Monday, August 22, 2011

A Little Less Conversation...A Little More Action!

I have learned a HUGE lesson after having this baby.  It is one that might shock and offend some people, but I think it was so important for me to learn that I'm willing to take the risk.  Ready?  Here goes:

Never say to a friend  "Let me know if you need anything".

That's it.  That's the lesson I wish to impart.

I know people say that phrase to be nice (and I myself have said it a gazillion and one times) but it's not nice.  It's a cop-out.  It takes away the guilt of knowing you should be helping out when you really don't want to.  It's a way to make it seem like you care so much when really in fact, you just care enough to use your more.  

I realize that when people say "Let me know if you need anything" to me, I NEVER let them know what I need.  Now, maybe this is just my personality that never wants to put anybody out, but seriously, can you ever politely say: "Um, ok, what I really need is for you to come to my house with a home-cooked meal for my family, and hold the fussy baby so I can get some work done, and then when the baby is napping, maybe you can take my older kids out to play so I can get a much-needed nap." Who does that?  So instead I just smile and say "Thanks" and never actually call a person on it.  

What I've learned is that the BEST thing to do to a friend in need (or just a friend indeed) is to ACTUALLY help them.  Just say, "I really want to bring you a meal, so what day is best for you?"  Or send them a package in the mail with diapers or a Target giftcard or some chocolate.  Or insist that you want to take her kids to the park so she can have some quiet time.  Don't ask, but as Nike says, Just Do It.

So this is the important lesson I learned this time around.  Don't show you care with empty words that make you feel better.  Show you care with action-filled deeds that make her feel better.  


  1. I learned that around the birth of my 5th baby it something about that 5th baby that makes us smarter or something?

    I agree with you 100%

  2. Last week I brought a meal to a new mama. Being in the same shoes as you many times in my life, I know actually how you feel.

    I would love to have someone cook for me everyday though! any offers!!!!!!hee hee

  3. Oh how true this is! If I had a nickel for everyone who has ever said that to me I'd have enough money to hire a nanny/personal assistant.

  4. I disagree on some levels...b/c when I say "let me know if you need anything", I actually mean it! And when that friend/family member asks for help, I give it without question. I also think my friends/family are outspoken!!! Perhaps, there's a mom's group at your church that could help you out?? It is true(I know from experience), the more kids you have, the less people do for you. Perhaps, they don't feel comfortable babysitting 5 but are fine with 1 or 2,or maybe they're busy with their own large families... If I knew you, I would've dropped off a meal! Any halfway smart person would know you need some help right now!! Take Care!

  5. I agree with you and disagree at the same time. I think it is a two way street . . . I think that we who offer help, need to be more persistent. I think that many people who say, "Let me know if you need something.", truly want to help and may just be unsure of what the person would like best, or they do not want to impose. I do that a lot if I do not know the person well. I would love to help, but not sure what the person would like . . maybe that want to cook for themselves, or maybe they would never want me to take their kids . . . if I am not sure, I am going to offer a few suggestions and let them decide. but, with this approach, I think you need to offer more than once, so the person knows you truly mean it.

    On the other side of the coin, I think if someone needs or wants help, they need to ask for it. This is difficult (esp for an independent person like me!), but the moms that I know that handle things the best are also the moms that are not afraid to ask for help when they need it.

    With all of that being said, we live in an awesome community here. When a mom has a baby, a meal list gets made and the family has meals coming to them every other day for two months. People naturally offer to take your kids, and I have even had a relative stranger clean my house! It is amazing.

  6. Amen!!! I need to work on this myself - doing it, and being the recipient. I know when I am blessed with someone doing this, it makes my week - sometimes my month!

    P.S. I'm pretty sure you now have 5 kids right? :-) So maybe you want to update that number in your " about me" profile? :-)

  7. I am a part of a mother's group that sends out a calendar with meals to be set up. I've made meals 2x for others. I feel good doing the work for others.

    When I offer, I offer, whatever the situation may be. I personally would rather be asked for something specific so I can plan it into my schedule (grocery shopping, prepping meal, watching kids, etc.) Plus it holds me accountable. Sad, but true.

    It will all get better, things will run smoother in a few months. And if I could I would make you a meal or clean your house or take your kids to play at a park.

    Hang in there.

    God Bless you and your beautiful babies. You are doing a wonderful job, I am sure of it!


Talk to me...