by Leah Outten
“I’m just going to put this out there and be honest: I am struggling in this first trimester. I’m in near tears right now because I am exhausted (taking iron does help, but now I’m not sleeping well at night nor will my body allow me to nap when Ashlyn does anymore) and nauseous off and on and just emotional. I feel like I’m back in the pit I was a year ago and it makes it really hard to be the mom I want to be. If anyone would be willing to help pick up groceries at Costco or Trader Joes whenever you go, I can pay in cash. My kids are also super bored and watching way too much TV as I am in survival mode, so playdates would be awesome if you want to hang out with one or two. And if you love to fold laundry, I have mountains of them. Other than that, prayers are always helpful.”
This was my Facebook status 3 weeks ago. See, I was in the middle of my first trimester carrying my fourth child with my other 3 kids under the age of 7 at home during summer break. Whew. As you can see, I had no more left of me to give to anyone, except to this growing baby already demanding so much from me. Not that that is a bad thing, it is expected with pregnancy at times, but it lead me to be exhausted in every sense of the word– emotionally and physically. I truly felt like I was living just to survive the day.
I needed help.
Sure, my husband can and did help but since he also works full time during the day and can’t do all the chores and give our kids the attention they desire and need in the few hours before bed! I was desperate for help during the day to ease my heavy load (literally). The answers to my Facebook status above left me in awe. I felt so loved and that rare feeling of a village surrounding us to care for our physical needs was ever so present. Friends from church and all over offered to grocery shop, watch a few of my children, bring dinner over, and even fold my mountain of laundry! Those who couldn’t physically offer help due to distance offered prayers and good thoughts, which is equally important in my mind. I also received many encouraging comments like this,
“Leah, I commend you for your honesty and for being brave enough to ask for help. So many of us just suffer and try to put on a brave face instead of reaching out to the friends that WANT to be there for us. You are an amazing person!”
I think that sums up the point of this post. It is not a shameful thing to ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. Like my friend said, you have friends who want to help! They just need to know your needs to know how to help, but you have to speak up for that to happen.
Think of it this way: If you knew a friend was in need with something that you could provide, would you even hesitate to help? I didn’t think so.
Also, the beautiful thing to remember is that this season will not last forever so one day you will be in a place where you can pay it forward and help others when the situation arises. Whatever the reason for where you are in tough times, whether it is pregnancy, a new baby, health issues, depression, job loss, whatever– people want to help. Why? Because they love and care for you. Most likely, they have been there and felt what you have felt before. Maybe they had help and want to share that with you now, or maybe they wish they had had help in their tough time.
It is okay to ask for help. Ask for your village to surround you, you’ll be surprised by what a weight it will lift from your burdens!