Demystifying the capabilities of parents, and recognizing when to ask for help.

Okay parents, let’s be real with each other for a moment. How often do you need help? Go on, it’s okay to answer. Now… how often do you ask for help? Do you see a discrepancy? I sure do.

I am proud. Or I’m stubborn. Actually, I’m both. Growing up I learned to be independent and to do everything myself. I can’t say it was the right thing to learn. I can say there were times this was a good approach, and many other times this was detrimental to my success. And I can definitely say I’ve learned the importance of not trying to do it all on my own, yet, it’s a hard habit to break!

Did I mention I’m proud? I can be at the point of tears, so overwhelmed and defeated, and still not ask for help. I have nothing to prove, no reason why I shouldn’t ask for help. And I am so blessed to have people I can ask! Yet, many times I do not.

The thing is, I’m not alone. Many parents out there are exactly like me! So why do we continue to try to do it all?

Perhaps it is the fear of not being a good enough parent for your children. I think we get stuck believing we need to take care of everything ourselves, because if we cannot, then we will be failing as a parent. We often compare ourselves to other parents, and find fault in ourselves because of this comparison. But more often than not we are comparing ourselves to only a fragmented part of someone else’s reality. Maybe we saw another parent on social media baking cookies in their clean kitchen. How inspiring! And all too often that makes us feel inadequate, and incapable of parenting our own children.

Or perhaps it’s the fear of how we may look to others. If we ask for help, we might look like a failure to that person we asked and to outside observers. Truth is, we put too much pressure on ourselves worrying what other people think, when in reality they aren’t paying that much attention. We are not actually under the microscope we think we are.

Are we scared of letting our children down? It could be that we think by relying on others we will let our kids down by not being everything all the time. But then, what are we truly teaching our kids? That it’s not okay to ask for help? I know we definitely don’t want that.

Or yet, maybe because we are innately afraid of what we will think of ourselves. I’m the end, this might be the top contender, because all the aforementioned are constantly on our minds, and with that we feel we fail ourselves by not meeting these exceptionally high standards we have inadvertently created for ourselves.

So today I employ you to ask for help. It’s okay to start small. Become comfortable with the idea, and allow yourself some grace. We can be better for our children if we ask for help when we can. Yes, our presence is important. But our presence is much more powerful when we are recharged and able to put our best selves forward.

Parents, you got this! Go ask for help!

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