Help, Am I Deluded?

I’ve met my fair share of coach/therapist/healer types who were extremely deluded about either their grandiose plans, their skills or their market actually wanting them. There have also been a fair amount if people with a great deal less training and experience than me, who were a load better at marketing and therefore a hell of a lot more financially successful. So the question is, am I deluded too, or is it just a matter of my marketing skills needing a polish?

The thing is, I’ve spent nearly 11yrs in this business in one form or another, and although I’ve enjoyed it, and it’s enriched my life with less stress, 2 miracle kids, a lasting relationship and a feeling of contentment, it hasn’t done so financially. I’ve got to ‘that time’, it’s ‘make or break’. I’ve decided to focus on mums as it is a subject close to my heart. I’ve got a fab new way of doing my coaching online, which makes it more accessible and affordable for mums. Lastly, I’ve signed up for a ‘bootcamp’ to help me launch my new product. But is it doomed to failure, because no one wants it or me?

Let’s back track a bit. When I became a mum, I realised that the training I had received was brilliant, and saved me many hours of angst. But it was also inappropriate for a mums time and resource limitations, so I created the mummy whisperer program. I saw all these mums talking/blogging about losing their identity, having problems with conflict or lack of communication in their families, and getting stressed out because they thought they/their kids/partners/life should be different. My thought process was that they ‘needed’ all these things I could do to help them be more contented with their lives and grow strong families. But, do mums really want it? That is, it might sound nice, and a few might sign up, but are there enough who REALLY want it? And would they want me? And would they pay enough to make them appreciate it and give me a fair level of earnings?

Apparently, I am meant to focus on a smaller niche than just mums, one where I have experience, credibility and contacts. The idea is if I focus on a niche, my message will be clearer and will get more mums signing up. So that has made me decide to focus on mums with kids starting nursery or school. Not new mums of babies, because my longer term plan is to provide them with a book, and not mums of teens because I don’t have teenagers yet. But if there is a market, the next question I’m facing is wether I need to cut it down even smaller to: working mums, work from home mums, or stay at home mums. Now I reckon that my program would help them all, especially as they all face guilt and work/life/rest/play balance in some way shape or form. But I can also see several potential problems, especially that working mums don’t have enough time left over to make their lives easier, and SAHM’s wouldn’t want to spend the money on themselves. By creating a program that can be worked through online, I was hoping that mums could fit it into their lives more easily, and by giving a payment option over 3 months with a 14 day free trial it would make it more affordable. But that might not be enough, or is that where marketing comes in?

There is an even bigger problem as well! What I’m offering is a way for a mum to be more sure of themselves and listen to their own natural instinct and knowledge of their family, instead of a one-size fits all parenting technique. But do mums want an answer tailored to their own family, which leaves them in the driving seat, or would they prefer to be told what to do according to a set of rules, even if it’s pretty much impossible to create? If there are mums who like the idea of what I offer, does that mean that they are already going that way and so don’t need my help?

In the past I have specialised in mental health issues, relationship problems and small business owners. Perhaps a mum facing the loss of her marriage, mental health or business would be more likely to ask for help. But if that is the case, then I’m going to have to take more time off work, because I don’t currently have the time to support these more extreme demands; I was planning on tackling them later.

What do you reckon? I’d really appreciate any feedback (be gentle please!; so I’m going to offer a copy of my book ‘getting the hang of gratitude’ to one of the people who leave a comment (I’ll use some random fair way of selecting!).

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It’s All Change On The Western Front

It’s been a weird 6 months, I appear to have been in mega ‘declutter your life’ mode.  You would have thought that giving birth to little dimples, and curly headed boy going to primary school would have been enough really, plus getting really sick.  But I appear to have been on a mission.

Maybe it’s because now I have two kids, there really isn’t any space for anything that is irrelevant or takes up time/space I can’t afford?  Did anyone else find a similar thing happened to them after having a second child?

