)

Do you ask for additional help when you want or need it? How does this make you feel?

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