My response was always "I am not a baby. I can do it myself! "
I was a determined and independent little girl.
That determination made putting myself though college and graduate school possible. It helped naturally birth three babies. Most importanly it made raising three children as a single mom achieveable.
All attributes all double edged swords.
I started out my single motherhood journey fiercely determined to make it. I was going to be the kind of mother I wanted to be. The absence of a husband wasn't going to change how I parented my children or how I chose to spend my time. I wanted to prove to the world that I could do it all by myself .
My grit got me standing up. My grit made things happen. My grit alone though wasn't going to sustain me in the long haul. I was tired of working so hard to prove I had it all under control.
Trying to do it all alone made me feel all alone.
Then all three of my children had the flu. I could do laundry, clean up vomit, fetch buckets, dispense tylenol, rub heads, console and rinse and repeat for days.
I could not lug three feverish, vomiting children to the store. I could not leave three feverish, vomiting children home alone.
I had to ask for help. There was no option.
My friend delivered groceries, medicine, movies and a much needed hug. She then checked in a few times each and every day. My children recovered and the flu moved on to me. That same friend took my children for few hours each day as I recovered.
I didn't need to wait for the flu to hit to ask for help. I could have asked at the first sign of overwhelm.
To this day, whenever I am feeling overwhelmed I always ask myself, "Is there someone who could help me with this?"
Suffering happens when we never ask for help and try to do everything all alone.