Wednesday, June 06, 2007

the inconvenient truth

We're still in the midst of construction, which means our house is still an absolute disaster. It's such a torturous treat not being able to find a single thing because not a single thing is in it's place.

Everything that had been in our living room is in a random pile in the middle of our dining room. Our sprinklers have been turned off and more items are scattered about the yard. I would post a picture of the wreckage, but our home computer, desk and cables for the digital camera are somewhere on the back lawn.

Our bedroom floor was completed yesterday, but the majority of our furniture is still in the garage. Because Charlie is totally paranoid to put anything on our new hardwood floors unless the pressure-bearing object is coated in felt ... it has been an extremely slow process moving anything back in to the house. (Think continental drift = 4 to 20 centimeters a year.)

And to think, on Monday - we're going to rip out the carpeting in the children's rooms and embark on another "5" days of improvement hell.

Last night, I insisted gently encouraged Charlie to set up our bed. He was resistant because our queen pillow top (translation = 500 pound) mattress was too heavy for him to carry alone.

So I helped.

Because at 36 weeks pregnant, there was NO way I was going to sleep on the pull-out couch in William's room another night. Although I really enjoyed our toddler son climbing on top of us every morning at 5:30 AM, the configuration of my feet being at a higher elevation than my head and sharp springs sticking me in the back made sleeping a wee bit difficult.

While we were carrying the queen mattress in to the bedroom Charlie noticed that it smelled like a barn. More specifically - a horse. Probably because it had been in the garage for the past week, coated in dog hair and quite possibly trampled on by a rat. Even still, I slept better last night than I've slept for the past week.

Today, Charlie did his best to move more furniture in to the house, but items like our solid cherry dresser and bureau are too heavy for him to move, even with the assistance of his coordination-challenged 36-week pregnant wife.

After several hours, I finally convinced my husband to call on one of our neighbors for help. You'd seriously think that I was asking him to invite someone over to wax his chest. I could sense his angst as he picked up the phone and placed the call. And then - he was barely able to choke out a request for assistance.

"Hi, I really hope I'm not catching you at a bad time. I was wondering if perhaps you might have a few minutes to help me, very quickly, move a couple dressers back in to our bedroom."

He clenched his teeth and held his breath.

And then, he closed his eyes and let out a sigh.

"Oh no, no, no, no, no, no!! Not now - it doesn't have to be now!! I really hate to bother you. Whenever you have a couple minutes - oh tomorrow? That would be great! I'm so sorry to interrupt."

As he hung up the phone he told me that he had caught our neighbor in the middle of preparing dinner. And although our neighbor had said that he would gladly turn the stove off and come over to quickly lend a hand, Charlie didn't want to put the guy out.

Even though he accepted our neighbor's muscle strength for tomorrow afternoon, within minutes of hanging up the phone, Charlie grabbed his coat and car keys and took off for Home Depot - where he was planning to purchase a device that would allow him to transport our heavy furniture back in to the house ... all by himself.

Although I was encouraging Charlie to call on someone else to help - so we could at least get the rest of our bedroom together - I totally understood his hesitation.

Because I, too, hate to ask for help.

Why is it that although we feel no greater honor than when people ask us for assistance - we feel like such a tremendous inconvenience reaching out to ask for help, ourselves? I know I'm not the only one that feels this way and I can't help but wonder why this condition affects so many people?

Currently, I feel like the greatest burden not being able to do so many things by myself and it's hard enough reaching out to my own spouse. Which makes me wonder if this self-induced perception that we are an inconvenience, is aggravated by pregnancy?

Even though we have had several friends and neighbors come forward and tell us that they want to be put on our "call-list" if I were to go in to labor before my mother arrives next week (quite likely if I am moving around 500 pound mattresses) ... I suspect that if this baby decides to come early - his brother and sisters will be there for the birth.

If you can believe it ... I have an easier time with the image of delivering a baby, with our three toddlers in attendance, then I do with the image of calling someone and asking them to drop everything to come over and watch our children.

The truth is - reaching out for help is not in my nature. I cannot stand the thought of being an inconvenience and if anything, being a mother has made it that much more difficult to reach out and ask for assistance.

And I'm not sure why.


  1. You do it yourself to prove that you can.. and sometimes it is a PITA when other people ask for help at bad times =) So you just try not to be "that" person. We are the same way.
    You really should let someone that has offered feel good and help you. God puts us in each others path on purpose, try not to ignore His urging for you to open up to other people. In the mean time, BE CAREFUL! =)

  2. Let me repeat what I told Charlie: You can call on us at any time, any hour, to watch your kids when you go into labor. At your house or ours. We'll even bring Grandma! Remember, I stepped in and watched QUADS with my wee three. All the kids had a blast. It'll be a hoot of a party.

  3. "I cn do it Myself Mom and Dad". Everything from tying your shoes to going to the potty. (Please God.) People feel priviledged when you can help someone else. You do and so do others. So, reach out and let others help you---you will be doing them a favor. Many are called but few are chosen.
    God Bless Debbie---There you go---what a good friend.

  4. This was the hardest lesson my hubby and I had to learn when we had our triplets. We HAD to let people help. It as not easy but since I was a little post partum I had to ask for help. We have so many friendships now from all the help we got and we also have a handful of babysitters who we trust to watch our children. Please take some people up on their offer to help you. It is a ministry to them. I was told that a meeting took place at our church after the babies were born. When they went around the room to talk about how they were serving the lord a few of the people said by helping take care of our triplets. You give people a gift if you let them help you. I am not afraid to ask for help. It will take some of the pressure off of you.
    God Bless.

  5. Now that you've tried to figure out the psychology of it all; TAKE THE HELP :)

    You deserve it b/c you are working incredibly hard; you need to rest your body, my dear.

    Your trips would likely love a new friend. Even consider a mother's helper - 12/13 yo that can hang at your house and play with them or tag along with you when you are out doing errands or at the park. That way, you are still in control with an extra set of hands/eyes.

  6. Did I write this?

    I would LOVE to help you and I'm sure many others would be too. With that said, I'd much rather do the helping than the asking. It's so hard to ask... But think of it this way: you're needing help for your children. You're children need the help. Does that make it any easier?


  7. about that I am now past my due date and have yet to concretely line up someone to watch my boys should I go into labor "unexpectedly" and need to leave for the hospital at an inconvenient hour? Granted, I do have a neighbor who loves my boys and has a great repoire with them who has said, "Call anytime," but what is it that makes me hope and pray that at least it will be at a decent hour when I finally absolutely need to call on her? I am glad to know I'm not the only one...:)

    YOU take it easy, though. Moving heavy stuff likely won't start labor, but it will make your back and legs and butt hate you for DAYS. Just trust me on that one.

  8. Oh my gosh, I am JUST like that. This year with a major illness- I had to ask for help, but my poor DH ended up doing most of it, anyways. And so many people offered, anything, any time, like your friend Debbie... It's so hard to let go, ay? My DH would not have hesitated to call our friends...