Tuesday, April 5, 2011

S.O.S. S.V.P.

If you're anything like me, help is a four-letter word.  Don't worry, I'm here to... er, help.  What is it about today's moms, anyway?  Why is it that most of us would gladly undergo root canal than ask for a hand with our domestic load?  It seems to me the equivalent of male bravado to shoulder more than we can at any given time, to pretend we can cope when we clearly can't, and like the proud mare, to never, ever admit when we feel overburdened, even when we reach the point of collapse. 

Asking for help wasn't my strong suit when my son was first born.  And judging by last week, it's still something of a sore point.  First, understand that this past winter has kicked my butt like Chu Yer Own Fat, and then kicked me again while I was already down.  The other day, instead of saying mea culpa to my beaten body, I did what I do best:  ignored its cries and plodded on with the 101 tasks I had to do before shut-eye time.  I forced myself to engage in some face time with the laptop.  I drank (yet another) cup of coffee, drugging myself against reality. 

Then, just as my preschooler woke up from his nap, my body lashed out.  I literally couldn't muster the wherewithal to attend to him.  In desperation, I called my next-door neighbour, a busy but for the grace of God retired woman.  Luckily for me, she was at home and available to rescue me from the fruit of my own doing. She came over and duly sat with my son for an hour while I crawled into bed and closed my eyes.  Bliss.  See, I told myself, that wasn't so hard, was it?  Oh, but it was. Even as I lay there, inert and ughhhh, some remote part of me felt ashamed to have called her.  Ashamed to have got myself to the point where I needed to call her. 

Somehow I had become a helpless and pathetic damsel up in her tower.  Not at all the hyper organized, control-is-my-middle-name ubermom that usually gets projected to the rest of the world.  I felt weak, and yet at the time I was so conked out I couldn't stop myself from reaching out and begging for assistance.  No doubt I'll cringe (and blog) over the Lose Face episode later, I told myself, when I feel well enough to tend to my bruised pride.

How about you?  Have you ever 'cracked' and asked for help.  When and what drove you to such a ghastly act of dependency?


  1. Good for you for calling!!

    My limits have always been pretty impossible to ignore for long -- twice I reached out and hired people to help with it. First, when my weeks-old daughter had colic and I hired a babysitter to watch her 2 or 3 times a week. I would do chores, which I always felt fine about. But sometimes I just tried to relax, and it was hard to let myself do that. The second time was when she turned one. I was still on maternity leave and I enrolled her in daycare 2 days a week. I felt (and feel) superficially guilty about it, but it was very clear that it was very good for both of us. Funny how you feel guilty even when you know you are doing the right thing. Ugh!

  2. Well, let me first say there is no shame in reaching out for help!
    Mothers, are notorious for doing it all! NEVER asking for help!
    I have to say when i started into motherhood about 4.5 years ago I was so excited and (still am) and thought my wife and I could do it all!
    But when my spouse was diagnosed with postpartum I had to throw up the white flag and ask for help. I distinctly remember calling my mother in law in tears one day saying I don't know what to do anymore - she was over at my place in no time.

    It is tough to ask for help, but the bottom line is if we don't take care of ourselves we are no good to anyone!

    that is what i have learned thus far from being a parent :)

  3. Hey there! I am new follower. I read your article in Oh Baby Magazine about the Battle of the Moms. I loved it!!! I liked it so much I blogged about it, posting will be up next week at 2 Against 1. In the posting I've welcomed my readers to pop over to your blog. I hope that's okay. :)