I’m also much more aware of my age (41), and am having no problem in remembering to eat healthily or take vitamins and minerals that I probably wouldn’t have been reliable about beforehand.  I realised that if I’m to see my grandchildren, then some serious work needs to be done to get it into working order.  Perhaps it’s a big reality check that happens in your forties?

Or is it because it’s my ‘saturn return’ in astrological terms or ‘mid-life crisis’ in psychobabble terms?  My lovely astrologer (seriously, if you ever wanted to try it, he’s a lovely guy, brilliant value, very good at it and it doesn’t matter where you live) did say that it was hitting me this year.

I’ve found a wonderful woman locally who will take all the stuff  you just haven’t managed to get round to selling on ebay and do it for you (if you near St Albans and want her name, feel free to leave a comment below).  Although she takes a fee, I reckon that she makes more on the sale anyway, so it’s well worth it.  She took a car load, plus sold a bike and a dog kennel that got picked up from our home.  Then even better was the discovery of freegle (used to be called freecyle), which is a yahoo group where you can offer ANYTHING for free and within 24hrs it’s gone; FANTASTIC!

We had a flood from the shower, so downstairs is going to be refloored (we have holes in the floor from the dog scratching) and the walls painted in industrial child proof stuff!  So the house is getting a make over too.

I even in a fit of madness went from this, to this (plus yesterday I had all the grey dyed out!):

Meanwhile big northern hairy hubby is also at it, with a sudden fitness regime and a success at losing weight that he hasn’t had in 10yrs.  I think that we would both admit that our relationship needs a bit of polishing after all these years (21, how scary!), so there is change afoot there too.

The biggest change came as I decided what to do about my work.  I found it increasingly hard to work out how things would work with the second baby.  Now that I’m just focussing on Mums and am just overseeing my more general therapy business, it was easier, but also I realised that coordinating our schedules was almost impossible.  Plus for Mums I really needed to be able to provide incredible value for service for a really affordable price, but without making it pointless me working.  I was seriously considering just giving up work.  After all, I could be a stay at home mum (SAHM), and in the time I would normally work, I could get fit, look fab, and then when the kids leave school I’ll be about 60, so pretty much ready to retire.  There would be a hell of a lot less juggling to do.  But there would of course be the downside that I lose my sparkle when I don’t work at all, so I might look better, but I wouldn’t be much fun.

By the way, you might not know what I actually do?  I’ve updated by about page and background, just incase you are interested as to where I came from, and what my qualifications are.  But basically, I’m not a parenting coach.  I call myself a ‘mummy whisperer’, because I’m just here to help the mum to be clear on who they are, become more contented, get more sparkle in their lives, and create a strong family with less conflict and stress.  (There’s lots more information on this blog about the ‘fun creation equation‘ and my services, plus on my main site).

Then out of the blue I found my solution!  It’s so exciting, I’ve kept quiet about it all summer, because I wanted to show you what it would look like before I mentioned it.  I’ve found a way, that I can provide help for Mums ANYWHERE, at ANY TIME of the day, 24×7, ANY DAY of the week, for ANY LENGTH of time.  Plus the amount of stuff I’ve put in the package is well worth about £7000, but I can sell it from £379, with the option to pay by paypal/credit card over 3 months, so it is really affordable.  Plus, it will be there for the Mums FOREVER, to reuse over and over again, for that one price.  Plus, for anyone who can’t afford it initially, I’ve got a FREE INTRODUCTION, and will be adding a £27 product to help people sort out their finances.  It’s way better than just 1to1’s because all the information is there to be referred back to at any time, and better than workshops, because no one can slip through the cracks and pretend that they understand. (Please forgive me for the shouting in capitals, but I’ve been keeping quiet about this all summer, so I’m kind of over-excited!!).

