I had been really struggling with asking for help. Not only am I managing the up and downs of parkinson’s disease, but my two year old son is often described as “busy”. I thought asking for help would make me feel even worse about myself than I already feel. When I finally gave in and put adequate supports in place, I discovered that asking for help has given me wings! It has allowed me to push myself beyond my perceived limitations. I feel more confident and more self-worth than I did before.
I thought I should be able to do it myself. I already had more help than most. My amazing parents care for my son two days per week. My wonderful next door neighbour helps me for a couple of hours one day a week. Super Dad takes over the minute he gets home from work and takes care of everything in the mornings too.
My little guy is an explorer. He opens doors, unlocks gates, tries to drive the car, wants to push the grocery cart… In my eyes, he is a scientist: exploring cause and effect, pushing every edge, and testing every statement. It doesn’t work to tell him not to do something because he will conduct an experiment to find out why not. I think its amazing to witness, but can be really difficult to keep things manageable and to direct his curiosity. I was trying to enjoy it but, I was dragging myself through the day, feeling frustrated when my parkinson’s symptoms made things even harder, and and losing my patience.
In June Mr. B suddenly became a professional nap protester. I depended on that nap to get me through the day. One Friday, at a low point in my symptoms, already exhausted at 10am, I called a friend in tears asking her to come help me for a few hours. That was when I decided I had to suck it up and get more regular help.
I had to swallow my pride and push aside the belief that I should be able to do it myself. I had to get over some guilt. I had to get over the cost. I had to get over giving up some control.
I hired a mother’s helper to come for 6 hours per day, a housekeeper to come once per week and a 3- day per week meal service.
Having adequate support has given me a huge boost in confidence and allowed me to challenge some of my perceived limitations. I am experiencing more enjoyment of the process of toddlerhood which is such a beautiful and magical stage of life to be a part of. Support has allowed me to release anger, frustration, and struggle that I was experiencing. I thought that getting help meant that I was a lesser person and not as capable. Interestingly, getting help has made me feel more self-worth, more capable and a better person.
I have been able to take Mr. B on fun outings that I would not have attempted before because I know that I will have support when I get home. I have been able to be more playful and relaxed because I don’t have the burden of the housework and cooking to try to manage. I am still getting my rest during the day whether Mr. B naps or not. The mother’s helper has figured out how to get him to nap and has for the most part gotten him back on a good schedule.
I recognize that being able to access some of these supports is somewhat of a luxury. I had to get over the idea that I didn’t deserve it. It is a mutually beneficial gift. I am contributing to the livelihood of 3 women (mother’s helper, housekeeper, chef). My neighbour derives joy from helping us as her own grandson lives on the east coast. My husband loves his role as super-Dad and my parents exclaim in joy every time I drop Mr. B at their house.
If I had not asked for help, I would be muddling through alone, stressed out and angry. Instead, I am supporting others and engaging in the world with happiness and joy.
I have been living with chronic illness and exploring the healing journey for over 20 years. I have been very blessed to learn from many great teachers and have the opportunity to explore many healing paths. I offer what I have learned from that journey to you in the form of aslowerkindoflife.com. I love pondering the mysteries of life and how it all weaves together into a beautiful journey.