There are plenty of things I'm not very good at; swimming, keeping plants alive, going to bed early despite always moaning that I am tired... But the thing I am probably worst at is asking for help.
The other week I had a huge amount of work to complete for a deadline, was hosting a garden party for friends that evening, had Arthur at home still on sleep strike and still had all the usual day to day things to contend with. And I just could not do it all. It was physically impossible. Usually I'll struggle and juggle and find a way to make things happen, but this time around I waved my white flag and called for back up. And it was the best thing I could have done.
Even the best plate-spinners and job-jugglers need a hand sometimes but sometimes it can be so bloody difficult to share the load. Here's why you should follow my lead and start sending out SOS messages...
If you're like me, giving over control to someone else makes your eyes water. They might do things differently, plans might change, it won't be *exactly* as you'd imagined it. But it'll be okay. (And done is better than perfect.)
Asking for help also means admitting you can't do it all. I really don't like to admit defeat, or give the impression that I'm not coping. But how silly is that?! I've never thought less of anyone else for asking for a helping hand - and calling in the cavalry is sometimes the only way to do everything, or to keep from running yourself into the ground.
Sometimes it feels as though you should do it all. Other people seem to have it all together, you usually can manage the eleventy billion things you've got going on, it feels as though it's your job to get stuff done... but we all need support sometimes. No (wo)man is an island and there's only so much one person can do alone.
Added to this, there's the worry of working yourself up to ask... only for someone to say no. And then you'll wish you hadn't asked and you feel a bit vulnerable and annoyed to have put yourself out there. But actually, you've not lost anything. And if someone isn't there to help you when you really need it it's a good time to whack in some new boundaries and reconsider your Christmas card list!
Most people do really love to help - and in the same way you'd hate to see your loved ones struggling, your friends and family are likely to be glad to know they could be there to lighten the load. It makes me happy to know I've been able to help those around me so letting people in and giving them the opportunity to return the favour can only be a positive thing.
In asking for help I managed to get my work done (and to a better standard), the baby got lots of cuddles instead of having to put up with a frazzled, spread-too-thin mum, and I managed to get the Pimms made and the bunting up with 5 minutes to spare before my guests arrived.
Might have only taken me my whole adult life, but I think I'm on to something...