Why is it so hard?

22 Mar

There is one topic I tout and really talk up to other spouses, but I somehow seem unable to take my own advice. I really do not understand why it is so hard for me to ask for or accept help. I’m not too proud to ask and I know I can’t do it all on my own. So why do I push myself too hard or fill my plate a little too high then think back and ask myself “why didn’t I ask a friend for help?”

I know I’m not the only spouse who does this and definitely will not be the last spouse to do this! Asking for help is a topic I hear many times at support group meetings and from any experienced military spouse. We all know our minds and bodies can only take so much before hitting a wall. Dealing with military life on top of balancing life with a spouse who is in and out or out more than in can create stress and exhaustion.

I would say the biggest reason I have trouble asking for help is because I am used to doing so much on my own, so I honestly don’t think to ask. If I start to feel overwhelmed, I sit back and think of ways “I” can handle the situation. If I cannot handle it, then something has to change.

Another part of why I struggle with asking for help is not wanting to bother or inconvenience someone else. I know we all have busy lives and we are all dealing with different phases of military life (family time, pre-deployment preparation, deployment, and reintegration period). I hate to bother another spouse when I know she is dealing with something (we always are).

A third reason for not asking for help would be a sense of pride. I have to admit, I want to be a strong military spouse and I want my husband to have no worries when he walks out the door. He has enough to worry about and I do not want me to be one of them. Then again, as I sit and think about this I wonder if admitting the need for help is like having a HUGE neon sign above your head saying “normal military spouse.” We all struggle at some point! Worrying about your pride so much that you put more strain on yourself and your family is ridiculous and irresponsible. I’m pretty sure my husband would worry more if he didn’t hear me complain and ask for help. I also know he would be proud to hear me say I asked someone for help, received it, and solved the problem!

Do you have different reasons (excuses) for not asking for help?

Just today I learned the lesson of asking for help. I have wanted to find a babysitter so I could go to the gym three days a week for an hour. I looked and looked and finally found a lady to interview today. Of course I get to her house and immediately my gut is sending up red flags. She was a very nice lady, but just not “good enough” for my kiddos. Plus, I am finding it very hard to leave my baby (even if it is just an hour). I told a friend about the experience and how I will just have to find a way to be motivated to exercise at home. Her response, “I can watch them.” I honestly never thought to ask her because of all the reasons stated above. Silly me! I trust her with my kiddos (which finding someone you trust is not easy). So why did I not think to ask her? Because that would mean I needed to reach out and ask for help.

So with all this said, I challenge you to find something/anything big or small and ask for help!! You have to start somewhere, right? You have to teach yourself how to ask and train yourself to accept that it is okay to ask for help. I have promised myself to work on this. Knowing my husband may be one who is often out more than in, I have to add asking for help to my list of skills! If not for me, then for my children!

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4 Responses to “Why is it so hard?”

  1. Carrie Dennison March 23, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    Thanks..I really needed to read something like this. I have really really hard time with that. And even when someone offers I have a hard time accepting. I am on the edge of a emotional break down and it takes my friend threatening me to let her come sit with my kids so I can take an hour to go get a pedi. I know I shouldn’t be that prideful but I want don’t want to admit that I need an out sometimes. I want to be able to handle it all on my own, but lets face it. No one can. That is why there are two in relationships, not one.

  2. Jim Larson March 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    I know how hard it is to ask for help and I am a lot like you. Even though I’m not a military spouse, I really hate to ask anyone for help. A lot of the reason is that I am a perfectionist and do not think anyone can do it as well. This is just not true (well, most of the time), but try to convince yourself of that.
    You learn early, when you ask for help and it is denied, to just do it yourself by figuring out a way.
    My spouse gets so angry with me because I refuse to ask for help. I guess there comes a time when you aren’t as young as you used to be and you really should ask for help. But, everyone has busy lives themselves so I hate to bother them and I need help now, not weeks later when it might fit into their schedule.

    Anyway, great article (as usual) and you are not alone in your thinking

  3. Tamiko Blackson April 14, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    I too am one who has a problem with asking for help… Even when I feel overwhelmed, I tell myself that I can do it and at times feel it is a sign of weakness if I do ask.

    Thanks so much for posting this…

  4. Kelly Larson, MBA May 4, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    ~Facebook Comment~ Another very well written article. Anyone that has been around you more the 15 minute’s knows how strong you are. Keep up the good work and remember were only a phone call away. It helps to just talk sometimes.

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