You can't 'mom' it all; here's how to get help
Posted September 24, 2021 8:00 a.m. EDT
Updated September 24, 2021 10:26 a.m. EDT
Moms spend their time doing lots of things – working, parenting, cleaning, chauffeuring, cooking, grocery shopping, homeworking (yes, I know it’s not a word, but it’s a real thing! The 3rd grade homework load is real, y’all!). None of these things are independently bad or difficult, but they are time consuming. I know that when my time gets crunched, my plate gets full and my mind becomes overwhelmed, it’s time (or, past time?) to ask for help.
But, here’s the truth: I hate asking for help! I mean, a “good mom” should be able to do “all the things” and still enjoy Netflix at the end of the night, right?
No. Very, very wrong.
What matters is that “all the things” get done – not how they get done or who does them. Knowing I’m not the only mom who struggles with this, I’m sharing how I ask for help daily:
Let It Go – Sing a "Frozen" song if it makes you feel better, but we have to start by letting the little things go. I’m not – nor will I ever be – a Pinterest mom. I’m letting the crafty stuff go.
Outsource It – From babysitters to house cleaners, and from tutors to meal prep, some things are just worth the money. This option isn’t always an affordable one, but if you have a bit of disposable income, hire out the tasks you don’t enjoy or that you’re just flat out bad at.
For me, it’s cleaning my house. My husband loves a clean house, and it’s just not my thing. So, by hiring my sweet friend Norma to show up once a month and make our home shiny, it makes all of us feel good. She has a paycheck. Hubby has a spotless home (for like an hour until the kids get home). And I didn’t have to do any of it. Win-win-win.
Enlist Family Helpers – Your plants need watering? There’s a kid for that. Your silverware needs unloading? There’s a kid for that. The grass needs cutting? There’s a kid for that, too (even if it’s a neighbor’s kid!). There’s also an awesome app called Allowance & Chores Bot to help kids stay on task and rewarded. My kids love it.
Work Wisely – There are many things I’m good at (and many I’m not) so I need to surround myself with those who are strong in areas where I’m weak. If you’re unsure of your strengths in the workplace, take the CliftonStrengths test. It’s $20, and it was crazy accurate for me.
Trust Your Spouse – I can’t stress to you how much my husband (and likely yours, too) wants to help. He just needs me to speak up and ask for it! And when he helps, he doesn’t need me complaining about how he did the job because it only deters him from helping the next time I need it. I’ve learned that he’s a gifted laundry folder and a talented lunchbox packer. But, none of it is ever done correctly (a.k.a: my way). Which brings us to ...
Be Gracious – Let’s be bold in asking for help, and be gracious in accepting it. After I ask for help, I tell myself: It’s not my way, and it’s OK. People rarely do things exactly as I would…and it’s annoying. While my way is obviously the best way (please detect humor here!), it’s not the only way. If a fruit doesn’t make it into the lunchbox, it’s OK. If a T-shirt gets folded inside out, nobody cares. And if the plates face the wrong direction in the dishwasher…OK, well some things just can’t be overlooked. ;)
Stephanie Llorente is a mother of two children and a regular Go Ask Mom contributor. She is the owner of Prep Communications and Restored, a faith-based business that delivers relevant resources and intentional community to working moms.