Monday, April 21, 2008

Props to the Village People

So as some of you know, Brian was out of town from Wednesday the 9th to Friday the 18th. Ten days. TEN DAYS. TEN. DAYS. This is the longest trip he has been on since the kids were born and I don't mind saying that I was a little more than freaked out at the prospect of having 10 days alone with my darling children. Visions of completely melting down and losing my $hit, scarring my angels for life, answering the door to find CPS waiting with a van to take them away......these were the thoughts running amok in my head, waking me up at 3am in a cold sweat. What the f*&k was I going to do?

I called my girlfriends. I sucked it up, swallowed whatever pride I had remaining (hardly any, so that part wasn't so bad) and sent out an e-mail desperately begging for help while Brian was away. My ladies did not let me down! Two days after the e-mail went out I had a friend lined up for every day B was away, to come over in the evening to help with the dinner/bath/bedtime madness, to be my anchor of sanity in an increasingly insane single-parenting world. My wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL step-mother, Therese, even took said angels for the week-end, picking them up at 10:30am on Saturday, and bringing them back at 11:00am on Sunday. I won't go into how I spent my glorious 24.5 hours of solitude, but let's just say it did not involve leaving the couch.

First off: a *HUGE* thank you with whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry on top to my girls: Lauren, Kate, Danielle, Nicole, Mimi, Auntie, Shannon, Sarah, Laura - the fact that I am sitting at this computer at my desk in my house and NOT in a mental institution is a direct result of your loving kindness. I really can not thank you enough, and should you ever need your own anchor of sanity you know who to call. That would be me.

Second: (this is my public service announcement) To all those ladies out there (both with and without kids) who are feeling frazzled and frayed to the very ends of their tethers: ASK FOR HELP. Hilary is right; it really does take a village. Most of us don't live in the village to which we were born; we have to create our own villages. Do this. And then allow yourself to rely on them. In some ways I think having triplets has made this easier for us. From the very beginning there was no question that we would need help. (and lots of it.) I never felt like this was something I would be able to do, should be able to do, on my own. Asking for help became almost second nature. Granted, I think we were also blessed with many offers of help that parents of single children probably don't get, which is a real shame, because here's the thing: 1 child or 10 children - they take all the energy, patience, resources you have to give. The difference between having 1 or 10 is not the amount of energy and attention YOU GIVE; the difference is the amount that each child gets. My point? Just because you "only" have one child (or even two) does not mean that you don't need help, that you shouldn't need help. We ALL need help. And we all need to give it to each other when we can. So if you need a break - CALL ME. I truly understand that sometimes a pedicure and 60 minutes to yourself is the difference between life and death. I know I've crossed over into preachiness here, but it really pains me to know that many women, some of them my good friends, carry around this "I should be able to do this all by myself" mantra that can really wear a person down, both mentally and physically. It's not that I don't get it; I lied a little bit back there when I said I never felt like having triplets was something that I should be able to do myself. I did; after all, they are my children and I should be able to take care of them shouldn't I? Nobody forced me to do this. I chose this for myself, and I should be able to handle it, right? Yeah........whatever. Here's the truth: If I had to do this by myself I probably could. I could probably keep my children fed, clean, alive. But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we probably wouldn't be the happiest family on the block. And that is the difference that help makes. It gives me a chance to breathe and find my happy mommy self. It gives the kids a chance to get away from me and learn that they can be loved by someone else. We all win.

There is no shame in needing help. The only shame is in not asking for it when you do.

I am happy to report that Brian arrived home (early!) on Friday to find three healthy, happy children and a wife much less stressed out than he had imagined she would be. Ladies of my village, from the bottom of my heart: I love you.


Lauren said...

Awwwwwwww. I just wish I could have been over there more. It's the perfect playground for our kiddos.

NikkiB said...

You couldn't have said it any better. Having no family out on the west side is tough. I feel fortunate to have you and your family part of our lives and us a part of yours. In fact, I think it is better than family...but don't tell my mom I said that ;)