I'm a Mom.
It is my job, my joy, to take care of my family. I'm also fiercely independent and, while I have raised my kids to be helpful and expect them to do their part in our family, I am the main "do-er" in my household.
Just like most moms are, I imagine.
I hurt my shoulder Saturday and I am down and out. Not only can I not do for my family, I can't really do much of anything for myself. I can't tie my own shoes. I can't put my own shirt on. Typing this right now is taking a toll. My husband had to cut up my dinner for me like I'm a five year old.
I was kind of tempted to refuse to eat my vegetables and then ask for ice cream, but I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who would think that was funny.
Don't get me wrong. I appreciate a lazy day just like the next person. As a mom, sitting around and having my family wait on me sounds like a dream come true. Stretched out on the couch, tucked into a warm blanket, and sole ownership of the remote control. Someone to bring me a fresh Coca Cola whenever I ask. Amazing, right?
The reality is that I feel guilty.
I find myself apologizing to my husband and kids for doing for me what I do for them every day. When did that happen? When did I stop believing I was worth being cared for? No one in my house is feeling put upon or upset because I'm in need. My husband is getting frustrated because he has fight me to help me.
Why is it so hard for moms to ask for help?
Why is it so hard for me, the one always yelling for everyone else to pick up their stuff and "help out around here, for the love," to sit back and let someone else do it all?
It is because doing for my family is an act of love. I'm not just keeping a house or doing laundry or grocery shopping. I'm actively loving them. When I'm not able to do any of these things I feel like I'm forced to stop that love language.
Here's the thing, though. When I don't let them do for me, I deny them the same joy.
Today my son got up early and sliced apples and pears for my daycare kids' lunch. He prepped sippy cups because I can't twist the lids by myself and he laid out the other cups for me to fill with water or milk later so I don't have to pull them down from the cabinet. He even helped me put my contact lenses in so I could see properly.
Not only did he make me feel cherished and loved, my son left for school with a warmer heart, knowing he did something for his mama that I could not do for myself. He made my day better and easier.
It is frustrating that I can't do for myself. Exasperating, really. But I think I'm going to suck it up and let my family help me.
Because we are all learning a great lesson in giving and accepting.