Sunday, April 10, 2005

If you can't ask for help....

Friday was an adventurous night out meeting Miriam Peskowitz, author of "The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars" at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham. Miriam led a thoughtful discussion among the whole group after reading from her book. Faulkner Fox, author of "Dispatches from a Not-So-Perfect Life," graciously invited us to her home to continue talking after the event was over.

At the bookstore, one comment came up that I've heard voiced by many different women: "I just can't bring myself to ask for help." I used to feel that way, too. I remember feeling like I had to do it all on my own, to prove that I could--but the longer I am a parent, the more I realize how important it is to move beyond this. NO ONE should have to do this job alone.

So here is my suggestion for all of us who find it really hard to ask for help: Start by offering help to friends and acquaintances and see what happens. You'll find out which friends you really connect with, and whom you'd feel comfortable inviting to become part of your family's life. As your friendships develop, asking for help in return should feel more natural.

As women we are socialized to care for others rather than asking for what we need. I realize that my suggestion to offer help is just a "work-around" to this problem, but I believe it could set many of us on a path that will lead to more cooperation.


Blogger Mother in Chief said...

It's so true. And even though we don't have family nearby it is hard to ask for help or accept help when it's offered. I've actually been doing what you recommended now that a lot of women I know are pregnant with their second baby. I keep offering to watch their kids when they go to doctor appointments. We need to be here for each other, to lean on just a bit. It's too hard to be completely dependent on ourselves. We can't do it all. And hopefully soon enough we'll feel more comfortable admitting that we need help sometimes.

3:47 PM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

I don't know if it's normal to post comments on one's own blog, but I wanted to link to this A Mom's Love: Completely You article, "Don't Go It Alone" that quotes Mojo Mom. The article provides thoughtful tips about how to ask for and offer help.

9:15 AM  

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