help wanted

No shame in needing help

As you start this week, if you’re staring down the days ahead and it all feels overwhelming… don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seek out other people—a one-afternoon-a-week babysitter, an assistant to help in your work, someone to give your house a thorough once-over cleaning, or even a friend to give you a “you can do this” high five as you try something new.

This is so true for me right now, because last week the regular babysitter we’ve had for three years moved clear across the country. Our kids miss her terribly, and Kyle and I miss her too… and her help. We sorely felt her absence last week. And we were reminded how clearly we can’t go without some sort of help in our home. We both work from home and we both homeschool—we’d go crazy without it.

If you’re battling guilt or doubt that you’re doing something wrong if you can’t do it all by yourself, please imagine me taking you out for coffee at a quiet coffee shop right now, looking at you across the table with empathetic eyes, and adamantly telling you this: there is absolutely no shame in needing extra help. No shame. It only means you’re normal.

Whatever it is—house cleaning, kid wrangling, work processing, homework tutoring, basket weaving… whatever, do what you can to make your load lighter. Give yourself that gift. No one should expect you to do it all solo.

A hundred years ago, we all lived closer to family and closer in community, and it was a natural given to support each other both practically and in spirit. We now have to be much more intentional about this in our modern-day spread-out sprawl—but we still need it. Our need for community and help hasn’t changed.

If you’re feeling the need for extra support right now, take a few minutes today to journal some ideas. Where do you feel most overwhelmed? How can you finagle time and money to get that help? Regardless of your budget, there are ways to make it happen—swap services and trade help with someone else who could use it, or cut out something superfluous (even if it’s temporary).

There is absolutely no shame  in needing extra help.  No shame.   It only means you’re normal.

I’m talking to myself as much as anybody today. This afternoon, I’m going to scratch out a plan for more kid and house help. My sanity will thank me, as will my family. I need that service-oriented community that happened naturally just a few generations ago.

Would your sanity thank you, too?

Psst… Don’t forget to join our Blue Bike book club over on Facebook—it starts today!

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The art of listening

It’s something I’ve told my children since before they could fully understand what it meant: God gave you two ears and one mouth so you could listen twice as much as you speak.  (So you should listen twice as much as you speak…?) I’d do well to follow the same advice; wouldn’t most of us? Listening, active listening, is (read more…)

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We’re all in this together (and a way for us to gather online)

Now that I’ve been home a grand total of two days after two months on the road, it’s given me a bit of perspective and space to reflect. And do much-needed laundry. But while I fold, I also reflect. I’ve only been to a few places here in my small town in the past 48 (read more…)

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Think and act local

As you start this week, don’t forget to think local. Yeah, you probably see stickers in storefront windows all over your town: think local, act global. Or however that goes. But there really is some important truth there. As most of you know, my family and I returned home this past weekend after two months (read more…)

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16 gifts for new mothers

When you dig through the archives of The Art of Simple, you can find a beautiful assortment of baby-related resources – cloth diapering, creating a memorable baby’s first Christmas, product essentials, breast feeding, homemade baby food. They’re great for mamas! Today I’m adding to this list – not necessarily for moms, though. This list is (read more…)

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