“We’ve had more cooking help this time than with any of the other kids,” Peter commented last night over dinner.
“We’ve had more help, full stop,” I pointed out.
Other people have driven our older children to school, play dates, parties and dance lessons, and dropped them home again.
We were given the services of a house cleaner/mother’s help for a whole day, and the offer of babysitting so Peter and I can go out for dinner.
Then there are all the home-cooked freezer meals and food we have been given from our family and friends.
We are into our fourth week of only cooking if one of us feels like it, which at the moment is about once a week each.
It’s such a relief not to have to try to fit in food preparation, cooking, and cleaning up time while holding a baby in one arm or running after the two little boys!
And the boys do seem to want a bit more attention from their parents now that they see they have some extra competition for it.
I’m grateful for the help, but I feel uncomfortable about it as well.
I wonder when I will be able to do the same for my family and friends.
I know it’s my pride that whispers to me: “I can’t keep taking from all these people. I have to be the one doing the helping as soon as possible.”
It’s unpleasant to feel dependent on others, not autonomous, or not in control of my day-to-day life to the extent that I’m used to.
And the reality is that we have our hands full at the moment, and Isaac is going to be a newborn for a while yet.
I know my turn will come to be the one who gives a hand, maybe when the baby is a bit older, or maybe when all our children are in school.
I’m trying to make it a spiritual exercise in humility and letting go of the need to feel independent, to accept offers of help without feeling that I immediately have to pay people back in kind.