Get Real

There are some truly fabulous people in the world.

Today, a woman I know slightly, a woman who knows my husband professionally, called me. She works not far from my home on Saturdays, and after work she wants to come over to watch the children for me while I go out and run errands or have dinner with a friend or do whatever. She wants to do this regularly, not just a one time thing.

It’s such a nice gesture. Just the very offer makes me all happy. It is enough. I don’t really need her to do it. But that she thought of me and came up with a plan was so very sweet.

So, as she continued to explain how everything would all work out, I rehearsed in my mind polite phrases to decline her offer. I am fine, after all. Managing quite nicely. He’ll be home soon. We’re almost halfway there.

But then the Real Me spoke up (to that Prideful Me in my mind). The Real Me is the one that dispenses sage advice to other mothers like “stay home for at least two weeks after having a baby” and “you can’t homeschool and have an immaculate house, too.” The Real Me is the one who wrote an article about coping with deployment wherein I write: “Get help. If you can afford it, consider lawn care, a cleaning service or a regular babysitter. For non-routine jobs, swallow your pride and ask for help. If friends or relatives ask if there is anything you need, come up with something. It is good to be strong, but it is better to be humble.”

The Prideful Me attempted to ignore the Real Me, but the Real Me is obnoxiously persistent and just won’t leave it alone. When the nice woman paused for a breath, the Real Me jumped in and accepted her offer before the Prideful Me even knew it was coming. (The Prideful Me thought some things which I won’t repeat here, because the Real Me is never that vulgar.)

Both the Prideful Me and the Real Me love to do nice things for other people. Doing good deeds makes everybody happy.

The Prideful Me hates to accept other people’s good deeds. It is so very hard. I don’t know why.

The Real Me sees how this whole thing is win-win: the nice woman gets to do a good deed (or two or three) and she gets to feel good knowing that she made a difference, and a big difference, in one person’s life. And I get to have a much-needed break. I could run errands in peace. I could get my Christmas shopping done. I could eat a leisurely meal. I could sit still for 20 minutes at a coffee shop. I could get a hotel room and take a nap.

And I could practice the virtue of humility, which is to say, I am fine, but I am tired. I am managing quite nicely, except my patience is wearing a bit thin. Soon is a relative thing. We are almost halfway there, but three months is still an awfully long time.

My point is that there are some really nice people in the world, and I need to let them do their thing. And I need to listen to my own advice.

7 thoughts on “Get Real

  1. Right there with you on the “Prideful Me”. It's not easy, but if we keep practicing, someday we might get it easier.

    Now you just have to decide what to do with those few hours!

  2. Excellent, excellent post! Way to go Real Me! Prideful Me gets the better of me quite often. I'll try to remember this the next time I'm tempted to embrace pride over humility.

  3. Good for you! God bless that woman. I'm glad you accepted her offer.

  4. I know exactly how you feel. I have the hardest time accepting help from others. I have this “I have to do it all” mentality. I think letting go and accepting help is one of the hardest things to do as a mother. Good for you for accepting the kind woman's offer of help.

  5. It's not just mothers who have a hard time accepting help, things, favors, etc. We are brought up with “It is more blessed to give than to receive”, as well as other, similar sayings – as well we should be. But we are not taught that sometimes we need to receive in order for others to have the experience/fun/joy of giving. And receiving when it is not a special occasion is really, really hard. I'm glad your Real Me got through first – so she gets to give & you get a break. Please thank her for us for doing what we are too far away to do on a weekly basis.



  6. Well done! Enjoy your time out! And if it involves kissing a certain baby we know, give him some for me. 🙂

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