3 Under 3: Asking for Help

Not sure why it is so hard for us to ask for help.  I mean, I guess I think I can do it all.  Like I am some sort of super mom.  Ha!  I know I’m not.  I know I can’t do it all.  Yet it is so hard for me to ask for help.  Or accept help when it is offered.

However, as I am getting down to the last couple months here before baby #3 blesses us and I will have 3 crazy but lovely children under 3 years of age clamoring for my attention… I realize I need help.  Major help.

Hubby is great and an immense help.  Definitely an active partner in raising our children.  So I don’t mean asking help from him.  I am talking about all of our family and friends in town that usually offer help but I always say “no thanks” for some reason.

If you struggle like me to ask for help or say “yes” to those generous individuals that offer it, here are some ways to make it a little easier to say “Help, please!!!”

Just Say “Yes!”

Here… practice.  Say, “Yyyyeeeesss” out loud to yourself.  Now say it louder and with affirmation in your voice, “Yes!”  The hardest part but where you need to start is admitting you need help.  When someone offers to help, respond by saying, “Yes!  Thank you!”

Simply Ask.

Sometimes we are overwhelmed with laundry, making meals, scrubbing the bathroom, vacuuming the dog hair, filing away the paper clutter… that we realize, “If I just had a little help…”  This is when we should call that person or people in our lives that we know would say yes to our plea for help, with no questions asked.  Maybe a sister, mother, friend, nephew, church member.  Give them a call and let them know you could really use a little bit of their time.  I usually just need someone to come and play with my children so I can get the clothes put away and floors mopped.  Who doesn’t want to come over and play with my cute kiddos?  Like step 1, simply just ask someone.

Set a Day & Time.

I usually don’t make it to this step.  People offer help and I say yes.  Or I ask for help and people say yes.  But it never goes any further than that.  I realize I need to start setting a real day and time for that person to come over to help.  As soon as you have someone willing to commit to helping, set a date good for both of you immediately.  Don’t let the opportunity pass you by! Schedule it and make sure to call a day ahead to confirm your help.

Make a list.

I often say no to help because I can’t think off the top of my head what that person could help me with.  I usually have so much to do that my brain gets overwhelmed and stalls out on me!  Does this happen to anyone else?  My solution is to make a list.  When I am overwhelmed, I grab a sheet of paper and write down everything I need to get done.  And then I break down those tasks into simpler tasks for people to help me with.  For example, “Organize the playroom”.  If I told someone to do this, they would give me a blank stare.  But instead, if I break it down like this

  • Hang shelves in playroom.
  • Place all tot activities in individual bags.
  • Place bags in cubbies in closet.
  • Sew fabric onto curtains.
  • Hang curtain rods & curtains.
  • Place children’s books on shelves in cabinet.

Now this is more manageable.  I can quickly look to my list and see what would be good for that person to do.  Easy!  Make sure to not overwhelm your help with too much, though.

Explain & Show.

One reason I think we avoid help is that we think “I can do it better myself” or “No one will do it how I want it done”.  Well, there is a simple solution to this.  Explain and show!  Make sure to explain to your help what you need and with clear directions.  I am a visual person, so it may be helpful to also show your help how you would like it done.  For example, if you are particular with your laundry folding, simply show your help how you would like it done. And remember to be nice and patient.  They are helping you after all!  ;)

Check In.

For your benefit and for the benefit of your help, make sure to check in with them often.  This is to see if they need any additional explanation.  Remember to be patient if you see they are doing something wrong.  They want to help you, so it isn’t wrong to correct and guide if needed.  Also, make sure to offer a break and something to eat or drink.  A break is a nice time to enjoy each other’s company, since your helper is most likely someone you know and close to you.  You don’t want them to think you are taking advantage of them.

Show Appreciation.

Definitely take the time to show your help how grateful you were for their time and help.  A handwritten card is always simple but very thoughtful.  You can also express your thanks through a small gift or plate of baked goodies just for them.  Whatever you think of, keep it simple but make sure your help knows you appreciated it!

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2 Responses to 3 Under 3: Asking for Help

  1. Alicia says:

    You know if you need help we are happy to help. Just ask us! I’m sure Nick wouldn’t mind spending some of his days off with his nieces and I certainly would enjoy the break from work myself. Call us.

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