With a special needs daughter in my life, I get a lot of practice saying no, especially when she falls into Princess mode. “No, you are able to put your own shoes on.” “No, you can carry your own coat.” “No, you’re a junior in high school and should be able to …”
She is quick to ask for help when she doesn’t need it … and completely silent when she should speak up. Lately, there have been several times where she sat through an entire meal with an unopened drink because we were too busy to notice and she never asked for help.
I’m not that different from her.
In the busy-ness of life as a working mother, I’m learning how to say “No” with healthy boundaries and not take on responsibilities that were never mine to carry. But a boundary is never to be an impenetrable wall. Instead, it should resemble a fence with gates.
Gates are the places where I open up my life and ask for help. Do I need a sounding board to process and get rid of the junk of bitterness and pain I’ve been holding onto? Do I need an objective opinion or advice about what’s going on in my life? Do I need to be brave and ask for a little help? Do I have a circle of supportive friends for such times?
It’s okay to ask for help when I need it. To say “Yes” and welcome people into my life.
(For more on this topic, see Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend)
What about you? Do you tend to ask for too much help or not enough? Why? Are there seasons where you need more support than others?