On a rare adult night out while our husbands were yukking it up over drinks, I was able to catch up with a girlfriend. We don’t get to see each other a lot (hi, kids and work and sports and life) but when we do – I so enjoy our time together.
We updated each other on life as it is now and then headed into territory only women can understand: Sometimes we’re tired and strapped and depleted. She shared her struggles; how she was trying to move forward and keep it all together. I was nodding my head because: Same, girl. SAME. You see, my friend works full time, has active kids with active schedules, in addition to those usual mom duties like grocery shopping, laundry, house cleaning, homework help … You know what I’m talking about – the Mom Stuff. (And that’s not even including the Wife/Partner Stuff!)
Oh, yes, we Moms have a lot going on and sometimes our bodies, our minds, and our hearts need help!
What I admire most about my friend (besides her amazing realness) is that she did three things for herself:
First – she recognized what and how she was feeling. She didn’t keep barreling through telling herself to suck it up. No, ma’am. She admitted she wasn’t feeling like herself, things weren’t good, and she took action.
Which leads to the second step: She spoke up. She went to her husband and her kids and told them: Mom is struggling. She was open and honest. I think that takes a special kind of bravery to tear down the wall of Super Mom and just be Mom.
Third – she asked. She asked her husband and kids for their help. She told them what she needed and didn’t leave it to be a guessing game. I need a hug. I need you to cook dinner occasionally. I need you to be present. I need for you to do your chores.
I thought a lot about our conversation quite a bit after our evening together. And I realized, I need to take a page out of her book! While I nodded my head and absolutely related to her on all levels – I hadn’t taken that next step with my own Mom Stuff.
I have an autoimmune disease that affects me every day. Sometimes I wake up in pain or I’m so dizzy I can’t drive. Other days I’m weak as a newborn baby and can barely raise my arms to even wash my hair. 99.9% of the time I grit my teeth and push through. Usually I feel better as the day goes on but other days I crash once I get home from work. I have an amazingly supportive and loving husband – but I think I’m so good at putting on a tough face that I even fool him at times!
As moms, isn’t that what we do? We grit our teeth when we’re sick because of that important meeting. We drink more coffee and make those three dozen cookies for that PTO event. We’re MOMS! And we’re indestructible! Right?! Riiiiiggggggghhhhtttt. No.
I realized I need to speak up and ask, too. I need to ask for help more often when I’m just not feeling up to full power. And, most importantly, I can’t feel guilty about speaking up and asking.
So, my fellow mommas. My fellow super heroes. Let’s speak up and ask. Ask our husbands, our kids, and our friends. Ask for help. Share your needs. And strengthen your body, your mind, and your heart.