It is ok to ask for help
A 9-year-old teaches me to ask for help
I was listening to the Building A Story Brand podcast on my morning commute to work the other day. This episode interviews Dr. Wayne Baker, author of All You Have to Do is Ask, about the skill of asking for help. Studies show that most of us are very reluctant to ask for help when we need it. And special needs moms, need it!
I thought of my son Joey, who just that morning asked for help with getting his coat off the hook and to help him find his shoes. It dawned on me that my nine-year-old could teach us a thing or two about asking for help.
Joey has Down syndrome and is very independent. He prefers to do things for himself most of the time. Yet, he is also very good at asking for assistance.
Joey understands sometimes we just need help in life and he doesn’t get frustrated by the need to ask for it. When he is having trouble putting on his jacket because the sleeves are inside out, or he can’t reach something on the top shelf of the fridge, or he needs the code entered into the TV, Joey comes to one of us and nicely says, “I need help.” He knows how to ask, and isn’t afraid to speak up when he needs it. It is a key skill that will give him confidence and independence.
We are reluctant to seek help.
I can’t say I have the same attitude. I am a fiercely independent person. As the youngest of three, and the only girl, I learned to do a lot on my own.
Like most of us, I usually grit my teeth, plod on, and get-r-done. Yet, I tend to have so much going on in my head, such as the long list of things to be checked off, that I miss experiencing the moment and making connections where I am. So, I have begun to seek help in areas I need more support.
Accepting an offer for help builds relationships
In early December, Joey had minor surgery for tubes, an adenoidectomy, and a scope. When one of my Down syndrome mom friends, offered to bring dinner over, I actually accepted the offer. It was such a kind gesture, something inside told me to say “yes.” We were blessed to come home from the hospital and not worry about getting dinner on the table. Through that gesture, our families connected and now we have a new friendship.
Getting help is not selfish
I juggle a full-time job, mothering, housekeeping, volunteering, developing a side business, and renovating our home. Help with household tasks would make a huge difference, but it also seems like a frivolous expense when I am perfectly capable of cleaning. The fact is, cleaning keeps me from precious time with my kids and it keeps me from time doing things that replenish me. So, my goal for this year is to get a housekeeper twice a month.
There is an app for that
Last weekend, I tried out the pick-up grocery service at Kroger. I used the app to select and pay for my groceries. I even used coupons. The app gave me a time to come pick up the groceries. When I got to the store, there were designated parking spaces for pick-up customers. A sign in front of the parking space directed me to call a number and they sent out a clerk to load the groceries in my car. This is truly a gamechanger!
Any mom knows how difficult it is to grocery shop with kids. I can also think of plenty of more meaningful ways to spend our weekends than navigating the grocery isles. Now we can plan in advance, shop from our app, and just go pick it up when the shopping is done. No “extra” items in the cart, no detours. Quick, easy, done!
Were do you seek help?
Everyone needs help at some point in their lives. Baker says reaching out for help opens up new opportunities, unlocks new ideas and solutions, builds relationships, and enhances performance. We should be as comfortable asking for it as we are giving it.
What areas are your reluctant to ask for help? What things are helping you out most right now? Shoot me a comments below. I’d love to know!