When it’s hard to ask for help

Is it easy for you to ask for help?

If not, you’re not alone. After all, you know what they say about men and asking for directions.

For many, pride gets in the way. For others, it’s another beast entirely—guilt.

I’ve struggled with anxiety most of my life, and I have three never-failing triggers: change, uncertainty, and guilt.

So when we recently took on the placement of a newborn foster baby, I became a spiraling hot mess of anxiety. I mean… change and uncertainty—those are the cornerstones of fostering, right?

Despite all that, I didn’t ask for help.

I can hear you… WHY?! What’s wrong with you!?

Friends, it’s the guilt.

I feel like I’m taking from other people. Their time with their own families, their sanity, happiness, funds. It’s not something I’m good at. Besides, I thought I could do it all on my own. I could juggle work, responsibilities, obligations, my son, bills… all with a newborn. Easy as pie.

Guess what? NOPE.

I couldn’t see it, but I was drowning. And without being told, a group of amazing women stepped up. They reached out, and started a meal train for my family.

Of course, guilt quickly came a-knockin’.

For a few days, I experienced the trifecta: Change, uncertainly and guilt… all at once.

I felt guilty because I chose to be a foster mom, so I should figure this out on my own.

I felt guilty because there were women out there going through far worse than I was, and yet I was receiving help.

I felt guilty because I was no longer the rockstar I always pretended to be.

But, you know what?

Now, I wish I’d asked for help a long time ago.

Those women forever changed the way I look at asking for help.

See, they didn’t agree to make a meal and drive across the city to deliver it to my house (in the pouring rain, looking at you B) because they felt like they HAD to. They didn’t offer to come sit with me, bring me lunch, or treat my family simply because it was the “right thing to do.”

They did it because they like helping others.

So many of my beautiful friends told me they were the ones who felt blessed to be able to help my family.

Say, what?!

It’s true. And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Some people just like helping.

Maybe bringing a meal to a new mom is their way of giving back after someone did it for them.

Maybe they’re paying it forward.

Maybe it’s how they evangelize.

Maybe it makes them feel good.

Whatever the reason, my friends did more than bring me warm meals on nights when I didn’t know how (or if) I could balance.

They taught me that it’s okay to ask for help. Even when it’s hard.

I learned how to accept help with grace and gratitude. I realized how deeply I care for the people in my life. I discovered how truly, truly important it is to cultivate relationships with those in the same season as you.

It reminded me about that thing all the kids say: find your tribe.

Since the symbol of a tribe is probably politically incorrect, I like to think of it as a posse. Because, I’m gangster.

Just a matter of days ago, I thought I was a lone gunman. An outlaw who could do it all on my own. Not because I had to.

Because I thought I was alone. I didn’t ask for help because I was afraid no one would answer.

Now, I realize I actually do have a posse.

So friends, I encourage you to reach out when you need help. Let go of the guilt. We can’t do this on our own. We must find our posse.

Because when you’re deep in the throws of difficult motherhood, there’s no greater feeling than knowing you’re not alone.

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