I am not a person who has an easy time accepting help, and I definitely do not ask for it often. I have always preferred to be independent, and do things on my own. I am told one of my first phrases was "I do myself". It was a great cause of contention between my mother and me while growing up. It is not that I feel that asking for help is a weakness, but more that it exposes my vulnerabilities. In my head if I am unable to do something for myself it somehow translates into being inadequate.
Since Sonya was born our routine has been less than ideal at times. Her little stint in the NICU and her PEMU stay had me away from home for two weeks within a month; missing her older siblings terribly, and dealing with all of my emotions and feelings essentially alone as Sam was holding down the home front while I was dealing with her at the hospital. Sam has become pretty fluid with the tasks involved with being Mr. Mom, and while I am thankful he can manage, it has left me feeling guilty that I can't do it all.
It was initially extremely challenging to accept offers of meals and playdates for the older kids. My mind saying, "We chose to have four kids; we should be able to handle this situation." When I was asked what people could do, I wouldn't have an answer; I just simply acknowledged the request by saying "thanks for the offer" and gave a smiley face.
However, there have been people who have known better. Whether they have been in a similar situation, or because they have a sneaking suspicion. Those people that deep down know better, even if they don't even really know you. Those people who have this quality that they just don't feel right unless they are helping others.
To those people, I say THANK YOU. Thank you for being persistent. I know I have referenced it before, but really, thank you for bringing over the cookies, cakes, meals, and coffees all the time. They are appreciated in a way that I won't ever be able to express. While food items seem like an easy write off, know they are much more than that. (Although one day soon I will no longer fit into my clothing...I guess I should say Thanks?) Thank you for keeping me in your daily thoughts and prayers. On days when Sonya holds her head up really well, I attribute that to all the prayers G-d is receiving on her behalf. Thank you for checking in so often, when I sign on to Facebook I always have a message or two waiting for me regarding Sonya and it is amazing so many of you care. Thank you for your donations and overall support. It is amazing how many requests I have received regarding Fundraisers to be hosted in Sonya's honor.
What this has really led to is my thanks to you for helping me realize that accepting your generosity does not make me a bad mom and that I should not feel inadequate. Your bigheartedness has lifted my spirit so I can be the mom I need to be. It helps me stay refreshed and positive. It is what keeps me going on a daily basis.
We always ask people to help celebrate our happiest occasions with us. We don't feel guilty for inviting people to our children's birthday parties or milestone celebrations. We love the support we feel from these same people sharing in our joy. These happier occasions do not necessarily equate to how great we are as parents. They simply represent a time in our life that something was accomplished that should be celebrated. When we find ourselves in a less than ideal situation, we shouldn't feel ashamed. We should invite the same people we would in our happier times to help lift us up, to help us make it through. I now can see that just like everyone WANTS to share in the happier times, they also WANT to be there for the not so happy times, so who am I to say no?