I’m embarrassed to admit that I have a hard time asking for help. I’ve somehow developed a subconscious personal policy to minimize how much I allow others to contribute to my daily needs. I guess I figure since I’m blessed enough to be able to stay home with my children, I need to buck-up-buttercup and make sure I’m taking care of everything on the home front. My husband persists in working to break me of this habit, but I still resist. Maybe it’s a symptom of growing up as the peacemaking middle child; or simply a twisted sense of pride, but I realize that I’ve tied a lot of my self-worth into my ability to avoid being a burden to others.
I understand that this is unhealthy. As human beings, we are designed to live in community. We are meant to not only generously support those around us, but to graciously accept assistance when we need it. I want to model this for my children. I do not want to let them grow up thinking they are better people if they don’t need others.
I’m currently being forced to learn this skill for myself. Halfway through my third trimester with my third child, I’m severely anemic and struggling with symptoms that sometimes make it difficult just to get through the day. Letting my family pitch in more with housework or childcare has been harder than I thought, and I have to ask, why? Is it a quirk of my personality, or a more sinister symptom of our individualistic, performance-driven society? Why is it so hard to feel worthy just for breathing?
So, for the next 6 weeks as I prepare for the birth of my child, I am working on resting, waiting, and simply being – and modeling for my children that as human beings we have immeasurable value even when we aren’t in a place or time in our lives that we have something tangible to offer to others. Despite our position in life, our physical or emotional abilities, or achievements or lack thereof, we are enough, simply for being.
October in the Midwest brings cooler weather, football, and some of the most beautiful drives through fire-tinged foliage I’ve ever seen. It also brings the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. I am one of a very small minority of women in my group of friends who has not