During the last half of 2021, I was really sick. My first-trimester pregnancy sickness for our third child started mid-August and we quickly learned it was the big Bertha of pregnancy sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum (also known as HG). Things still weren’t totally adding up so I got a bunch of blood work (and covid tests) and found out I also had mono. Yes, mono. The “kissing disease” that most of us probably associate with our high school or college days. But 32 year old pregnant me got mono. I laughed when I got that test result.
Between all of these things, I was knocked out and feeling miserable for months. For way longer than you’d ever wish upon your worst enemy I was puking 12 times a day from the HG and laying with tears streaming down my face exhausted but unable to sleep from the body aches that came with the mono. I left my bed on the rare occasion that I had to pee or to go to the hospital to get fluids, and my diet consisted of saltines and sometimes a Frontega Chicken sandwich from Panera. My husband was scrambling to take care of me and our girls. I was trying to work from my bed and help out where I could. Honestly, it was a really messy hard time in our lives.
In about week five of this craziness, my friend called me and told me she would be coming to my house with her mother to clean. They would be cleaning my house. My kitchen. My bathrooms. The two of them would be cleaning my disaster of a house that had been neglected for weeks because we were in complete survival mode. My heart said “thank goodness, you sweet sweet angels, our house is a wreck and we could really use the help”, but my mind said, “no way in hell are they coming in here and cleaning our nasty house”.
This particular friend of mine has a very specific voice when you will have zero chance of telling her no. I’ve known her for about 10 years and I heard that voice as she told me she was coming to clean my house. So I said to her, “I just want you to know, I’m incredibly uncomfortable with you cleaning my house for me.” And without hesitation, she said, “Good! Discomfort is how we grow.”
My eyes got big as that sunk in and my “accepting help makes me weak” defensiveness crumbled.
I realized that day that we need to be those moms. Both of those moms. We need to be the mom that offers to clean a friend’s house. And we also need to be the mom that lets a friend clean her house.
We need to be the mom that offers to clean a friend’s house. And we also need to be the mom that lets a friend clean her house.
So often we talk about giving, about being the mom that offers to clean the house, but we don’t talk about receiving, about being the mom that says “yes” when a friend offers to help. We talk about using our time to help those around us, but we forget about how important it is to be vulnerable and say yes to help from others.
This is hard for me. It’s in my personality to go and do and get things done. It’s not in my personality to ask for help and to say yes when help is offered because it makes me feel incapable. But how silly is that! If a friend said that to me I would probably scoff and say, everyone needs help sometimes. Discomfort is my word of the year, I guess that means there is a lot of help I’ll be accepting. And a lot of help I’ll be giving too 🙂 Be those moms. Both of them.