My husband is away on business in Europe (this time without me, boo!), and I threw my back out last weekend, which meant I was laying in bed. In pain.
Then on Monday, my good friend Megan - single mom to a darling 8 year old boy with Autism - came to stay with me for a few days while she recovered from her cornea transplant surgery. Yes TRANSPLANT SURGERY.
You see she had surgery a week (or more) before she came, and after her surgery she actually popped the stitches out (OMG talk about pain!), and had a second surgery.
Ok, not the eye surgery boat exactly, but I've needed help and was uncomfortable about telling people in plain English what I needed.
Here is the post I wrote for them last week - I hope you will all take a step back and think about how many times you have needed help, and refused to ask.
When my son is struggling at school, or when my husband and I are fighting because we cannot seem to find a single second alone to speak about something other than the kids, or like last Spring when we were forced to hospitalize my oldest son, I find myself on the phone with one of my girlfriends venting, crying, and just letting it all out.
During that type of conversation, where I am relaying some insane problem or trauma or dilemma, I am always amazed at how quickly my friends will say, “What can I do?”
And you know what I say?
“Oh, nothing. I’m OK.”
But that isn’t true. What is true is that although it is hard to ask for help, I really don’t know what to ask for.
What I should learn to say when my friends say, “What can I do?” is,
“Please do anything.”
Because I need help. With everything.
Parenting a child with Autism, Bipolar, Sensory Processing Disorder and Learning Disabilities is like a high-speed car chase through life. I am sure that is the case for MANY parents of children with MANY other diagnoses as well.
Which means to slow life down to a more manageable Sunday afternoon drive, at least for an hour or so, requires help.
So the next time someone asks you, “What can I do?” Tell them.
If you are at a loss for what to say, try these:
~ You can make dinner one night for our family
~ You can pick my kids up from school
~ You can take my child for a play date this weekend
~ You can join me for a cup of coffee after the kids go to school
~ You can help me fold laundry
~ You can mow my lawn
~ You can call and check on me tomorrow
I know some of you are thinking, “I would never ask someone to do that!”, but let me assure you, the less time you spend thinking, planning and preparing for the day to day chaos, the more time you can spend turning that high-speed car chase into a leisurely Sunday drive.