The Don't Beat Yourself Up Guide To Asking For Help

As I type this both of my children are ill. My son has a very nasty case of conjunctivitis and my daughter has an earache. They were supposed to both be in school and nursery today. But obviously they are with their Mum whilst I run up and down the stairs administering cuddles, medicine and orange juice. My house? Looks like a bomb has hit it. The washing? There is a pile in the kitchen, my bedroom and the bathroom. The washing up? Not done. I am still in yesterday's pyjamas, my sons trousers are on backwards and my daughter is dressed in full fancy dress. Let's just say even if someone turned up at my door with one of those giant cheques? I would hide behind the couch and wouldn't answer it whilst silently weeping.

I need help. And I am going to ask for it. Which is something I never used to do. I had two c sections and both times I was up and out round the shops four days later. I work as a teacher and sometimes marking needs to take priority over polishing. Yet I found myself up at 5am trying to do it all. As Mum's we think we are super heroes and we have to devote every single second to being perfect. Around six months or so ago I felt like I was proper close to the edge of losing it so I started to ask (OK scream) for help.


It could just be my husband, so I am not going to make a sweeping generalisation, but he hadn't a clue. Nope. Didn't know that I was drowning under washing. Couldn't see that the school run was making me anxious and that every time I had to drag the dog in from the garden in the rain a small piece of me died. It was probably because I looked like I had my sh*t together. I didn't look like I was waking up with my heart beating fast over the worry of what was coming that day. I looked like Beyonce (I didn't but you get the picture).

And then? I lost it. I totally lost it. In a fit of screaming and anger and rage. Not so much even angry at him (the poor sod who looked horrified) but angry with myself for not being able to be the perfect wife, Mum, teacher. That's when it changed. When I decided to change. When I thought that it's OK to ask for help. It's OK to say "mmmmm I really can't do it all you know". So instead of worrying about the washing I will now, in between strapping my son down for his eye drops, leave a little note saying "please put this away". When I next go to work I might leave a load for my Mum to do whilst she's here.

At the moment the three of us are in bed. The dog is running around with a sandwich in her mouth and is wearing a Christmas jumper. My boy is fast asleep and my daughter is quietly dozing. They are poorly but content that their Mum is only a few inches away from them and that means loads more than the illusive empty washing basket*.

*If you do ever got one of these please take a photo for me. I've forgotten what it looks like.
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