Help? Of course I don't need it.
Damn. I am on a roll.
You may remember reading in last week's post that I managed to break my foot on an already emotional day. I wish I could say it was during an adventure race or trail run. Nope...just walking down our new back steps. A roll of the ankle and I was down. I guess that loud "pop" I heard must have been in celebration of the 6 years since my last good sprain.
Although I was certain it was just a bad sprain, something just felt different. I visited my doctor and a fracture was confirmed. I wasn't happy about having a broken bone, but I was pleased to know that my gut feeling was spot-on.
That was last week.
This week started off with a bang, too. Literally. To my face.
I was converting G's exersaucer into the next "phase", fighting with one of the legs which was supposed to easily pop off. When it did pop off, it nailed me just shy of my left eye. Great. Let's add a shiner to my list of impairments.
I was quite a sight: hobbling woman with a black eye. Later that day, my husband told me, "Mommy is a hot mess." Agreed. My friend, Leslie, told me that I was becoming a danger to myself, and should she report me? After all, I would get a 72h vacation and free food...
Sometimes it seems like I can't get a break. No pun intended. Call me Sisyphus. But how much of this do I bring on myself? The ankle thing: obviously an accident, but I could have easily set aside G's toy and asked my husband for help when he got home. In fact, that was the thought that zipped through my mind in the split-second before a neon green table leg flew into my face.
The past week and a half reminds me that although difficult, I need to ask for help more often. This has always been a challenge for me. Even when offered, I often say "no, thanks" or "I got it".
There is sort of a running joke between my husband and I. When I come across a jar with a tight lid or something of the like, he watches me struggle; he knows that I will say "I got it" if offered assistance. When I finally do ask for help, he says, "Sure! You need a big, strong, man to do it for you?" I roll my eyes and we laugh.
Although the Rosie the Riveter mentality has come in handy most of my married life (multiple deployments and TDYs, starting a business from scratch), accepting help has its benefits, too. After becoming a mom, accepting help in certain situations has been very easy. For example, G and I have taken three trips together involving air travel. Initially, I was nervous that he would be a fussy traveler and I would be the cliché mom with two bags too many. But even while other passengers are in a hurry to get from A to B, I have been pleasantly surprised that most other folks, even TSA agents, are quick to offer an extra hand.
A few years ago, there may have been a small portion of me that would take offense for someone thinking *gasp* I needed assistance. As far as the mom-world is concerned, that part of me could care less. I can only assume that a friendly stranger was once in my shoes, and was probably too proud to ask for help back then, too.
A friend of mine recently revealed that she had been struggling with postpartum depression. Luckily she consulted with her doctor and I am happy to say she is now working through it. It wasn't until she went on a low-dose antidepressant that she realized how much her PPD was affecting her. I think most of us don't see how much we need a helping hand until after it is extended.
So whether it is wrestling with the leg of your kid's exersaucer, your body telling you something is not quite right, accidentally whacking your son's head on a TSA metal detector...twice (#parentfail), or just trying to navigate life, ask for help when you need it. And graciously offer help to others who may not know they need it.