Don't be angry if people don't offer to help with your kids. They probably don't know what you need. So ask!

Don’t Suffer in Silence. Ask for Help.

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Categories Community, Mommy Issues, Other people, Perspective, Relationships

I vividly remember attending a birthday party with my toddlers and leaving angry.

It was once of those first birthday parties that was very adult-focused. It was a celebration of having survived that first difficult year, rather than a multi-kid playdate. That makes a lot of sense. A 12-month-old likes routine. Having a bunch of people all over his house and yard is not his idea of fun at all.

While I spent the entire time chasing my twin daughters, swinging them on my hips, soothing owies, and serving them food, the hosts smoothly worked the crowd. The father, mother, and grandmother took turns tending to the birthday baby.

At the end of two hours, I was exhausted and I knew my daughters would fall asleep on the drive home. The only thing I’d eaten was a slobbery carrot shoved into my mouth by sticky little hands.

Chasing twin toddlers is not for the faint of heart!

My friend hugged me goodbye, saying, “I hardly got to talk to you!”

My eyes smarted with tears. How dare she? How dare she complain about my lack of good guest graces, not having lifted a finger to help me corral my two children? My husband was deployed. Other family was thousands of miles away. I’d shown up with a ratio of 1 adult to 2 kids. Hers was 3 adults to 1 kid.

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Perhaps if she’d held a child for two minutes, I could have used my newly available hand to shove hors d’œuvres in my mouth. Perhaps if she’d carried her baby over to where my little ones were exploring leaf piles, we could have had a conversation.

Now, with the clarity of retrospection, I realize that the failure was mine. I failed to ask for help. I’m sure my friend was intimidated by the competence with which I wrangled my rowdy pair. I’m sure that if I had just asked her to hold one of my girls so I could eat, she would have done so in a heartbeat.

Don’t suffer in silence. It’s not that people don’t understand. We just don’t know how to offer help.

Ask for help when you need it.

Your friends will appreciate the opportunity to help you out. I know this now from the other side. Nothing makes me happier than being able to help out a friend with young kids. My girls are now big kids, leaving me with two free hands. They love to help too. We bring 6 extra hands to the party.

Do you find it easy to ask for help?

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Sadia

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 10-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. They live in the Austin, TX suburbs, where Sadia works full time in information technology. She contributes to a number of parenting websites and magazines and also runs The Mommy Blogging Guide, where she answers mommy bloggers' technical questions.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Suffer in Silence. Ask for Help.”

  1. Oh how true this post rings for me! I get so mad when people don’t help, only to be reminded that I never ASKED for it! Thank you for your gentle reminder to ask before getting angry.

  2. I remember a super-great get-together when the girls were about 6 months old. I arranged ahead of time with two kid-less friends who would be there to give me a hand. They were glad to have some “baby time”, and I was able to enjoy myself in a social situation for the first time since the girls were born. It was blissful.

    You’re right…it can be very stressful at times to try to do it alone! And I try to remember that now that my kiddos are older. They’re fine to play at the park (during our MoMs’ group picnics, for example), and I can help another family wrangle twin or triplet toddlers. It makes for a much better time for all of us if we all pitch in!
    MandyE recently posted My Traveling SidekickMy Profile

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