I don’t think there is a mom out there who hasn’t needed help…
…who hasn’t felt overwhelmed, drowning in life’s day-to-day grind.
What mom hasn’t felt frustrated by seemingly endless chores, errands, laundry, cleaning, cooking, and planning, often in addition to a job outside the home?
I hear, over and over again, mothers complaining of needing help. Myself included!
“My kids never help with chores.”
“My partner really could help out more.”
What if we changed the perspective?
Let us think of it this way: A mother asking her family to “help out” is based on the erroneous assumption that all of the work is HER responsibility in the first place. I submit that this is FALSE. The work involved in maintaining a functioning household is the shared responsibility of each and every member of that household.
Granted, infants can’t really fold laundry, but by the time a child reaches toddlerhood, he or she can begin to contribute to keeping the family unit moving along smoothly.
As my children have gotten older, their responsibilities around the house have increased, but they have had chores since they were two years old. Something as simple as picking up their toys or helping feed pets can be the beginnings of teaching responsibility.
What about those significant others?
Well, I stopped “asking for help” a long time ago. Instead, if something needs to be done, I simply state what it is that needs doing. I am polite, but I’m not asking for help with “my job.” I am pointing out things that need to be taken care of.
“The dishwasher needs to be unloaded.”
“Would you rather fold the laundry or set the table?”
“Will you please feed the dogs?”
To be fair, we each have our strengths and naturally play to those. One of us is a better planner and organizer; one of us is way more tech savvy. I’m not going to change the shocks on the truck any more than he is going to balance our checkbook.
Words are important.
The words we choose communicate more than just their surface meaning. The implication that moms need “help” because they simply cannot handle the workload carries more weight than we might think. Shifting my perspective on this topic has made serious improvements in my stress levels. Moms can’t do it all because it isn’t all ours to do.
So stop asking for help.
Raise those expectations of your family just a bit, and cut yourself some slack.