Learning to ask for help

Filed under: Just For Moms

Even though I'm an "older" Mom, (I had Nolan when I was 30), I was the first of my girlfriends to have a baby.

Several months after Nolan was born, I brought him over to brunch at my friend Mel's house. I wore my cutest jeans and brushed my hair a little, but as I sat among my friends and listened to their chatter about new boyfriends and mimosas and their rockstar plans for New Year's Eve, I slumped a little in my seat. I wasn't part of their world anymore. I didn't belong. I had rice cereal on my cute jeans. I left that morning before breakfast was served, and I wondered if I'd ever be back.

Though I missed movie nights and shiny shirts, high heels and corporate climbing, I was adamant that I wouldn't ask for help and so I let my old life go on without me. After all, I had made the decision to have my baby. My responsibilities were mine. Nolan was a joy to me, but he might not be to everyone, and so when friends offered to babysit or hang out with Nolan and I, I'd usually say no. Erroneously, I saw our little twosome as a burden, not a joy, and didn't want to inflict the "burden" on any of my footloose friends.

Recently, more out of necessity than anything, I let my friend Mel if she could help. I let her bring over a roll of toilet paper when I was stuck without any while Nolan slept. I let her babysit two nights in one week while I took a night course. She covered for me when I was stuck in New York with no quick way home. She doesn't have kids, and she jumped at the opportunity. I wanted to cry in gratitude for her friendship, smack myself around a little for being such an obstinate cow.

"Thank you for letting me help you, finally," she said the other night,"Do you know how happy it makes me when Nolan runs to me? Do you know how much I love that little chicklet?"

And finally I understood that even to the glam and childless, a child is a gift to be shared, not a burden to be hidden.
I wish I'd let Mel into our world months ago, I wish I hadn't made the silly assumption that I was boring because I have a kid. I should have shown my friends months ago that a rousing game of Kiss That Bellybutton is every bit as cool as New Year's Eve in Whitefish.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.