I know that life is busy, things get hectic, and we can’t accomplish all of the things we want to. I know that I don’t know what it’s like to have a baby, two toddlers, three with another on the way, or six of all ages running around the house. The thing I do have, as a single woman who loves kids, is time.
I know I’m out of town a lot, but when I’m home, I desire nothing more than to hang out with my friends and catch up. I know we can’t always go out for a glass of wine or a pedicure or see a movie. I know you’ve got a lot going on at home with all of those little ones. I know that sometimes you’re just so tired you can hardly stand up straight – and you’ve still got three baths to give, five stories to read, and kids to put to bed who want nothing to do with sleeping.
Although all of that is true, I still want to be your friend. Even more, I want to help you. I wish you’d be willing to ask for help, and then actually receive it.
The worst lie being told about motherhood in our society today is that you have to do it all. You have to be the perfect mom who has a great job, whose kids are involved in everything under the sun, who is always dressed well with perfectly dressed kids, who feeds their kids only veggies and homemade nutritious food. Not only that you’re supposed to be the perfect wife too.
Let’s all call BS on that now. None of us is perfect.
I’ll say it again, as a recovering perfectionist, None of Us is PERFECT. Truthfully we aren’t supposed to be and we can’t be. It’s just the truth.
So why are we trying to convince the world otherwise?
We all need help sometimes. Some of us more than others depending on the season of life we are in. Please don’t be afraid to show me your mess. I’ve been sharing mine with you for years. I’ve been crying on your shoulder as another birthday goes by without a man by my side in marriage. I’ve been expressing my self-doubt about whether I’m good enough at work to take on a new project. I’ve been showing you the messiness of my home by having your over when an afternoon of cleaning would have been a better use of my time. I’m not afraid of showing you my mess, and I wish you weren’t so scared of showing me yours.
Because I want to help. When your husband has to go out of town and the thought of being alone with the kids for the weekend amidst all of the other things on your plate overwhelms you, I want to take up residence in your guest room and cook you breakfast, play with your kids, give them a bath, and read story after story before bed. When you just can’t think about getting up off the couch because your morning sickness is more than you can handle, I want to come grab your kiddos and take them out for the afternoon so you can have a moment to be nauseous all alone.
I’m great at telling stories. I give great baths. I’m pretty fun with pretend games. I can climb up and down the slide over and over again with no problem. I make a mean mac and cheese and my PB&J is the stuff of legends. I can cut apples like nobody’s business, and my cleaning skills are on point. Rocking babies to sleep is my superpower, and I want nothing more than to be your friend when you need one the most.
I know that you’re ‘supposed to be able to do it all, all by yourself.’ But I’m calling BS. You can’t. I can’t. But We can, together. Why do you think that women put with up with polygamy for centuries? It wasn’t because “their husband earned the affection of all those great women.” PLEASE! It was because they lived a sisterhood and helped one another out. They needed each other, they used one another to help raise their children. They divided the housework amongst themselves. They took care of each other when they were sick or pregnant or recovering from childbirth or nursing all the time.
Now, I’m not suggesting that I want to marry your husband – although he may have been the last good one out there. I’m suggesting that it’s okay that we can’t do it all alone because we don’t have to.
One of the benefits of having a single friend who likes kids and isn’t afraid of messes is that she’s willing to walk into yours. I’m willing to change diapers, clean bathrooms, fold laundry, take kids on an adventure to McDonald’s or the Aquarium (why doesn’t anyone want to go to the aquarium with me?), brew a cup of tea, bake cookies, bring dinner or lunch, do the dishes, vacuum the floor, or whatever you need.
Because that’s what friends do. We’re there for one another through it all. Please let me help you, let me love you in this way. Not because I know you’ll do the same for me (although I sure hope you have the chance to), but because it’s how we can lean upon one another.
You might not be able to even think of taking your kids to the library all by yourself because it’s just ‘been.a.day.‘ But I’m well rested, showered, and had a good breakfast – and I can do anything for 3 hours.
So friend, don’t be afraid to ask. I won’t think any less of you – honestly, I’ll think more of you because you recognize it takes a village. We all need each other … I can’t help if you don’t ask, I won’t impose myself on your life, your family, your home. If invited, I will come in and help. I want to. Please let me.