OK, so we don’t really live in villages anymore — but, honestly, I feel like it takes the help of many people to raise children. It’s a huge job. As mums, we should have people that we can lean on from time to time. I think mums especially need to help each other out. But, lately, when I ask some of the mums in my life for help, they make such a big deal about doing me a favour that it’s almost not worth it to ask.
Recently, for example, I had to ask my neighbour to walk one of my kids home from school. She hemmed and hawed. She asked if I could provide a snack for the quick 20-minute jaunt. She was concerned about keeping both my oldest daughter and her son occupied while being attentive to street signs and traffic. She made it such a thing that I called her twice that day to double check it was okay to go forward with our plan. When we last chatted, I even offered to take her son the following afternoon for a play date.
But here’s what I really wanted to say to her, “I get it, I do. You think your life is stressful. You have one kid and that kid can pee and poo in the potty and can reason with you on good days. And I know it’s not your problem that I am typically outnumbered with my two girls and one of them is still in nappies. Let me repeat: It’s not your problem. But, come on! Cut a mum some slack and stop acting like it is so freaking hard to watch one of mine once in a blue moon!”
I try to pitch in for other mums, even though I’m completely overwhelmed. A few weeks ago, a dear friend had surgery and so I picked her daughter up from school and then, with my own toddler and Kindergarten kid in tow, I took all three of them out to eat at a cafe. Another woman at the restaurant told me I was “brave” for agreeing to do such a thing for my friend. Look, I’m no Mother Teresa. Those two hours were crazy chaotic. We spilled drinks, and a stroller toppled over at one point. It was messy for sure. But I knew that for that brief period of time with the craziness of three kids eating ice cream sundaes, my friend’s little girl could keep her mind off the fact that her mummy was in the hospital.
Helping each other is what we should do as mums. I want to be able to ask for help without my friend acting like I’m telling her to reinvent the wheel or get a root canal. I want her to stop sighing as she asks me how long I’ll be when I need her help. And I want her to drop the whole deer-in-headlights look when she asks me what she should do with the kids while I’m away. It only makes me want to scream, “What do you think I do every day with them?”
Am I being unreasonable here, or can you relate?
More mum confessions on The B*tch Board:
- To the Co-Worker Who Criticised Working Mums…
- Dear ‘Friends:’ It’s Never OK to Discipline My Baby
- I Hate Myself For Putting My Smartphone First