The Problem with Coping
I was chatting to a friend the other day about how irritating it can be to be constantly struggling, and never offered any help. When you’re a new mum, people offer to help you with things all the time, but by the time your child is a few months old, you’re supposed to just be able to do it. And by the time your child is a toddler, you clearly don’t need any help, with anything, ever.
I hate to be a burden to people or to put anyone out in any way; even if they are offering to help, I’ll often say “oh no no, it’s ok, I’m fine thanks” – because I know how often I have offered to help someone out of politeness, and really hoped they would turn me down.
Sometimes, I look up and think, “why can’t you see I’m struggling? Why don’t you want to help me?”
The problem, my friend says, is that I look like I’m coping. Because I’m not in a heap on the floor, snotting on people’s shoes and asking for help with every little thing, they assume I don’t want a hand with anything at all. It’s not that I’m not coping; just sometimes, it would be nice to have a little help with it.
This is not just about being a single mother, though being single does make things harder. Life as a parent generally, can be tough at times. And people seem to forget how hard their own struggle has been.
If having twins has taught me anything it's to accept any and all offers of help with open arms and if they're not forthcoming to ask for them. It took a good long while of me struggling to do everything myself, often one handed, and politely refusing to come to terms with the fact that accepting or even outright asking for help would make life a whole lot easier. If people aren't