“I know there is a world of people wanting to step up for me but the hardest part is the realisation that I still feel I am failing if I am not doing this on my own.”
Why can’t I let people help me? What is it about the words “let me do that for you” that sends shivers down my spine when on paper I am the chick that you would think needs the most help.
Let me explain…
Thirteen months ago my husband died suddenly by his own hand, leaving my three sons and I to pick up the devastating pieces.
My boys are amazing. At ages 15, 13 and 10, they have had to grow up very quickly and not only deal with the catastrophic trauma of their father’s death but battle the usual angst of teenage boys while coping with a mother who is sometimes apoplectic with worry for them.
We have also moved house in that time, so their adjustments have included reclaiming their space in a new home and renegotiating school runs, soccer schedules and their ever increasing social calendars. They are great kids but part of their new regime is learning to cook and clean and take care of each other. It has been a big readjustment and one I am proud to say they have accepted, if not sometimes begrudgingly.
I returned to work five weeks after my husband’s death predominately because we all were desperately looking for normalcy and me working was our normal. I am a breakfast radio announcer in Brisbane for the KIIS station 973 FM. I start work at 4 o’clock in the morning and have been doing so for the last 20 years.
When my husband was alive he ran a business from home and we shared the childcare. He did mornings, I did a lot of the afternoons and we shared cooking and the running around. So when he left us, logistically I needed help. My youngest is too little to leave on his own and despite my boys being amazing, they need support and the chance to be just kids.
So three weeks after his death I got a wonderful Au Pair called Charlotte to live with us… and herein lies the first of my problems when it comes to getting help. I’m happy if it’s a business arrangement, but feel awful if it’s friends and family.
Why? Because they have been my life blood. In the first few months when I struggled to get out of bed, my core group of girlfriends made me meals and fed me chocolate and held me while I cried. They did pick-ups and drop-offs and took my boys for outings and kept us moving forward. My mum and sister, who live in Sydney, came up often and we made it through all the firsts.
So why oh why is it now, 13 months down the track, that I struggle to say “yes, please” when someone says, “I will do that for you”?