Wisdom and Kindness

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

– Aesop

My dear friend’s mother shared some wisdom with me the other day; she told me that I shouldn’t turn away help when it’s offered, that allowing others to help you can be a blessing to both them and you. I honestly have never thought of it that way; it must be a family trait because I come from a long line of women who never asked for help. Someone could see me on the street with my arm hanging on by a thread; they could offer me aid, and I know I would politely decline. "Oh, this?" I would say, "no I’m fine but thanks for offering." A boyfriend many years ago broke my wrist after shoving me to the ground when he was very drunk and instead of asking our friends to drive me to the emergency room, I rode home and then attempted to drive myself, because I didn't want to put anyone out. This was just plain dumb. Halfway to the ER, I had to break down and call my ex-boyfriend to rescue me. Many hours of waiting, a big cast and a big dose of morphine later I was finally on my way home. This would not be the last time this ex came to my rescue when I made a less than wise decision.

My mother is the same way; when I was a freshman in high school, my father was diagnosed with cancer. I don’t think anyone around us knew; she didn’t ask anybody for help driving my brother and me to school, she didn’t ask anybody to bring a casserole or for anything. He went through treatment quietly, but clearly in great pain. But my mother was an unwavering rock, and I don't know where she got her strength from, but it indeed was not from a support system around her that I saw. When I was pregnant with my twins I was the same way, people offered to bring food, help in all varieties was offered, but being so proud and having a very "can-do on my own attitude," I turned everyone down.

Hearing my friend's mother's words the other day changed the way I look at all these situations. It altered my opinion entirely on asking for help and excepting help when it’s offered. This should not be seen as a weakness, this is just being gracious and excepting that we can’t do everything on our own 100% of the time. I have learned that we, as human beings, are so much better when we are work cooperatively. Many times have I been blessed by the kindness of strangers during this transition period with two infants. Many other seasoned twin moms have helped put babies in tandem carriers and picked up dropped items, as they know the struggle that is having more than one baby at a time. Perfect strangers are helping each other and not expecting anything in return. It is the same with my friends and family, I have stopped pretending to have my life all together (they knew it was a facade anyway) and I have started letting them into my mess of a life. When one of them offers to clean something while they are over, yes it makes me a little panicky that I can't do everything myself, but I have learned to let go and say yes. It makes them feel good for helping a friend in need, and it takes something off my exceedingly full plate. From one type A mamma to another, you can do it, you can let go and embrace a new way.