Last summer we bought Eva a new bike; almost 7 and growing like a weed we sized up. We came home with the the prettiest aqua and white bicycle – streamers dangling from the handlebars, a bag attached to the front and a shrill little bell. It was her first bike with hand brakes and without training wheels.
I was so excited. I envisioned her riding next to me on a run through the neighborhood.
Things didn’t go as I’d planned.
She was terrified. We tried retro-fitting the bike with standard training wheels but it was too tall. There were tears and lots of cries about falling. The only way she could ride the bike was with my help – I would run alongside her holding the handlebars and the back of the seat.
She didn’t have to ask, but I never let go.
As Mommas, we don’t think twice about offering help to our children – whether or not they ask. We are there to pick them up, dust them off and kiss their boo boos. We are comforters and champions, encouragers and guardians – ready to serve in whatever capacity they might need. We recognize their need for help whether or not they put it to words.As Moms we need to be as willing to ask for help as we are to give it. #WorkMom #ALittleHelpPlease Click To Tweet
Maybe in this season you’re struggling, missing your own set of training wheels. And, maybe you haven’t yet put to words what you need. A little help. We’ve all been there before and will be there again.Today, I'll run beside you so that tomorrow you might run beside me. #WorkMom #ALittleHelpPlease… Click To Tweet
Because somedays I err on the practical, I’ve included two lists below. The first is a few tricks I’ve picked up on over the last couple of years that allow me to help myself. The second includes a few ways that you can allow others to help you.
Getting Organized: Let’s be honest, I could use my time better in the evening. Last night for instance, I’ve watched a few back episodes of Madam Secretary instead of packing lunches and finishing up the laundry. I’d save myself a lot of grief in the morning if I’d just get a little more organized.
Meal Planning: Maybe in another life where everyday is like Saturday I’d enjoy cooking a little bit more. But, the reality is that nothing stresses me out like realizing it’s 4:30 in the afternoon, almost time to head home and I took nothing out of the freezer. In my experience, flying by the seat of my pants hasn’t made for the most enjoyable mealtimes. There are so many opportunities and programs (across all budgets) to assist with meal planning. Options range from meal delivery services to simple meal planning tools.
In the Dale home, we’ve tried several of the different meal delivery services from Blue Apron to Marley Spoon. My favorite experience has been with Terra’s Kitchen, (I’ll provide a better review at a later date). If a meal delivery service isn’t in your budget or maybe even your thing, there are two other programs with a monthly subscription service that includes meal planning among other things. The first is Prep Dish and the second is Strong Mommas. Both of these programs offer so much and their approaches are unique. Please, check them both out. (Just as a disclaimer, none of my recommendations were solicited, they are a product of my own personal experiences incurred at my personal expense.) Last and most certainly not least, take a look on Pinterest for some amazing meal planning sites and freezer recipes including those that you can use in the Crockpot.
Family Calendar App: The Weatherman and I are always balancing school activities, doctor appointments and work schedules. Throw in there dance or softball and things can get complicated very quickly. Both the Weatherman and I have iPhones and fairly early on we set up a family calendar that allows us to set and create reminders that are shared and prompts us each time the other adds a new appointment. Not an Apple fan? I would then recommend checking out the COZI app for a shared family calendar.
Getting Help from Others
I cannot stress enough the importance of being part of a community. I absolutely believe that we were meant as a people to do life together because we most certainly cannot do it alone.
Momma, you need to find your people and find them fast.
Sometimes we’re lucky and they show up on our doorstep with a plate of brownies or a bottle of wine. All smiles and “Welcome to the Neighborhood!” More often than not though, we find ourselves in the midst of our lives moving from one activity or life event to the next and we discover our people along the way.We were meant as a people to do life together because we most certainly cannot do it alone.… Click To Tweet
Maybe you are part of a Small Group or Life Group (or whatever you church calls them); if these are the people you are sharing the details of your life with and vice versa then these ARE YOUR PEOPLE. Let them help you when you need it; don’t brush off their offers of assistance. Instead, graciously accept the help.
Perhaps you’re not a part of a small group but you do attend a church. If your church has a youth or children’s minister get to know them. These people know all kinds of things and have an inside scoop on all of the best resources (in the form of people). Invite them out to coffee and share your dilemmas, your struggles and then pick their brain. Trust me, they will have lots to offer. Your kids Children’s Minister, by default, is YOUR PEOPLE. I found one of our trusted babysitters as a consequence of working in our Children’s Ministry program – we co-teach our second and third grade students together every other month.
Late to pick up the kids, or not sure how you’re going to make that pickup while your spouse is traveling? Easy enough, reach out to your school principal and ask if they have a Carpool list or program. Fortunately for me, my neighbor is amazing. Whenever the Weatherman is traveling she is my “go to” person when it comes to picking up Eva and taking her home to grandma after school. If it weren’t for her, on the days the Weatherman is traveling Eva and I wouldn’t be home until 6:00 pm or later. Maybe your school doesn’t have a carpool program but I bet they have at least a handful of good resources to share with you and make your life a little easier. The people that make up your child’s school are YOUR PEOPLE.
Maybe you just need someone to talk to; someone other than your beautiful babes. Sometimes we need that uninterested third party to bounce things off of or perhaps to prescribe some necessary, (hopefully) short-term medication. More of us have been there than not – yours truly included. So, if you’re looking for a counselor or a therapist and you’re together with your mom friends (YOUR PEOPLE) on a park bench (while the kiddos are belly flopping in the sand) make the ask.
Ask for recommendations.
Ask for help.
And then, here’s my last bit of advice. You can help yourself. You can ask your neighbor, Life Group, and Mom’s group for help. And, I would guess with confidence, that in most instances those people, given the opportunity will come forward for you.
But, there is one who will always be there. There is one that will always hear your cries for help and will neither leave nor forsake you. In all instances, not just as the last resort, take your heart ache, your stress, your disappointment and depression to the one just waiting for you to ask for help and for relief. He will not disappoint. He is YOUR PEOPLE.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, so that they waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they were quiet. So He guided them to their desired haven.