For my entire life, I HATED asking for help. I used to think asking for help was a sign of weakness. I always told myself I never needed anyone for anything. I wanted people to think I knew how to do everything.
In school, when my teachers would ask "does anyone have any questions," I wanted to raise my hand so bad and say "ME!" But I never did. Why? Maybe I didn't want to seem "dumb" or "helpless." Maybe I didn't want to be a burden to anyone. Perhaps that stems from being a child in a broken home. I should ask my therapist. Oh wait, I don't have one. Because I never thought I needed it.
Whatever the case was, I would ask myself: Am I physically able? Sure. Am I mentally able...perhaps. But these are not the questions I needed to ask myself. The question is do I HAVE to do this without help?
I took this stubbornness with me into motherhood. My daughter was the first grandchild on both sides of the family. Needless to say, she was a pretty big deal. The second she was born, our family swarmed us with love and offered to help in anyway they could. Did I take it? Not really. Besides me being a super protective first time mom, I didn't think I needed help. I thought being overly exhausted and emotionally drained was all part of the deal. I was a new mom, I was supposed to feel like a zombie, right? Maybe, but perhaps it wouldn't have been as bad as it was if I had just let my mom babysit for two hours while I took a nap. But here is another problem...
I have control issues. So much so that I couldn't even trust my loved ones enough to help me. The only person I let help is my husband and even then I couldn't help but stress a little bit. It's not him, it's me. Probably another issue I should discuss with a therapist...
We've all heard the saying "it takes a village," right? That saying used to annoy me. Maybe I'm slightly bitter because 99% of my family lives 4+ hours away. Thankfully, my mother-in-law recently retired. So she has a lot more time to travel and visit. Which means help has become more available. Have I taken it...YES!
If someone is offering to help you, don't overlook it. They are offering because they want to help. So take it, please. Do it for yourself. Your mental health. Do it for your children. Let them see you accept help. You would want them to ask for help, wouldn't you? Show them it is normal and apart of life. Show them it is necessary for growth. Trust me, they won't think you are "weak" or "less than" for letting a babysitter watch them for a few hours while you go out to dinner with your husband. So yes, it DOES take a village.
Same goes for work + business. This shop means the world to me. It's like another part of my body, my soul. It's like another child. I am so protective over it, that since starting in 2018, I have been afraid to ask for help. About eight months ago, I started feeling overwhelmed. I started thinking about hiring an assistant. Someone to help me package orders, or someone to help with customer service. But the fear of having someone come in and mess something up terrified me. So I kept telling myself I didn't need anyone. I got this far without help, why start now? Well let me tell you why...
Without help, this is as far as you're going to get. Think about it. Does Beyoncé write, produce, record her own music and watch her kids at the same time? No, she has a team help her. Does Kylie Jenner run her businesses by herself? Hell no, that girl has an endless sea of people helping her. What I'm trying to say is, YOU can only do so much. There are only 24 hours in a day. If you want your business to continue growing, ask for help. Hire an assistant. Almost two years into this business, I finally hired some help and it's been one the best decisions I've ever made.
It feels like there is more oxygen in the air. I don't have 100% of the weight on my shoulders. Letting go of control a little bit means I get to spend more time with my growing family. Kids are only little for a short period of time. I don't want to miss out on those special moments. Unfortunately, we can't get them back.
Same goes for your relationship with your partner. Letting people help care for my daughter once in a while means more alone time with my husband. Which is beneficial for our marriage, as well as our daughter. So if the opportunity to have a date night comes around, TAKE IT GIRL.
Bottom line is, we all need help. I have come to the conclusion that I need to accept help when offered. Life doesn't have to be so hard. And hey, maybe if you raise your hand, you'll end up learning a thing or two.
I don't care who you are, or what you THINK you can handle, you need help. And I say that in the most loving way.
If Wonder Woman can ask for help, so can you my friend.
As for seeing a therapist, that is on my 2020 goal list. Stay tuned.
-Kristin Blyth, owner + creator of Free the Mother