Are You Really Doing Enough To Help Other Moms In Your Circle?
Recently, one of my neighbors asked me to help her out by walking her sons home from the bus stop a few times. She’d just had surgery and was unable to walk up the street to meet them. I was more than happy to do it. She’s always been a great neighbor and her kids are sweet. It was no trouble at all.
I later found out that her surgery was major (in my opinion) and I felt really bad. Why? Because I didn’t offer to help her more. She never shared what the surgery was for, and I never asked. I was raised to believe that you don’t pry into people’s lives and you don’t let people pry into yours. Although we are friendly, we aren’t close friends, and I didn’t want her to think I was being nosy.
But looking back, I could have extended more help without knowing the details. I didn’t need the details to offer a helping hand. I could have asked her if she needed something from the store or if she wanted the boys to play at my house for a bit so she could rest.
As a mom I find that I am so careful sometimes about how I approach other moms; too careful, really. I wonder… Will I offend her? Will she think I am passing judgment about how much she can handle? Will she think I’m being nosy?
I have spoken to a few close friends and it seems like some of them have similar thoughts. So many of us are willing to help but the fear of the unknown makes us stay in our lane and only extend help when asked.
This would be fine if it wasn’t for the fact that most moms have trouble asking for help. I know women who would rather be pissed off at their own husbands than asking him to help out more. It’s like we are condition to believe we must take care of everything on our own and only ask for help when we simply have no other choice.
But what if we asked for help when it wasn’t the last resort. What if we asked another mom to help out because we’ve had too many sleepless nights and we are struggling? What if we asked for help because our husbands have been working around the clock and we need 30 minutes to get some cleaning done without the kids interrupting?
The truth is, I don’t know the details of my neighbor’s situation.
Maybe she had enough family support to help her keep things under control.
Maybe she didn’t need anything more than what she asked for.
But maybe—just maybe—she could have used a little more support.
Maybe I should have been less worried about prying and more concerned with offering a helping hand to a fellow mom.
I think it would be nice for moms to support each other a bit more. Take turns hosting play dates so another mom can go get her nails done. Let your friend know you are headed to a store that may be out of the way just in case she needs something from that specific store. Offer to host a mom’s night at your home because every busy mom deserves a night away with the girls.
Support comes in all shapes and forms, and although your offers won’t always be accepted, don’t take it personally. Everyone has their own story and one mom’s reasons for declining your offers to help may be very different from another’s.
It’s not about your ego. It’s totally okay if you extend a hand and someone says, “thanks, but no thanks,” What’s important is that you offered the hand. What matters is that you let another mom know you are on her side; that you have her back; that you are willing to help when she needs it most and even when she needs it a little bit. Now that kind of support is a beautiful thing.
Martine Foreman is a lifestyle consultant, freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and speaker. To learn more about her work and get great tips on how to create a life you love, check her out at CandidBelle.