We are moms. We are strong. We are amazing. We can do hard things. We are often afraid to ask for help . . . Why?
Well, I think maybe part of it is the “I’ve got this” mentality. Which is great. It helps us get through those tough moments, or days! I really believe women are stronger and more powerful than we even realize and the force for good that we are is immeasurable. But this mentality can also be detrimental. You know where I’m going with this. When you’re going through something that is honestly too much, or when you’ve taken on too much, or when you’re just plain exhausted. . . Sometimes we need the help, truly, yet so many women I’ve spoken with refuse to ask for help, often sacrificing their happiness and sanity in the process, not to mention the happiness and sanity of their family members! Why? Because we feel like we should be able to handle it, because we don’t want to be a burden to others, because we feel like loser-mom if we have to rely on someone else to help us which obviously means we are “less”. As in “less than adequate” as a mom, as a woman, as a human.
How can we change this? Well, let’s get some perspective. Mosiah 2:17 says “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” And the Matthew 25:40 says, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Obviously, we are expected to serve others. Service to others helps refine us and teaches us so many things. However, in order for there to be servers, there have to be servees. Who can we serve if everyone just doesn’t accept our service efforts? And what is the message we send if we refuse service? The person’s efforts/gifts/time/etc aren’t good enough! And what about the fact that if I don’t allow someone to serve me, I am denying them access to blessings? That in and of itself is service, right? I may be receiving actual physical help, but my allowing someone to serve me is also me serving them by helping them access blessings from heaven.
Years ago I had a friend in church who missed one Sunday because she had a bad cold. I texted her to see if I could bring her some chicken soup and she replied, “No I’m fine!” Really?! No you’re not fine, you missed church because you’re sick! I said something along the lines of “Please let me serve you, I could use the blessings!” She allowed me to bring her the soup, and said her perspective on allowing others to serve her had changed a bit. Sometimes we have to be humble and gracious and receive the help we need!
Other times we have to be humble enough not only to accept service, but to ASK for help in the first place. I remember after having my third child that I was experiencing a rough week and I finally caved and called a friend to help me out. She arrived and asked what I needed. I asked if she could help me fold some laundry. I just couldn’t keep up with the apartment and I thought that’s what I needed most. Her answer was, “No you need dinner and a nap!” She had brought ear plugs and most of the makings of a crockpot meal with her. She sent me off to bed, played with my kids, and did actually get some laundry folded for me. It was amazing! And I’ve never forgotten it. It was hard for me to ask, but I’m so grateful I did. And she came without any judgement or hesitation, just earplugs, some food, and lots of love.
And don’t forget service can come in so many forms, not just a friend from church bringing a meal. As a homeschooling mom of 4 who helps run the family gymnastics business and teaches adult Sunday school every week, keeping my house in order can be challenging. And I need it in order or I lose it. It magnifies my stress by like 100Xs if my house is a mess. So the help I need comes in the form of my kids. They have to clear their places after every meal, do their laundry, and occasionally clean the bathroom. Sometimes an older sibling helps with the younger so I can get some work done. These kids are a huge blessing and a help to me, and in the process they’re also learning how to help and serve others and building life skills for when they’re on their own someday. It’s a win/win.
I know reaching out for help can be scary. I know we want to feel like superwomen, like we can handle anything life throws at us. But remember we need each other and that is by design. You have strengths that I do not and vice versa so that we can bless each other and grow in love together.
I recommend the following book by Emily Watts. It’s cute and she devotes a whole chapter to knowing when to ask for help.
So remember, you’ve got this! I believe in you. You are amazing and spectacular and just what your family needs! AND you’re a human being, who may need help from time to time. Reach out, give others access to blessings, and accept their gift of service with grace. Sometimes that’s the hardest thing we women will ever do.