Yup, I lost it. Taking care of 3 boys under 6 was too much. Midterms, kids, no hubby. I totally went off the deep end. I was crushed and quickly coming undone.
My mother felt the need to call me, and I broke down in tears. I just couldn't handle the kids while doing a research paper and taking an exam. Couldn't be done. I felt like a failure. I felt HORRIBLE that I just didn't measure up. My mother told me to pack up the kids and come to her house, she told me she would help. She had NO idea how much I needed it.
Asking for help is a hard thing, especially for perfectionist types who seem to believe they can "do it all" (aka, me). I would NEVER deny help to others- no way! I enjoy helping other people, and I have a very long history of volunteering in many different roles. I enjoy serving others, and find joy in doing so. Why then, if I so freely give help, am I so stubborn to ask for it?
When pondering this question I came across this scripture from The Book of Mormon:
And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.
It took years, but now I can finally be humble enough that I can get on my knees not just to thank God, but to ask for help. I can ask God for help, but I cannot seem to ask my fellow men. This is silly! I realized that by withholding my requests in times of need, I am denying God the opportunity to work through His children. I am denying other people their chance to serve! How selfish!
I know myself well enough to know when I need a break. Kurt and I know one another well enough to know when we need to back off of one another, or to offer extra help of some kind. It is very nice to be able to have such a generous husband, who is willing to work at his job, and then come work really hard at home if he sees that I am overly stressed. I try hard to be extra sweet and give him space when I see that he is more tense than usual. We work hard to give one another the tools and time that we need as individuals, in order for us to thrive together. This is what effective teamwork can do- if each of us puts the other first, no one is neglected. (It took YEARS to learn this, and occasionally we still have "meetings" to talk about improvements) So, it wasn't as if I didn't KNOW that I was at my breaking point. I had known for weeks! However, rather than ask for help from willing friends and neighbors, I sat in a puddle of self-pity. How wrong!!!! God does not want us to be miserable, no!
But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.
When my wonderful husband learned of my situation, he brainstormed our move. Yes, we were living rent free while we lived with my brother- but at what cost? Our mental and emotional health, and the mental and emotional health of our children, is worth more to us than a rental agreement. Besides, we moved to help my brother, not to get free rent- and apparently he felt that we weren't helping. Yup, time to leave. So, from California, Kurt set us up to move. I found the perfect place, and we were out in under 2 weeks. Amazing, right? I think so! Kurt had a weekend that he could come home- he had to work part of it, and only had one single day off- and that was the day we moved. Our wonderful friends Dennis and Jaime, and my amazing parents, came to help us- and we were done.
The peace that has come after making this decision has been a huge blessing. Our lives feel calm, happy, and our own again. We have joy =)
I want my children to know that it is OKAY to ask for help! It is a GOOD thing to seek help when we need it! I will always be there to help them, just as my parents and Kurt's parents are always there to help us! Kurt and I are so thankful for our families, and the great examples they have provided. We are so thankful for such a wonderful church that gives so many opportunities to help others! And we so thankful for our friends who have given their time to assist us! THANK YOU!!!!! Mostly, we are thankful for a loving Heavenly Father, who provides ways for us to learn life lessons, and improve while we are here on Earth- we really do learn something new every day!
Harrison is excited to swim!
This place is too fun! (I went swimming with them when we went back!)
Dinner at Mom's favorite resturant, mmm!
Grandpa and Grandma Smith