‘So what on earth is it?’, I hear you ask (hopefully?!).  It’s using a product called **jigsawbox, funnily enough created by another Mum who must have been in the same situation as me.  It means that I can put my workbooks or workshops online into packages.  When you login, there will be different modules, inside of which will be videos, audios, and text explaining that particular subject.  Then to help you learn it properly there are exercises for you to fill out.  But the best bit is, when you press [send to coach], I can then add my own feedback, so we can interact online.  There will also be the option for free webinars, or to add 15min skype chats or longer 1to1 sessions for some Mums who need more assistance (for example, if there are relationship issues, PND, or past abusive relationships).

Now I haven’t done a video to show you properly yet, but I will do, so keep a look out for it.  But in the meantime, you can get a free introduction to this fab system, plus start to have a look at your own identity and how your family is working at the moment, by signing up for free email list (see RHS).  I’d love to know what you think, so please do leave comments below.

So how come has all this come about?  Well, it might sound a bit tree hugging, but I’m sure there is a vibe of change in the air.  I was too late to get involved in *** Josie’s (a well known mummy bloggerwriting workshop about change last week, but there seems to be a lot of it about.  It’s the jewish new year, and schools always start at this time of the year, so maybe we are all programmed to be thinking about it around now.  There are days when it feels exciting, and others when it feels very scary, and almost like I’m grieving for something being over.  I cried buckets on the last night of big brother, and when curly headed boy started school, but in a way they were just opportunities for a few tears to do with something deeper.  As my mentor says ‘the greatest transformation happens at the border of order and chaos’, i.e. nothing gets changed without some discomfort!  So onwards and upwards, one step at a time, is my motto at the moment.

Is life changing for you too, or is it just those of us in the mid-life crisis?

** I am now an affiliate of jigsawbox as well; of course, because I think it is fab, I want to share it with other coaches/therapist/trainers out there.  If you decide you like it after hearing from me, feel free to email me for more info, and I’d really appreciate you using my affiliate link.  I haven’t found anything else that even matches it a little, it has been going for over a year, so the kinks have been sorted out, and there is tonnes of support.

*** Josie is one of the 3 mummy bloggers who recently went to bangladesh with Save the Children, and have started a Press for Change campaign to push Nick Clegg to commit to making the huge rates of child mortality in third world countries a thing of the past.

So often our advice is for us, not for them

I had a giggle at myself the other day, when I realized that there is a particular subject that I’ve been often offering unsolicited advice about in the last few months and really it was for me. This happens a lot, don’t you find?

It especially happens to us coach/therapist types, because it does make sense to help people experiencing what you went before originally. But it can even happen about newer stuff: its always worth me taking note if I have a pile of people through the door, all with the same issue, because it probably means I need to take a bit of my own advice.  Of course I’ve been on maternity leave, so it’s been more subtle this time.

It happens because of a concept called ‘reflection’ which means you see in others what you see (sometimes subconsciously) in yourself. So if you think someone needs improving, it’s probably you that does! The nice side to this is to remember that when you see something fabulous in someone else it’s also in you. I’m bound to blog about this more sometime, so don’t worry if it doesn’t totally make sense now.

So my thing? I’d been giving people basic advice on getting found by google etc, because if clients or customers can’t find you, then they don’t think you are serious about getting business. So when I mentioned to my lovely mummy blogger mates muddling along and zooarcheologist that I wondered whether people actually wanted blogs like mine (service ones with tips etc) because my blog stats are lower than normal ‘mummy blogs’, guess what their answer was: ‘you’re really difficult to find’!

Bless them, they knew the answer, because they had bothered to notice, and I was really touched. The problem is that my main Mummy Whisperer site and my site for the other side of my work pop up first rather than my blog.  Plus, I haven’t been able to blog so much with the arrival of Little Dimples, and being unwell.

So this week I’m going to work on getting found and take some of my own advice. If you’ve got any tips for me, this is the week to let me know, even constructive criticisms! Ooh and if you like my blog, you’re welcome to let other people know and help me out a little.

