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A mom learns once again to ask for help

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I recently had surgery to repair an umbilical hernia -- just one of many minor malfunctions I've experienced as a result of having triplets.

Over the past few weeks, I've been truly humbled by my limited physical capabilities.  I am a "doer" by nature and the inability to do so many things I take for granted (give a tot an "uppie", play catch with Liam or catch Ciara in the pool, for instance!) has been extremely frustrating.  Through it all, I've had some time to reflect and rediscover a few words of wisdom that I'm prone to ignore all too often. Ready?  Here they are:  ASK FOR HELP! 

This is such a simple thing to do but, it doesn't come easily for me.  I so dislike asking for help that I told very few people I was even having surgery.  My poor parents found out about ten days before; my sister heard the news from my parents; my boss got confirmation of the big event about a week prior and most of my friends found out on facebook; they didn't even know until after the deed was done.  Leading them all to ask, "are you crazy?!  Why don't you just ask for help?!" 

The honest answer, I suppose, is that I don't like to feel helpless.  To me, asking for help is somehow an admission of ineptitude.  Of tossing in the towel.  Of admitting defeat.  Of accepting the notion that "I can't".  Which is very hard for me to do given that I am hard-wired to think that I can.  Whatever it is, I think I can tackle it.  And often, I do.  This makes it even harder to ask for help and to realize that ultimately, asking for assistance -- and gracefully and gratefully -- accepting it, is by no means a sign of weakness.

To the contrary, asking for help is actually a wise and respectable thing to do. Over the past weeks, I've learned once again that people are happy to help. I can't believe how quickly I forgot this all-important lesson since it was less than three years ago that neighbors, friends and family flocked to us and helped us survive those first crazy few months home with the triplets.  Now, they are here again.  They have offered playdates and carpools.  Dinners and diaper changing.  And I've said yes.  Hopefully, with both grace and graciousness!  And hopefully, I will remember to call upon this little nugget of wisdom time and again because, as one good friend recently reminded me, "Ker, you don't need to wait until you have surgery to ask for help.  We'd be happy to help you anytime."  Now, that's what friends are for! 

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