Ask for Help
Have you ever done something that someone else could do because it was easier or quicker for you to do it yourself? Working moms are often the chief decision makers in the family. They decide everything from the weekly grocery list to the where the family is going to spend their summer vacation. Being the one in control can make it hard to delegate tasks to others.
One of my health coaching clients, Nancy is a perfect example of a busy working mom with some control issues. Nancy came to see me because she was feeling stressed and burned out at work. As we talked about her whole life, both work and home it soon emerged that Nancy, a super organized medical practice manager, was going from a high stress job to a high stress home life. Her two teenagers were involved in multiple sports and school activities, her husband worked an hour away and wasn’t available to help with carpooling the kids to where they needed to be. Plus Nancy took care of all the families medical appointments, shopping, finances and weekend plans.
Nancy recognized that she could not keep up this pace and that she needed to be willing to let others, like her husband and children, help. When I asked her if asking for help was hard, she nodded. “In my job as a manager, if anything goes wrong, I am the one who gets blamed. I do more than I should because it makes me feel more secure and in control.”
That fear was spilling over into her personal life. When I asked if there were tasks her husband could do, such as the grocery shopping, Nancy thought about it for a moment and replied “It’d be a disaster! He’d buy all the wrong stuff and spend too much money.”
Is the need to be in control driving any of your actions? Does it keep you from asking for help, because you fear that it is going to make more work for yourself? Nancy’s husband did eventually start doing the grocery shopping. And he did buy the wrong items and he did go slightly over budget. But what Nancy discovered what that letting her husband help wasn’t a disaster or the end of the world. If fact, it was totally worth it, because she suddenly has three extra hours each Saturday to do the things she wanted to do.
Are there areas in your life that you have been avoiding asking for help? These could include:
Carpooling kids to every single practice, game, appointment, etc...
Family parties holiday/birthday parties
Perhaps you can set up a carpooling with other parents, so that you are only picking up two practices a week instead of five. Or you hire a housekeeper (they aren’t that expensive) to do a deep clean once every two weeks, so you don’t have to spend your saturday morning scrubbing the tub. The point it to start thinking about ways to change what is not serving you by inviting others to help.