I hope that anyone I’ve tried to help over the past few months, knew I was trying to be helpful, rather than irritating!

OMG What a relief, it’s all OK

I’ve been a little quiet, a bit preoccupied and not as involved as before. Partially because I’m just plain exhausted. But mainly because I was at times bricking it and couldn’t bring myself to discuss what’s been going on.

One day I suddenly got a mega temp, to the extent that my hands were shaking, my lips went blue and I had to call a neighbour to feed my little boy. My baby was 8 weeks old. The next morning I woke up with a neck swollen like something from quasi modo and the inlaws got drafted in. I blogged about asking for help and how difficult it was for me.

But I missed out about the week after when I wasn’t better and the doctor said ‘I think you should go to hospital’ at which point I cried because I didn’t want to leave my baby. So she compromised with a scan, apparently looking for abcesses. The scan guy looked serious and suggested I see a specialist, but it wasn’t until the doctor said ‘don’t panic’ that my insides started to shrink. Then the letter arrived with the emergency haematology consultant appointment and after a few minutes on google I freaked. They were checking for cancer.

My insides screamed out in terror. Surely the universe wouldn’t be so cruel as to leave me assuming I couldn’t have children, then after a really tough time in my life, gift me with the two most amazing miracles out of the blue, only to rip me away from them. I can’t explain, apart from maybe to other mums how it felt. I wasn’t scared of the cancer or anything like that, I was just devastated at the thought of leaving my babies.

Ironically, I’ve helped people facing this fear in my role as the ‘mummywhisperer’, but it’s tricky to do it yourself without outside perspective. Somedays I just felt like crying all day, and others I tackled the fears bit by bit; problem is once one was dealt with, there was another sneaking around the corner to get me. Some days I got help from friends with the same training as myself. And it kept going on, and on and bloody on! Of course, that in reality was great, as the NHS have checked me over top to bottom. But it was also tortuous, as It could still change to bad news at any moment, even if then likelihood was that I’d just been hit by the most mega of infections.

Then came today, waiting in that corridor again with a lot of sick people, my kiddies and a friend. Today I had tears in my eyes as I hugged my baby girl, not out of worry, but out of relief. It’s all ok, I’ve got the official all clear. I’m so lucky. I won’t have to face what it feels like to be told that there really is a problem. Instead I’ve had 4 months of facing fears, clearing out stuff, detoxing my life and getting very clear on my priorities.

I realized as I sat in the sun this afternoon, that I’ve not managed to let go and relax for months, and I’ve become distant, not just from tswitter, blogging and facebook, but from the people I love as well. Today when I hugged my son and daughter I realised I’d been even a little distant from them, I wonder wether Willow’s sudden separation anxiety came from there? But tonight I feel different, closer, and more in touch again.

I’m still knackered from sleep deprivation, so I might still not be around the Internet as much as I was before, but expect to see more blogging from now on, however prioritised a little lower on my list than it was. Ooh and when I get a chance I’ve got something really exciting to tell you about my work, which came from all this clearing out and detoxing of my life!

Exhaustion …. What it feels like

I’m writing this for three reasons.  (Well, I actually started writing it 14 days ago, but have been that exhausted that it has taken this long to finish!).

  • Firstly to share with non mums what it feels like.  I’m sorry to do the whole ‘you can’t understand what its like’ card, but seriously, I reckon that only Mums or people who have illnesses or who work shifts, can really understand the true meaning of ‘exhaustion’!
  • Secondly so that other mums know it is not just them.
  • And finally to remind me when these days are over, that my body really is too old to get broody again!

