I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for many years now — the exact same amount of time I’ve been a mom. 16 years and three kids later, I’m also working full time from home. Things are a lot different now, and while having it all has never really been a goal, that seems to be where I’ve landed.
I have an amazing husband, four awesome kids, and a job I love that allows me to be here with them throughout the day.
In my early years as a parent, I had plenty of time on my hands, with just one kid, few appointments, and no real commitments. I was able to take care of my daughter, prepare dinner for my family, and get us all where we needed to be. As the years went on, I became a regular volunteer.
I was chairing events, coaching teams, and driving kids around town. I could be counted on to bring your child home after the event. I was the one who made sure the supplies got where they needed to be. And, I loved every minute of it.
These days, I’m stretched a little thinner. We have four kids in three different school. They have basketball, student council, musical rehearsals, and Scouts. There’s homework and appointments and meetings and deadlines. Never mind cooking and cleaning (because I usually don’t).
I’ve finally had to admit I can’t really do everything — is there really such a thing as having it all?
But, I can’t seem to let go and allow others to help me. I hate to ask people for help. Which isn’t fair, really, considering how much I actually enjoy helping others. It’s just hard for me to say, “I can’t do this on my own.”
Last week, we had a scheduling conflict that left me with no choice. I had an evening event, my husband had to be somewhere else, and our daughter was at basketball practice. It took all that I had to email the team and ask if someone could bring her home after.
The coach was all over it and has told us multiple times since then that she’s happy to bring her anytime, because she drives right by us on the way home. An entire morning of stressing over who to impose on, an entire afternoon holding my breath that someone could help, and it was practically as simple as opening the door while she drove by our house.
I’m finally starting to grasp that when people offer to help, they mean it. We will be asking for a ride home from basketball a few more times this season. We have arranged to swap rides for musical rehearsal. And I’m learning to let go a little, because it’s dangerous to go alone.
I’ll take all the help I can get.