We consistently advise children to ask for help if they are having difficulties with something or someone. But we, as adults and parents, tend to forget to ask for help. Either out of fear that we will be judged, or we will look useless and incapable to have our own children. But when was the last time either one of us asked ourselves, “How can I do this alone?”– even when you have a partner, we sometimes need to tend to that relationship as well as any relationship we have with a person.
When I was a child, my parents often sought help from their parents. Which gave me a very close relationship to my Ma because she knew, from being married to a man in the Navy that you need a tribe to help you on days you can’t help your child, not of selfish reasons. But because as any person, you also need a timeout otherwise you can’t be there for your kid in the way you’re supposed to.
But in 2018, we need PowerPoint presentations about why we need a few hours, and I’m not talking overnights. Just a few hours to either do the shopping, folding the laundry or even simple things as cleaning. But we aren’t allowed to say, “I really feel I just need a few hours” – no, we have to look at the logical side of things and use arguments as “If I don’t clean or fold the laundry the kid might trip and get hurt.” I’m not saying, run to the grandparents ever day or week, but taking a little break could benefit the parents. In our household, I go to school every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and Dines works and attends school. On Wednesdays I keep Cas home, so we can do something fun and Mondays are the days I catch up with my own stuff. The weekends we do as much family stuff as we can but when the night hours hit, we are both to knackered to even think about maintaining a relationship and that puts the relationship under strain and leaves doubts that we, as a married couple will see the light.
When in fact, it shouldn’t be like this, how can we teach our children that it’s okay to ask for help when mummy and daddy can’t even swallow their pride and ask for help themselves? What message are we teaching our children, that giving a helping hand isn’t okay and being selfish is?
I know people are busy and have their own lives to tend to. I do know. But nothing is more important than one’s mental health or being able to give that 100% to your amazing and beautiful child.
Raising a child or children, you need a tribe. You need people around you that you can ask for help and be unashamed, because it is alright. It is alright to need some alone time, it is alright to need five minutes where you just stare into a coffee cup. But today’s society tells us it isn’t alright to ask for help, to be drained and be ashamed that you can’t be there for your child. If you’re scared that asking the grandparents or aunts and uncles for help because it will make you look weak in their eyes. It doesn’t, it just means you recognize your boundaries.
So, help, help each other out. Even if it’s just an hour so mum can do the shopping or dad can cook. It isn’t just a fun saying “it takes a village.”
Until next time,