It starts with overwhelming sleepiness. I like the feeling of this stage as for years I was a rubbish sleeper. My eyelids get heavy, blinking takes twice as long, and it takes a huge effort to reopen my eyes. Suddenly I find myself asleep on whinnie the pooh. Max (4.5yrs) will either be shaking me awake or kindly putting a blanket over me, depending on his mood. But in a couple of months time this type if tiredness will be potentially dangerous when little Willow starts to crawl; there are stairs, small toys, so many potential problems. I remember waking up oneday with a start to find myself asleep on the floor and max nose to nose with one of our old dogs, who just woken up was trying to work out if max was a dog (who could be bitten) or a child. (We sadly found him a safer home very shortly after, which was extremely heartbreaking to do, but he was worried, let alone us).

Soon sleep becomes more difficult though as the worst stage kicks in. Your head hurts, there’s a dull ache constantly behind the eyes, your stomach feels like a washing machine, and all I want to eat is chocolate. After days of sleep torture, where you are dragged out of a heavy collapse several times, I then find myself incapable of getting back to sleep, which is just the worst kind of torture ever. The brain gets noisy and I get GRUMPY!

When we are grumpy, the ability to be nice to people, give them the benefit of the doubt, have endless patience with the children and be fun rather than shout, disappears in a puff of smoke. But no one appears to be willing to understand or let you be grumpy, or not as grumpy for as long as I’d like anyway! Expectations are high, children are disappointed, husbands snap back and ‘normal’ people either think you are stupid or a cow.  I suspect this is where many of the arguments in the blogosphere/twittersphere/facebooksphere originate from.

Soon perspective goes. That’s when there are tears hiding behind my eyes constantly all day long, and all I can see is an interminable long haul ahead with no hope of rescue. And frankly I’ve been tempted to throw both kids out of the window.  I hate the crying bit.  I hate the pathetic bit.  When I’m out of it, I can see how useful it can be (I’ll post about that in a few days, as I’m on my way out, cross fingers).  But when I’m in it, it feels like big dark sticky goo.

So don’t feel sorry for me, or be put off having kids, because it isn’t every day or forever, and I wouldn’t change a thing.  It’s not their fault that tonsilitus in one (mega puke city!), inevitably is passed to the other, and then other things go wrong like child-care etc.  But when you see a mum parking really badly or slowly, be patient.  She may very well be stupid, but she may also be operating on minimum brain cells due to the exhaustion.  Remember, it’s one of the most effective forms of torture, and lack of sleep can kill you!  When she snaps at you, hold your tongue and give her a hug instead. Most of all, have realistic expectations on what she can achieve and tell her how fabulous she is for managing it.  Finally remember, ‘this too shall pass’ (one of my mates favourite sayings, you know who you are SB!), and normal service will resume very soon, with a much cheerier version of me/your wife/mum/friend/workmate/neighbour.

To be continued …. Tips for picking up the pieces when exhausted.

What Does It Feel Like When You Are Not Asked For Help?

Recently I’ve been blogging about the importance of asking for help, having been forced to get over myself and find loads of different ways of asking myself!  Here are a couple of my blogs: pictures to inspire youfeeling guilty and why is it so difficult? I realised that it is often actually much more pleasant for the rest of the world if I do ask for help (although I’m still a fan of a healthy balance between depending and being independent!);  my husband now comes home to a much more pleasant wife, and the 4yr old has a more patient mummy.

But then I had the opposite experience, so that I really understood what it was like not to be asked.  I went to see one of my favourite mummy friends, just as I was getting better.  We had a lovely chat, some cake and I got to show off Wibee loads.  I’d done the whole ‘so what’s been happening question’, but it wasn’t until the end that I looked at her and asked how she actually was.  Only then did she admit that she had also been ill, for months, but hadn’t told me because she knew that having a second baby was bound to be tricky, and then I’d fallen ill too.  She now had the all clear, but for some time she had been worried that it would be something serious.

