Among the crazy things some of us working moms do (aside from feeling guilty about things we shouldn’t feel guilty about) is the need to want to do as much as possible ourselves; it is almost as if asking (or accepting) help is a sign of weakness.
Here’s an example: sometimes my mom says “You’re ordering out? Don’t order out, I have food,” which (I’m not going to lie) is music to my ears on many evenings. But, sometimes I feel badly even accepting it. Why? Because I think “I should be able to do this.”
So, sometimes I say “no gracias,” because I feel like I need to do it myself, even if that means eating arroz con huevo (instead of a nice bistec) or cereal for dinner. I guess in some way, I feel that I am an adult and I have a family, so I shouldn’t be relying on my mom to feed me, even if I work ungodly hours and I sometimes I get home too tired to even have dinner.
We have been conditioned to think that we have to do everything ourselves in order to be good moms, and I have come to realize, it is just not possible. I mean, physically, mentally, it’s just NOT possible.
I have realized that there are only so many hours in a day, and until I can be in two places at once, I have learned that accepting help and acknowledging it is okay to need it will make me a better mom.
In her book “Balance is Bull$h!t” Lourdes Carreras-Balepogi, better known as Luly B., says we should build “an army” of people that support and help us.
We need to be okay with accepting help. This can take many forms. It can be a family member (or two or three) who is to lend a hand. It can be using a laundromat that picks up, washes, folds and drops off your clothes. It can also be the friend who offers to watch your kid for a few hours so you can run an errand (or maybe even have a date night!)
I now realize that anything that can lighten your load (both figuratively and literally!) should be welcome.
Whoever said it takes a village was right. I couldn’t do all I do without a group of trusted people (and businesses!) I turn to when things get crazy.
An army, a village, whatever you want to call it— it’s ok to want it and to need it.
For me, the opposite would be no help and probably some kind of stress-related illness.
I have learned that saying you need help doesn’t make you weak or less of a mom; but just the opposite.
Diana Limongi-Gabriele works hard juggling a full-time job, motherhood, family, grad school and her blog, LadydeeLG, where she writes about issues she is passionate about including teaching her son Spanish, motherhood, parenting, Latino issues, good quality food and women’s issues. Diana is a regular contributor for Mamiverse. She has a MA in Migration Studies, and is pursuing an MPA in Nonprofit Management. Her most important job however, is being mommy to Enzo, a French/Hispanic/American (one day trilingual) 2-year-old boy. You can connect with her via Twitter, @dianalimongi or on Facebook.