Monday, February 02, 2009


I am totally becoming that woman - the one who walks in the door and immediately unloads her complaints. I hate being her, but in the moment it just feels so good to unload.

Between my growing stomach, my whiny, needy toddler, and pregnancy related annoyances and ills, I am a real barrel of laughs to be around. My big hope is that I can now really learn the lesson I only sort of understood from my first attempt at parenting an infant: ASK FOR HELP.

I suck at asking for help. I don't like to do it, and I am not very good at judging when I need it. Case in point - Friday morning I was feeling out of breath and out of sorts while dealing with run-of-the-mill morning stuff. Ellen called and offered to take Ada for a while so that I could get some rest. I hesitated, thinking to myself: really I am fine, and since it is only going to get worse, why ask for (or even accept) help now?

Can I just say: rejecting help is STUPID. Before I got off the phone, I told Ellen that I felt I should say no, but in the end I accepted her kind offer. After Ada ran off with Ellen and Monkey Boy, I ran an errand that would have taken twice as much energy with Ada tagging along. When I checked in with Ellen she said Ada was happy to have nap at her house. So I took a nap too. A long, lovely, middle-of-the-day, alarm-free, get-up-when-you're done nap. Which helped me realize how tired I have been feeling. (Well, that and a co-worker's comment earlier in the week about how tired I look.) So right, a little reminder that (a) I should think about when I need help, (b) I should ask for that help, and (c) I need more naps.

When Ada was an infant I was terrible about asking for help. My natural instinct is to refuse help, or to turn it into something that is not actually that helpful. People would offer to come over and take Ada for a walk, but I would suggest they just come and hang out. Then I would be responsible for entertaining and maybe feeding them, plus I didn't really hand Ada over to the visitor for long enough to make it useful.

Why I cling to this counter-productive trait is beyond me. I love to give help, so what is the problem with accepting it? Even though I know that people know I am not invincible, part of me wants to uphold the fantasy that I am so together that I don't need assistance, even in demonstrably difficult circumstances.
Maybe being socked by the reality of twins will force the issue a bit, but I know that I will need (ha!) help asking for help. My plan is to ask friends ahead of time to promise to come over to take Ada or the babies away for a bit, or to do other things for our family. I don't need matching infant sleepers or new stuffed animals, but knowing that I am not always so great at reaching out when I need the help, I am hoping that by pre-planning I can get people to ask me if they can help once I am in over my head.

(So yes, if you are my real-life friend and live in town, I am now officially asking for help once the babies are born. Thank you in advance.)

21 weeks
21 weeks

 In a mostly unrelated thought, the above picture is my belly at 21 weeks. I took a few pictures of myself, most of which just had the effect of showing off how dirty all the mirrors in my house are. I will get Chris to take one of me soon, but in the mean time I wanted to note that I am wearing maternity jeans I made myself. Thanks to Maggie, who sent me a link to a woman who blogged about making her own maternity jeans. I dragged out some jeans I never wear any more (from the photo you can see why, they are a shreddy mess) and sewed on a stretchy shirt that I have not worn for over a year. I used this set of directions. If not perfect, these home-made maternity jeans are at least as good and stay up better than any of the jeans I bought or got as hand-me-downs. Thanks again Maggie!


  1. We're totally there. We'll just show up. With pork.

  2. of course i will help. the twins will love laurelhurst park. :-)

  3. That was one thing my wife and I regretted not doing more of - taking more pictures of her pregnant belly.

    Good luck with the help. If I were you I'd invite that one who will show up with Pork products.

  4. You are clever. And I'd come babysit, if I lived on your side of the country!

  5. After seeing you this weekend I have thought about asking what you need now. I will help later but I can also help now. I just need your help figuring out what I can do. Really, let's figure something out! Ada can come over and play and I won't even let her pull a birdbath down on herself!

  6. "since it is only going to get worse, why ask for (or even accept) help now?"

    yeah it's your timing. gawd.

    remember me and the cheesefairy might try and take the twins for a rrreeeaaally long walk.

  7. Yup, that's 21 weeks ok.

    We're also dreadful at asking for help, though in supermum it's positively positively pathological. Yet we're totally happy to provide it (and do). We're just so bad at the receiving bit which is actually pretty silly of us because in general, people like to help. If we lived in Portland, we'd certainly be right there. Unless it involved something to do with the inside of cars in which case, you really don't want my assistance unless there's an insurance claim you need to make credibly.

  8. Asking for help is really hard for me too.

    You made your own maternity jeans?!? I feel REALLY lazy now.

  9. I would totally love to take the twins on a walk in Laurelhurst Park or take Ada to the Children's Museum (I'll clean my car and put a car seat in, even!) or the Zoo anytime! You name the day, and I'll be there.

  10. You will need tons of help.

    And like Creative Dad, we never took enough pictures of my belly.