Why We Struggle To Ask For Help
“Just let us know if you need anything.”
As a Military spouse, I have heard this phrase from many different people. It is a great thing to hear. When you hear people say that, you now know you have someone to call if you need to. Knowing people want to help is a good feeling.
But here is the thing…
Most Military spouses don’t ask for help, even if we could use it.
We want to be able to take care of the home, the kids, the money, the yard, and everything that comes up all by ourselves. We will never let that person know if we do need something if we feel we can kinda handle the task ourselves. There is just something hard about asking for something specific.
It is hard to say, “Hey, I need someone to mow my lawn because I just can’t seem to do it right,” or “Would you mind watching my kids while I take myself out to dinner? I really need a break,” or “I need someone to fix my fence. It is broken and I can’t afford to pay someone to do it.”
The list can go on and on. We feel like by asking for specific things we are asking too much. Or maybe it is because we don’t really believe the person telling us to ask. We might just assume they are just saying that and don’t really expect us to call.
I will admit. I hate asking for help. I try to do it myself first. I will always try to do it myself first.
When my husband was deployed the last time I had to mow the lawn all summer long. This was hard and every time I did it I would burst into tears when I was done. For some reason, mowing the lawn was emotionally hard for me. At the end of the mowing season, I hired a company to come out and do my lawn because I couldn’t imagine asking anyone to help with that.
My friends and neighbors had their own lawn to mow, right? And the last time I had asked someone was when I was going out of town for the summer and they didn’t end up doing it. So I would never ask. I would do it myself or I would hire someone to do it for me.
There have been a few times when I HAD to ask for help. There was no other option. In those times I was thankful that I had people to ask. Asking for help is a hard thing to do. To admit you do need help and to actually ask for it.
We want to be brave. We want to be strong. We do not want to be seen as weak.
But what I have learned during my years as a military spouse is that some people want to help, they really really do. They don’t know how to help you unless you tell them. I have seen people willing to cut our grass or help with the lawn. To bring us fans when our air went out. To offer a shoulder to cry on when I just didn’t think I could make it another day.
We are brave and we are strong but we are not superhuman and sometimes we do need extra help. We are doing the work of two people. It would be impossible to get everything right all of the time.
I tell myself over and over, it’s okay to ask for help. Especially when I am trying to balance everything in life with a husband who isn’t at home to help. But I hope that in the future I can be more willing to ask, because that can take things off of my plate and make for a little bit of an easier time.