Super Woman is a Myth – How to Ask for Help

There is no such thing as Super Woman. There, I said it. Sorry to burst the bubble of everyone out there who thinks they’re Super Woman, but ladies you’ll drive yourself to the grave trying to be everything to everyone. The power of asking for help can be so freeing and yet for many of us it feels as though we’re admitting failure.

I have those thoughts all the time. Telling myself I should be able to handle every household chore, the family budget, getting the kids to school, practice and activities, supervising homework, working a full-time job, blogging and building my writing portfolio, planning holidays and birthdays, being a loving supportive wife, a happy energetic mom and productive member of society. Whew! That wore me out just writing it. But at times you hit a wall and that is when it’s time to ask for help. But how?

Asking a spouse for help can be a tricky. My husband is (and always has been) more than willing to help with household chores but for so many years I told him, “I got it” or “Leave it, I’ll do that in a minute.” These constant rebuttals squashed his drive to help and left me feeling completely overwhelmed. For him it created frustration and animosity when I then didn’t complete a task because all he saw was me not following through on what I said.

When things have deteriorated to this point, approaching the situation and admitting that you can’t do it all is demoralizing, embarrassing and admitting defeat. But it shouldn’t be. Those who share a household should share in the responsibilities without anyone feeling bad for asking for help.

When asking for help from your spouse, boyfriend or roommate:

1. Make sure it’s the appropriate time. If you are in the middle of a heated argument because your husband doesn’t have any clean socks and is late getting out the door, it’s not the right time. Make sure the kids are in bed, everyone’s business for the day is wrapped up and that all parties are in a cooperative mood. If it helps (and for me it does) have a glass of wine prior to broaching the subject.

2. Have a list prepared of all the household chores that need completed on a regular basis and open the conversation up to discussion. If you have teenage children, you could include them in this part. Everyone should take a look at the list and volunteer for tasks until the responsibilities are divided equally based on availability, skill, preference and age.

3. Now that tasks are divided, create a master list. This way everyone is held accountable for what they have taken ownership of and there are no misunderstandings. If after a few weeks you feel some tweaks need to be made to the system, sit down with the list and re-evaluate.


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