How often do you wish for just one more pair of willing hands in your household – as so perfectly demonstrated by Jessica in her Mothering blog post this week? Someone else to help with dishes, garden, a good kitchen sweep, and occasional childcare. You know – someone to drain the pasta while you hold a crying child.
There was a time in our life when we had a maid. Two maids, actually – they came together every other week and scrubbed my home spotless. It was amazing. This is no longer within our budget, sadly, and I have really really missed them.
This summer our family has taken on a new realm of household support – WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms, an international movement of generally young people wanting to travel, spend time on a farm, learn english, and enjoy family life. We offer room and board in exchange for time working in the home and garden, and they stay for 1 – 3 weeks at a time.
1) There is always an extra set of hands. I love love love knowing that I won’t be the only one washing dishes each night.
2) Our garden looks amazing - far better than it would if we were caring for it on our own. We will be eating the rewards of our garden produce all winter long, thanks in large part to the hard work of our farm volunteers.
3) The kids love it. Energetic 20-something volunteers who are happy to play soccer and introduce them to foods and traditions from their home countries. We’ve gotten to know some remarkable young men and women.
1) Privacy can be hard to find at times. Our home is small, and there is a limit to how much time we can spend in the hot tub! We were alone together in our home for about an hour a few days ago for the first time in a month.
2) Asking for Help. I’m having a lot of trouble asking them to do the chores that need to be done. This may seem ridiculous to you – especially given that they have come here because they want to help with household and garden. I’m just in from the garden now pointing out beds in need of weeding and compost in need of turning. At least right now I’m working while they work – it’s even harder asking them to wash the dishes while I go to yoga.
Asking for help - a theme we explore amply in our Mama Renew groups - is something I am definitely not yet all that good at. I hem, I haw, I hesitate…I feel guilty, awkward, unsure…Even when I do successfully ask for the help I need, I struggle to let go of control and trust them to simply do the job without my supervision. Lots of learning here – I’m getting a daily opportunity to cultivate this skill of asking, and slowly but surely learn how to let go and receive the help they are so willingly offering.
Can you relate?
Where do you struggle most – asking for help? letting go of control? the guilt?
While most of you don’t have two young Germans in your home ready & willing to help, we all need the help and too often struggle to reach out and ask for what we need.
Your Mama Renew challenge for the week:
Identify one area of your life where you could use for help, and find a creative way to get some much-deserved support.
About Sarah Juliusson
Sarah Juliusson, founder of Mama Renew, is a gifted facilitator and writer on the journey of birth & motherhood. She brings two decades of experience supporting families through pregnancy, birth and motherhood to her work. Sarah is mother to two growing boys, a playful crafter with cloth & wool, student of traditional food preservation, and a diva at heart. Join the conversation on http://www.mamarenew.ca & on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mamarenew