Archive for July, 2007

Protected: Trip, part 2

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Protected: Trip, part 1

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Protected: We’re back!

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Protected: Peekaboo Jordan

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Protected: Double whoops

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Giving help

I’ve been thinking about this ever since friends of ours had a baby recently…

Before Sarah and Jordan were born, I knew nothing about giving help. I thought I did, but it wasn’t until after they were born, and people offered us help in different ways, that I learned how to truly give help to friends.

What do people usually do when you’re in a situation where you might need help? They say, “let me know if you need anything.” Lots of people said this to us. And that’s what I’ve usually said to people if they just had babies or they’re going through a crisis. And I generally mean it. And I think most people mean it. In most cases, if someone called that person and said, “I need help, can you do X?” the person would say, sure, I’m there! Would probably even be happy for the opportunity to help.

The problem is, when do we really call someone and say “I need help?” It’s such a hard thing to say. Because we don’t want to look needy, and we don’t want to impinge on other people’s busy lives. I may have had twins two months ago, but they had a baby 3 months ago. I may have 2 newborns, but they have 3 children, or they have a super busy job, or they have other family issues going on. It’s hard to imagine that someone else is just sitting around waiting to give us help. Which of course, they aren’t, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be happy to give us help if we just ask.

It was very rare instances that we asked for help. But we did receive tons of help. First, there was the food mobile. Long before the kiddos were born our friends e-mailed a long list of friends and colleagues and asked if they wanted to bring us food and meet the babes one night after they were born. They set up a list and we had a month of getting meals about every other day. So cool. And we didn’t have to respond to individuals contacting us with offers of food because it was all funneled through one friend who organized and arranged it all. If you know someone having a baby, this is a great way to offer them help. And I honestly believe that the helpers appreciate it because they want to meet the babe(s) and bring dinner but don’t know how best to arrange it.

After the kiddos were born, the help we received was from friends who offered in a way we couldn’t refuse. They were concrete and specific and made it seem like it would not be an imposition. They would call and say, “I’m going to the grocery store and then driving by your house, what do you need?” or “we’re on our way to Target, do you need diapers?” They made it seem like it was not a big deal, and they were specific enough that it was easy to say yes (plus in those early days we sometimes couldn’t even think clearly enough to know we would need something in a few hours). Or they would just stop by with sandwiches, or groceries, calling first of course, but making it clear they were coming and it was not a big deal to them.

So now I finally know how best to give support to others. I hope I can be a fraction as helpful to others as they were to us!

Protected: Sarah crawling

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