Wednesday, April 27, 2016

It Takes a Village: When You Need Help

I'm on my own a lot.  Hubby works full-time and farms with his dad so he's pretty much home to eat (occasionally) and sleep (sometimes).  He tries to help me out when he's able to, but the guy works so hard that he spends his small amount of time at home either relaxing on the couch or playing with the kids to try to make up for the fact that he hasn't seen them in two days.  So for the most part, I'm doing this whole parenting thing by myself.

It Takes a Village: When You Need Help

Except I'm not truly on my own.  I have in-laws who don't mind when I drop the kids off for a few hours on Saturday so I can get some work done at home.  I have parents and sisters who, although busy with jobs and their own lives, will drop everything to come over if I have an emergency or just desperately need some help for the day.  I have a best friend across the country who is just a text or phone call away and is there for me when I'm pretty sure I'm not going to make it through the day.  I have an amazing church family who prays for me and offers help when they see a need.

Between my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, having several children with special needs, working from home, and babysitting for my sister, there are some days when I feel like I'm taking one step forwards and 12 steps back.

It Takes a Village: When You Need Help
My sister often helped me tube feed Davy when he was younger

It's humbling to realize that I can't do this on my own.  That I need help taking care of my own children.  Sometimes, I have to fight the urge to respond with "no, thank you" when someone offers help because I've been conditioned, like so many other women, to believe that I should be doing this on my own.  Many women try hard to live up to the famed Proverbs 31 woman by "doing it all" and end up exhausted and discouraged.  But here's the thing...the Proverbs 31 woman had help. 

Proverbs 31:15
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
(Italics are mine)

So why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to "do it all?"  Raising children, keeping a household, working at a job (be it at home or outside the home), being a stay-at-home mom,'s hard and sometimes we need help.  This article by Marie Osborne really makes this point well.

And here's the best part about needing help...we're given the opportunity to bless someone else simply by accepting their offer to help.  Yes, it's humbling to admit that you need help, but the person offering usually doesn't see it that way.  They are blessed by being able to help someone else and by accepting their help, you are the one blessing them.

Let's all make an effort to be a blessing to someone else-either by accepting their offer to help or by offering to help someone else.

Describe a time when accepted or offered help?  How did it make you feel?