As she explained why she hadn’t told me, I heard what she said, but here are the thoughts that immediately flashed through my mind:

  • That I was a rubbish friend
  • That she didn’t think I could help
  • That she thought I was too selfish to be interested

This was how I’d been making other people feel all these past 40yrs, when I told them after a problem was solved, or quietly retreated into my own world during the worst times.  I knew that my worries weren’t what she thought.  I also knew that I hadn’t meant to make people feel the same way.  But it took me a few minutes to knock some sense into my head about it and realise that she was right; there was no way that I wouldn’t have immediately been on the internet looking for ideas to help her, so she did save me from myself by not telling me!

So then I got onto a theme of thinking about other times that people haven’t asked for help.

There are definitely a few who are going for dramatic effect!  So they don’t tell you until after or half way through the problem, and there is definitely an implication that it’s your fault that you couldn’t help because you didn’t know.  This is again your fault, because you hadn’t taken the time to keep in touch.  To be honest, I’ve probably done this too, but the reason I haven’t let people know what was going on was because when I was in the midst of the drama, I’ve forgotten to look outside my small world and keep my nearest and dearest in the loop.  I also have to admit to getting slightly peeved, when I have made the effort to update people, but it just wasn’t in the right medium for them, so they still don’t know.  For instance, there might be people who are not quite as close to me, but would still expect direct contact via text/phone, rather than keeping in touch via facebook/blogging.  I even get grumpy if someone posts a question on my facebook wall asking for how I’m doing, rather than looking back on my profile for the info; which is really unreasonable of me, because I’m thinking they can’t be bothered, and actually they are just less aware of how to use different ways of communicating, so there is no need for them to feel guilty.

Then there are the times that we don’t ask for help, don’t ask for help, don’t ask for help, and get ourselves into such a twiddle that by the time we do ask for help it causes the helpers a great deal more trouble.  The poor old in-laws had to drop everything (they have a very busy retirement: golf, special parties, seeing sick friends, family birthdays) to help when I fell very ill suddenly.  Whereas, it is possible that if I’d been getting more regular help from the time that my new baby was born, I wouldn’t have fallen so very ill.  Meanwhile, because I’m the most senior person certified in a particular methodology in the UK (not because I’m especially clever, just because I’ve been doing it for longer), I get people doing the same.  They try to sort things out themselves and not bother me, but suddenly it all goes pear shaped, and then they need a big chunk of my time.  What they don’t realise is that keeping in touch a little at a time, works much better for me, because then later on if they really need my help it will take me hardly anytime at all to get up to speed, which is much easier as a working mum.

  • Us ‘people fixers‘, you know the type: healers, coaches, therapists etc etc, can get upset when people don’t ask us for help sometimes.  It’s a sign that we are beginning to get our heads around the job when we see sense and realise that:
  • (a) we can’t fix the whole world all at the same time and
  • (b) whatever it is that we are trained in might not be what that person wants and that
  • (c) strange as it may seem, some people really don’t actually want to be fixed and
  • (d) sometimes people have been offered so much unsolicited help that they are sick of it!

So there are loads of reasons why we don’t ask for help, many of them valid.  But next time you are tempted not to ask, remember how willing and keen people often are to help you, and that sometimes it is actually easier for them if you do, rather than putting an additional burden on them.  Of course there is then the problem of what to do with help you don’t want ….. hmmm, I see another post coming on ;o)

Why Is Asking For Help So Difficult?

I’ve just spent two weeks sick, oh my god, since I’ve been a ‘grown up’, I can hardly think of any times that I’ve had to rest and recuperate for so long.  Now once I got my head around it, I’ve really appreciated the experience, but initially it was blinking hard, because I had to ask for help so much.  There were calls to neighbours, in-laws, friends, husbands having to work from home, and people paid to help out.  I had to pathetically ask people to get me a drink, food, pills, or comfort my baby, just so that all of my energy was focussed on recovering, and I found it at times very distressing.

