My partner went on a 5-night stag do this week.
Aside from all the usual un-fun-stuff that pissess off wives and girlfriends during times like these, I was left alone with the small people.
For 5 nights.
I love my kids, but 5 nights alone with a 3 month old and a 2 1/2 year old is too many. I knew I had to suck it up and ask for help.
It was hard.
I realised that asking for, and accepting help was just as daunting to me as doing the dinner, bed and bath routines without it.
I have beautiful friends that really have never let me down; they are incredibly supportive, patient, understanding, and they are amazing with my
but it was still so hard.
I don’t know if it’s something to do with desperately trying to cling to whatever pride I have left, now that I live amongst the carnage of 3 boys (2 little and one big), or that I feel like I have so many unrepaid favours already, or maybe I’m just in denial.. but now that I actually have this magical ‘village’ to help with my kids, I’m barely opening the door.
On night 1 we absolutely smashed it. Both kids were fed, bathed and sleeping.
On night 2 the toddler and I had rice cakes for dinner. The baby couldn’t bath with the toddler because he was such a grub, we had literally 4 powercuts and the only way I got them to sleep was on either side of me in my bed.
Night 3 I had help, takeaway, wine, and a mental breakdown.
Night 4 I was beyond exhausted, the 2 year old slept for 5 minutes before freaking out about ‘the man’ in his room; he ended up downstairs narrating Survivor for me: ‘raining! Man! Man walking! Fire!’ etc. etc.. and I was refusing to accept my partner’s calls.
Night 5, thankfully, came at the end of an extra daycare day I had requested. It was relatively calm, but I ended up between kids again, and dinner was olives and crackers.
I had a massive amount of weekend help from 3 of my friends, especially on Saturday night and for swimming lessons on Sunday, but since then I have also had a heap of comments along the lines of: ‘you know I’m always here’ and ‘just yell out, I’m happy to help’.
It’s so silly that I felt so bad about asking for something I so clearly needed.
I know that when I make comments, and offer my help to someone, I am completely willing to actually do whatever it is I’ve said I would.. Aside from the warm and fuzzies I get from helping a friend, my favour tally really is that long, I feel relief whenever I can make a dent in it. But it’s also nice to feel useful, and trusted. I know that these friends are absolutely part of my family now, and I shouldn’t feel shame in treating them as such.
At the end of the day, I know I’ll be insulted if they pick another babysitter over me when their time comes.
Unless I’m part of the reason they need one, obviously.
Anyway, my partner learned never to do that again, and I learned that I just have to open up, and embrace my village.