ASKING FOR HELP
Asking for help isn’t easy. It means we have to admit we’re in a position where we need it, and as dumb as it sounds – often as human beings, view needing help as a sign of weakness.
Well I’m here to tell you, it’s not. Asking for help shows strength, not weakness.
Asking for help means you’ve struggled for so long you can no longer do it alone. It shows you are wise. Not weak.
I have always been the first to admit I can’t do this parenting thing alone.
My husband often works late at night, meaning I have to look after the kids during “witching hour” (which is between 5-7pm here). After looking after the kids all day, having to deal with cranky, hungry and tired kids, gets me down.
I’ve always maintained that the night stuff is the hardest for me. By the end of the day, I need help.
I’ve been saying it for YEARS to my husband, and yesterday, I broke.
Now before I go any further, I need to say that I understand a lot of parents deal with this kind of thing EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I applaud you. I bow to you – I think you are amazing. However, this is my struggle and it in no way is meant to diminish that of the single parent.
There was this one time I just couldn’t do it anymore. It was the 20th day I had both kids in my care AND looked after them until bedtime (through witching hour). My daughter was usually at Kindergarten, but she had been sick; so prior to the School Holidays, she was home for over a week. During these 20 days, my husband has worked passed 7pm for 8 of them, and the rest of the time he was in Russia.
After this time, is very clear to me now that my children need to be separated (by Kindy, or activities) because they have fought for almost three straight weeks.
That particular day was the tipping point of this for me. We went out to Butterfly Creek and not even 45 minutes after we got there, we had to leave because they just wouldn’t stop fighting – and I felt defeated.
The only time they weren’t fighting was during this moment on a mini-train
I text messaged my husband at 430pm and said “I need you to come home, I can’t do it anymore”.
Unfortunately he didn’t get the message, which to be honest, didn’t help HAHA … but he has his own life and job and was busy at the time, so I completely understand.
After being a zombie through dinner, the bath, and putting the kids to bed, my husband came home early. And he had this to say to me:
“I am here. I have changed my hours this week so I can be with you and help”
And I cried. Oh gees I did the ugly cry. Because I was so grateful. I was grateful to my husband to hearing my call for help. I was grateful to his work for obliging and letting him be flexible in his hours. I was just grateful knowing I didn’t have to dread 5pm and do it all alone again.
Please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even if it feels like it gets you nowhere. You never know who might be listening, and you’d be surprised at the number of people out there who actually, genuinely, want to help.
To all of you parents out there who don’t have close family to help out, or friends – I am sorry. It can’t be easy, and I know a lot of you have no choice but to continue through – I have a ridiculous amount of admiration for you.
However, if you are truly struggling, please still ask for help. Talk to your GP. Or someone at work. As I said above, you’d be surprised who might hear you and help ❤️
Here are some more links if you need to get help, of any kind, ASAP:
- Lifeline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 354
- Depression Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 111 757
- Healthline (open 24/7) – 0800 611 116
- Samaritans (open 24/7) – 0800 726 666
- Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
- Youthline (open 24/7) – 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- 0800 WHATSUP children’s helpline – phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.
- Kidsline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.
- Your local Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)
- Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.
- For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation’s free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812).
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