I had plenty of time to think about it too, and one day I spent a long time looking back and back, wondering why I hated it so much.  Yesterday I read an interesting blog by AlphaMummy about the same sort of thing, and their discovery of a fab charity called Homestart who can help out when things get too difficult.  It was suggested that it was a middle class thing to ‘just get on with it‘, and I must admit there was an element of that.  After-all, someone who was upper-class or very rich, could just throw money at it and employ ‘staff’, and someone very poor can ask for benefits from the government (I know there is an element of generalisation here).  Before I fell sick I emailed my local NCT yahoo group for ideas of how to cope or get help with the evening routine, now that I have 2 kids (no family of my own, no local in-laws, and husband working long hours).  I got one lovely reply also mentioning Homestart, which was quickly followed by another reply from a Mum saying that Homestart was only for people with ‘real problems’, i.e. not available for ‘nice middle class’ families!

The question was, why did I find it so difficult to ask for help?  What was at the root of it all, and what was the basic fear that was being triggered?

With some people it is the wish to be independent, or hate to show vulnerabilities or weaknesses, which I suspect many people would think was my reasoning, but it wasn’t.  There might be a social aspect, where we don’t like to be considered a hypochondriac, or to be a burden on other people.

My parents had the same tendency.  I remember nursing them throughout my summer holidays after my O Levels.  Mum had broken her pelvis, and Dad was recovering from a heart attack.  They could easily have paid for some help, or gone into hospital to recuperate.  But instead they stayed at home and kept it quiet how ill they were.  The downside was a very pissed off teenage daughter by the end of the holidays, who started smoking from the stress of it all; potentially not what they planned for!

The saddest story I’ve heard recently was of a young boy of 11yrs old, who waited in a corridor for a teacher, whilst having an asthma attack that he later died of.  If this is the kind of potential ramifications of my not asking for help and passing on the same tendency to my children, then I definitely needed to get my head around the issue.

When I broke down my fear, I realised that the reason that I was so uncomfortable was because I could never be sure of people’s reactions.  They could jump to my assistance with enthusiasm and willingness.  Alternatively, there were bound to be times when they were plainly irritated, tired or could refuse or ignore my requests.  The earliest memory I could find of not asking for help was as a 2yr old, in my attic bedroom, in the midst of a storm and absolutely terrified.  Looking back it seems daft that I didn’t absolutely scream for help, but I didn’t.  To be honest, it also seems weird that my parents hadn’t worked out how scared I would be.  Instead I imagined an angel watching over me, and hid under my blankets until morning.  It suggests that I was used to not getting an ‘ideal’ response when asking for things, or any response at all, and I had just basically given up.

So, I sat in bed an had a little chat to myself.  I looked at the worst possible thing that could happen.  People could think badly of me, they could think that I was weak, they could think that I was making it up, and they could refuse to help.  But, I remembered that only 50% of the world will think like this, so there will also be people who think differently.  They will enjoy being asked to help, or being paid to help, or knowing that I’m not perfect so they don’t have to try and live up to something impossible.  Rather than focus on the reactions that I didn’t enjoy, I thought about the ones that had been supportive, helpful and comforting, because there were going to be as many of them as the negative ones.  Some of the benefits of my being ill this time, were an much closer bond between my in-laws and my kids, which is really lovely to see.  Plus I have a better understanding of my husband’s values and what his priorities are for a ‘happy home’, which is important as both of us have changed with the arrival of the 2nd child, and maybe it’s time for some adjustments in the way we live.

So I’m not going to run out into the world and ask for help all the time, because that extreme would be just as unhealthy.  I’m going to try and ask for help half the time, and show my kids that it’s OK to sometimes need help and OK to sometimes be independent.  Plus when my daughter screams in the car seat that she hates so much when taking my son too and from school, I will remind myself that it’s better that she lets me know (however horrid and uncomfortable for me that she is crying), than that she ‘just puts up with it’; hmmm, I might need to do a little more work on that one for it to not leave me feeling gutted each time, but it does feel a little better.

Do you find it difficult to ask for help?  What is it you don’t like about it and WHY do you reckon that is?