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.