Okay, I am not the most thoughtful person. Wait...not true. I think a lot, but my actions kind of get all fucked up because I'm busy with the Crazies. I used to be much more able to help people, but I didn't get it then...I just didn't get it.
Now that things have happened in my life that have caused me to need help, I get it. I have learned how to ask for help. I have learned how to offer help. I have learned how to help.
I'm not perfect yet, but I'm getting closer and closer with each and every thing in my life that succeeds in knocking the shit out of me.
Times in my life where I've seriously needed help:
- Self-imposed bedrest that I was on for the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy in the hot summer where I couldn't drive because I couldn't reach the damn steering wheel.
- Weeks after the Crazies were born while I was recovering from a c-section (major abdominal surgery), trying unsuccessfully to nurse two babies, and barely making it through each day.
- My recent knee surgery.
Let me make this clear, I HATE ASKING FOR HELP!!!! It was a major issue when Husband and I first got together and while I've gotten better at it, I still hate it with a passion. So, my mission has been to try to do things so that other people can avoid asking for help.
So, let's say that your neighbor has had surgery...here is how to help...for real:
- Offer...be casual, be realistic, but be specific. Here are the things I can help with...when does your garbage go out? Can I mow this lawn? I will look for packages while you're at the hospital. If you need groceries, please call me.
- Offer again...be more specific this time. I am going to the grocery store tonight, what can I pick up for you? I will be passing the drug store, do you need any more ice packs, Advil, medicine, magazines, etc.? See? Specific.
- Do without offering...drop dinner off (a rotisserie chicken and some pasta salad works well in a pinch b/c there's no preparation), leave a bag with magazines and a candy bar on the front stoop, take out the garbage without them asking, come by and offer to have her kids play in your yard for an hour.
I have had so much awesome help and have learned so much from my friends and family. I just thought I'd pass it along. So many times we hear things like, "I'd really like to help, but I don't know what to do" or "I wish I could do more." Stop saying these things and actually do something (if you're physically capable that is).