6 tips for asking for and accepting help:
- When someone offers to help, the answer is Yes. Always. I have had people offer to help whom, frankly, I wouldn't trust to watch the kids. But I can take a shower or organize my room upstairs while they read books to the children downstairs.
- This one is very important: God sends help, but it often is not the help you want. I have had help from a motley crew over the years. I would immensely prefer to have a mother, a sister, or a close aunt come to my rescue. That has not been my luxury. Accept help, even if it's from an unlikely source.
- If you need help, start praying that God would send someone or inspire you to ask someone specifically for help. Be creative! And if you are told "no," regroup and ask again. It's not going to work out perfectly every time.
- When you ask for help, be specific regarding the need and give a time frame. "I need someone to watch the kids on Tuesday afternoon so I can take the youngest to his doctor's appointment." "I need some alone time; can you take the kids to the park for one hour next week?""Can you help us paint the stairs sometime this month?"
- If you have something to offer back, offer it. "We'll watch your kids for a date night." But don't let your lack of ability to help someone else hinder you from asking in the first place!
- If asking for help is hard for you, focus on the fact that you are building community by reaching out. We can all look perfect on Facebook while living miserable lives alongside one another, or we can start making connections by being authentic and humble.
Copyright 2018 Amanda Woodiel
About the Author
Amanda Woodiel is a Catholic convert, a mother to five children ages 11 to 3, a slipshod housekeeper, an enamored wife, and a “good enough” homeschooler who believes that the circumstances of her life -- both good and bad -- are pregnant with grace. She leads a moms' group at her parish that focuses on simple and meaningful ways to live the liturgical year at home. Amanda blogs at In a Place of Grace.