This month Kim Seidel wrote a great article for Bay Area Parent Magazine, and asked me for my opinion on the topic “Ask For Help This School Year”. Kim’s great article highlighted the fact that parents find it hard to ask for help, and yet no parent has all the answers.
It is so interesting to me that moms and dads are so eager to offer advice (which often is appreciated) but have a very tough time asking for help. As I said in the article, “We have these expectations that we should be able to handle it all by ourselves. I don’t know why we think that.”
I think asking for help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Parenting is the hardest job in the world, and yet there is no formal training. We can read books, but nothing truly prepares us for the reality of having a child who needs us every minute; who has numerous and varied needs that we are expected to fulfill; and for whom we are totally responsible. Of course we need help – and help will only arrive when we ask for it.
My mother-in-law always told me that “an unhappy mommy cannot raise a happy child”. I didn’t agree with everything she said, but that statement I agree with. Children need parents who are relaxed, confident, happy, and calm.
Please don’t try to do everything by yourself – please understand that the smartest parents ask for the help they need. In fact, you can always ask me. I will help any way I can. My kids are 25 and 21 – and I still ask for help when needed!