Asking for Help

I can't do it all. You can't do it all, either. We must learn to ask for help. Our families are not mind readers. They will not know what needs to be done around the house. But you know. So, we must ask for help and delegate some of the work.

In our home, our children have family responsibilities they take care of each day. Some people might call them chores, but I don't believe that truly describes them. It takes a lot of work to keep a home running. We have a responsibility to teach our children life skills they can take with them when they leave home. So, each day they have responsibilities that help keep our home running smoothly. Those responsibilities include cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work and so on.

There is a lot to do, but when many hands work together, it makes my load lighter. A good manager delegates tasks, and as a professional a mother must do the same. I also have to train my "workers," which takes time. But it is time well spent because our family benefits from the results for years to come. We need to become comfortable asking for help.

Several years ago, Mark and I decided we needed to get serious about having date nights for ourselves, but we didn't have the money to pay a sitter on a weekly basis. We decided to ask some friends to commit to trading nights out. It worked out wonderfully and we enjoyed the exchange for several years.

It took me a few years to figure this out, but I'll share it with you just in case you haven't yet discovered it: Your husband can't read your mind. I thought for sure my husband could for years. In fact, I'd often help him along with some body language and a few nonverbal hints, but he just wouldn't get it. I learned I had to state clearly what I needed and ask for help when necessary.

Elisa Morgan, author of What Every Mom Needs, puts it this way: "We have to learn to help ourselves. We have to learn to ask directly, by using words. No one can read your mind. No one is going to waltz in, recognize your predicament and save you."

Taken from Professionalizing Motherhood by Jill Savage. Copyright © 2001 by Jill Savage. Used by permission of Zondervan.

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