I know that everyone wants to talk about this tragedy in Conneticut but I just can't. My heart just hurts too bad. So instead, i'm gonna tell you guys a secret. A life secret. It's something I learned a few years ago that has made me a substantially happier person. I'm not trying to say I have life figured out because believe me sister, I don't. I'm just saying that with this one, little secret that I learned I have become a far more relaxed, happy, and less high strung person. You ready for it?
Learn to accept help. Like, really accept it. Don't go out seeking help (unless you really need it!) and pawn everything off on other people, but if someone offers to do something small to help you out, say yes! If you ask yourself "why not?" and cant come up with a legitimate answer why you shouldn't let this person help within about 5 seconds, tell them yes. But first you have to realize that accepting help comes in different forms.
When my husband and I first started dating we were very young and I was just starting to find myself as an adult. In that journey I learned that adult me likes my house clean. So I would clean our house, and I would get mad that he wasn't helping. So I would make him help. Then I would get mad that he did it "wrong." Then I would go behind him and re-clean everything he just cleaned, all while getting even more mad that he did it wrong and I had to clean it anyway. After a while he saw that I would just go re-clean everything he cleaned so he stopped cleaning. Why clean something if someone else is going to? So I would get mad all over again that he wasn't helping. It was a lose/lose. If he cleaned, I was mad he didn't do it my way, if he didn't clean I was mad he wasn't helping. I wanted his help but I wouldn't accept it. I couldn't accept that his way of cleaning was good enough when in reality, it was just fine.
No, he may not have wiped down the sink after he was done doing dishes, but those water spots weren't going to kill anyone were they? The dishes were done weren't they? He may have missed a spot vacuuming but I'm pretty sure that one little triangle of carpet didn't contain the plague, and we'd all be just fine. This one definitely took some time, but I eventually learned that I my way is not the only way, and that I don't have to be the one to do everything in order for it to be done "right." This applies to other areas too, not just cleaning. Parenting, driving, cooking... everything. I let him do things and we are a partnership. Not only has this relieved stress for me by not feeling like I need to do it all and being bitter that I'm the only one working, but it's relieved stress on our relationship too. We don't fight about me not having help and doing everything alone because I allow him to help, I don't push it away saying it's not good enough or not "right."
Another way to accept help is to just plain accept it. Let people help. This is still a work in progress for me. When I was slammed busy trying to get everything ready for Anthony's birthday party my mom offered to help. My knee jerk reaction was to tell her no, but thank you. Then I thought about it for a minute, why not? What in the world was so bad about me letting her help assemble some of the things I had made? Why would I say no? Pride? So I went back and told her that I actually could use her help. And you know what? She ended up staying late that night helping me, I would never have gotten everything done in time without her help. I have a surgery coming up in a few weeks and I have no idea how long I will be down afterwards. My sister offered to make a few meals for my family and I, so I could relax and recover and Brandon wouldn't have to add "cooking dinner" to the list of things he'll already be handling by himself while I'm down. Again, my reaction was to say no. But why? Because I want to be super mom and not let someone else take care of my family? I thought about it for a few minutes and again went back and said actually, yes. Now that's one less thing I have to worry about during my recovery. I know my family and I will eat well (and not fast food) and my husband wont be stressing about making or buying meals.
Next time someone offers help and your reaction is to say no stop for a minute and ask yourself why you're actually saying no. Is it pride? Do you really actually have any reason at all to say no? If you don't have a reason, then just say yes! You can do it, I know you can. Next time your husband cleans the kitchen and leaves streaks on the countertop, just take a breath, walk away, and go kiss him and tell him thank you for the help. It's amazing how much stress you can relieve by just accepting a little bit of help.