Step 5 – Mitigate the unhelpful helping

It can be tough to ask for help. For me it is tough to turn down the offers of help. Who does not want help? And when you are pregnant or have just had a baby – offers of “HELP” are flying at you from every person in your life and even those individuals you friended on facebook but have not spoken to in years. Everything I read and all the advice received said take advantage of this offer of “HELP” – you will be so grateful!

Why did no one warn me?! Not only am I taking on one of the steepest learning curves in becoming a mum, but I am also required to become a director of HR, assigning who and how others can “HELP”. With this overwhelming bombardment of “HELP” I first had to navigate through all the applicants – who sincerely wants to help and who is just being polite following another Canadian tick. Then I needed to find them appropriate tasks to do and tell them how they can actually help. 

Even after all of that I still had those people in my life that show up on my doorstep to stay with me, because they can “HELP” in these first few days home. Now for me having had some stitching on my lady parts after giving birth – my greatest desire was to lay naked on icepacks on my living room floor binge watching bad reality TV. So, unless you are my partner or my BFF…please do not drop by to “HELP”.

Once the newborn effect has worn away, the offers of “HELP” continue sporadically and can throw you off guard. A friend offers to hold my son at a restaurant so I can eat. Which in theory sounds amazing! However, and this is a big one – why does holding someone’s baby at a restaurant automatically mean that you get up, walk around, dance and sing? Now I am sitting here at a table eating alone while my friend is causing a scene and disrupting everyone else’s meal. So, thank you for the offer but it is easier to eat with my son sitting on my lap.

In all honesty I do not have a set method of how to mitigate the unhelpful helping. I love the generosity of others for offering their time to help me out. I have accepted all offers of “HELP” by giving firm tasks of how people can actually help. Maybe this means I would not be the best director of HR. And some people have certainly surprised me, while others have not followed through on their offer to “HELP”. But now I know who, I can turn to when I get in a pinch!

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