By Jenny & Tracy
We all find it hard to do everything and be everywhere we are supposed to. And working does not make it any easier. This week’s working mom topic is leaning on others for help.
Sometimes you just need another pair of arms to help you out, or in my case another pair of wheels. I have always been pleasantly surprised how friends and family are willing to step in and help you out when you need it. You just have to ask. I am lucky to have relatives in town who are always up for spending time with my girls. My mother-in-law makes such an effort to help with the kids when I need to run a quick errand or take one of the girls to the doctor. She steps in when my nanny is sick or out of town. I am so thankful to have this option. If you don’t have relatives in town, I am sure you know how willing friends are to help out also. This year, when I went back to work and had a 10-week-old, I asked another mother at Zoe’s (my 3-year-old) preschool if she wouldn’t mind carpooling in the afternoons. It was going to be difficult for my nanny to pick up Zoe midday due to the baby’s naptime. It worked out perfectly. She brought Zoe home two days a week and I brought her son home on Fridays (my day off). I was worried that I was asking too much, but she too had naptime issues a couple years earlier and another mom stepped in to help her out. She returned the favor by helping me. Hopefully, I will be able to pay it forward as well.
Unfortunately, we do not have any immediate family anywhere within a 500 mile radius. So that definitely makes things a little trickier to juggle, especially when one of us has to be out of town or we both need to be somewhere at the same time. But, we are blessed with some amazing friends and neighbors who are ready to pitch in at a moments notice. It took me a long time (and I still worry about it) to feel like I wasn’t imposing on people. But then I quickly realized we are all in this together and building a great support network only benefits us all. In fact, I was AMAZED at how many people offered to be on call for our 4-year old when I go into labor with baby #2!! It was truly heartwarming at the amount of support our friends were ready to offer up to help us out knowing that family could not be here in a moments notice. (Thank you again to all of you who are hopefully reading this!)
We would love to hear about other mothers pulling together and supporting each other. Let us know your stories.
My neighbors, friends and family have helped me with my kids so much– both when I was working and now that I’m not. The first few examples that come to mind:– My neighbor dropped off huge bags of preemie clothes and supplies + organized meal delivery for us for weeks after the birth of our twins;– Another neighbor p/u my older son from preschool every day the Fall after the twins were born;– My MIL is always up for stopping in on a moment’s notice (or having a van-load of grandkids delivered) when something comes up;– A good friend brought me lunch every day I was in the hospital after having a c-section. There’s more…. I have been so grateful for the little things people do that add up! — Janelle
You two are doing a great job with this column. Love it! Keep up the good work.
We have very little family in town, which makes it hard as well. So we’ve come to rely on many of our friends who love our daughter as much as we do. Hilary Clinton said it took a village to raise a child and I know she’s right. Raising a kid requires several sets of hands.
We don’t have family in town either. We have had several friends offer to babysit our baby. We have taken advantage of their offers a couple of times so we can go have a dinner/ drinks. It was nice to have some alone time with my hubby like we used to do! When my mom comes in town she cooks, cleans and babysits. She will even take care of our 2 dogs so we can get a little sleep on a Saturday morning. We don’t ever say “no” to someone offering to help…
I’m a SAHM and I think it’s wonderful to build those connections with friends and extended family regardless of your circumstances. We have become very isolated as a society and as mom’s need to “find our tribe” so we don’t go at motherhood alone.