We have all heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. After recently injuring my back, I can now say I have lived this adage and feel strongly it is how we should approach this crazy ride called mother hood.
Before getting hurt, I was independent; I hated the thought of troubling someone. If you asked me if I needed anything, I was the first to say, “Nope, we’re just fine, but thanks!” I couldn’t bring myself to say I really needed a hand. It felt weak to me and selfish. One particularly bad day I couldn’t walk or stand long enough to get myself something to eat for lunch. At 3pm, I finally called my husband at work crying because I was so hungry. From that day on, I realized if someone is offering help and you need it, you should take it.
I still have these crazy thoughts about being a bother, but have come to realize that people don’t offer unless they want to, and those who are extra special won’t take no for an answer. In the first weeks, a couple of meals showed up at my house even when I said I was fine. In the last few weeks of my journey, I accepted help, and the outpouring was amazing. Neighbors took my daughter for a few hours so my husband could run errands and clean the house. One sister worked from my house so she could care for me during the day while my husband was at work. My youngest sister picked up medication for me on her way home from work. My mom came for a week and took care of me and my daughter for seven days post surgery. Co-workers brought lunch to my house and ate it with me on the floor (did I mention I couldn’t sit or stand?) I still have food in my freezer from generous friends and family (and smarty family) who took time out of their busy days to make something and bring it to my house so that my husband and I could have a fantastic dinner together each night even though I was unable to prepare it myself.
I struggle with how to repay the generosity of my family, friends and co-workers. Thank you is not enough. My thank you notes can’t even begin to express the gratitude I feel for the assistance we received. I think most of all, it has opened me up to seek out those who need a hand, because life is really tough sometimes. The amazing thing is that there is a host of people out there who will reach out and hold on until they see you are steady enough to walk on your own.