For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! – Eccl. 4:10
It’s been a rough start to the week. I already had more on my plate than was necessary, and I was running a little late with the kids yesterday morning. All I did was walk out the front door, and immediately I found myself down on my knees in excruciating pain. I don’t think I tripped over anything. I think my ankle just gave out. The pain was so bad that I started hyperventilating from crying so hard.
Needless to say, the children were scared. But they were also terrific. My son went into protective mode. He helped me up and held onto me as I hobbled into the house. My oldest daughter went into nurse mode (she’s been training with Grammy). She immediately started to remove my shoe (gently) and then ran to get an ice pack. She helped me to prop up my foot and then proceeded to call my mom. The three-year-old? Well, let’s just say that she was concerned she wouldn’t get lunch – forget that it wasn’t lunchtime, but that’s where her mind went!
My support system didn’t end there, though. I was not left to nurse an injured ankle by myself with three kids running around me. My daughter wanted to call my husband at work, but it’s sod season, and he’s the “Sod Father.” So I told her to call my mom. My mom immediately stopped what she was doing, grabbed her purse and keys, and ran out the front door. On her day off. To come and get me and my kids for the entire day. She iced my ankle, made me lunch, fed my kids, put them down for naps, and basically turned her entire day upside down just to take care of me! She even fed my family, including my husband, supper before sending us on our way.
Meanwhile, my dad, who is probably the busiest person I know, also rearranged his schedule to make sure that he could drive me home and get my mom’s car. He even made plans in his fully-packed Tuesday to make sure I wouldn’t have to cancel a very important meeting. My mom took another day off to watch my kids – again – in order for me to make that meeting.
Meanwhile, at home, my husband has taken complete control over the children, taking care of their baths, getting them dressed for bed, and making sure I was completely comfortable on the couch. He has been working extra hard at work, and then he comes home to make sure the kids and I are doing well.
These are just a small sample of the people I can count on, the people who will be there when I call, the people who will drop everything to pick me up when I’ve fallen – literally! They are the people given to me by God to help me get back on my feet. They are God’s reminder to me that He will never leave me alone.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. – Ps. 34:17
We moms struggle to ask for help. We don’t want anyone to think that we can’t manage on our own. But the truth is that there is no shame in reaching out when you have fallen. There is no guilt in needing a little help. If Jesus commanded us to help one another, then I believe He was telling us to not try to do life on our own.
Solomon, the wisest king to ever live, saw how desperate life can be when we try to do things on our own. “One person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, ‘For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?’ This also is vanity and an unhappy business” (Eccl. 4:8). He knew that life was empty without someone to walk through the trials, toils, victories, and celebrations with us.
Hey, sleep-deprived Mom with a newborn nursing around the clock, God sees you. You’re not alone.
Hey, Mom knee-deep in messy diapers, God sees you struggling through your tears as you haven’t had a shower in a few days. You’re not alone.
Hey, Mom dealing with a tantrum-throwing toddler, God sees you trying to control your own temper and walking your child through their storm. You’re not alone either.
Hey, Mama with the insecure preteen, God sees you trying to build up your child and encouraging them to walk tall among their peers. You’re not alone.
Hey, Mama struggling with a teenager in the dating years of life, God sees you trying to protect their hearts while giving them wings to fly. You’re not alone.
Hey, Mom with an empty nest, God sees your heart breaking as your children grow and begin to start families of their own. You’re not alone either.
In a world full of mommy wars, I think it’s time to form a peace treaty. The truth is that we can’t do life alone. If we could, then God would not have said from the very beginning, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18).
We all come from different walks of life. We have different parenting styles. We have different beliefs. But we can still come together and lend each other a helping hand. We don’t have to make life as hard as we do!
I know that not everyone has the kind of family that I do, but is there anyone in your community that could help you? Can you meet some other moms at the park? Are you participating in church activities and connecting in small group? Are you seeking ways to help others?
I encourage you to reach out to someone today. Parenting is hard, but you don’t have to do it alone!
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. – Eccl. 4:9