I Need the Village: Embracing Help

I’ve been a mother for almost five years. For most of those years, I’ve felt really comfortable knowing that I could do a lot of things for and with my children by myself. Of course my husband carries a lot of weight in our family, but aside from him and grandparents, we haven’t needed help very often. I chose a career path and put myself at work places where my children could come to work with me and where my schedule matched my children’s schedules. They’re always with me. I’ve loved that and have felt immense comfort in that.

Not long ago, I embarked on a new professional journey and opened my own business. My job is more demanding and it has forced me to adjust our normal. The hours haven’t been the hardest. The workload hasn’t been the hardest. The pressure hasn’t been the hardest. What’s the hardest?

…needing help, especially when it comes to needing help with our children. Oh the tears I’ve shed over the heavy guilt and anxiety over having to ask for help.

We all know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I finally get it. I need the village.

I wouldn’t exactly say that asking for help comes easy to me. I like being in control and I like doing things myself. I love to help, but I don’t like asking for it. There, I said it. It’s hard to ask for help.

I don’t like asking for help, but I need it anyway. I can’t be everywhere I’m needed anymore. I was called to do something that is rewarding and wonderful, but now, more than ever, we need people to rally around our family and help us make it all happen.

You know what I’ve learned from all of this? Our village is phenomenal. The grandparents, the family, the friends, the coworkers, the cheerleaders near and far… they are incredible. They’re carpooling. They’re cooking dinner. They’re giving extra hugs. They’re praying. They’re checking in. They’re encouraging. They’re stepping in when I have to step out. Aside from being completely willing to lend a hand wherever we need, they aren’t even waiting for me to ask. If I were writing a Facebook status right now it would most certainly end with “#blessed.”

Another thing that I’ve learned about accepting help is that saying “yes” isn’t a failure. I am not admitting defeat. I am admitting that I’d rather run the race with others than limp to the finish line.

Look, I should’ve learned a long time ago that you only stay sane in motherhood when you accept that you can’t control it all. Maybe I have learned this lesson a couple times along the way, but Lord knows, I needed to be reminded.

After leaving Cajun Country, traveling over the Basin Bridge and through the woods, Ashley became an official Baton Rougian in 2005. At LSU, she pursued a teaching degree and eventually attended graduate school studying child development and families. She married her high school sweetheart in 2012 and they still feel like two crazy kids in love… except way more tired and with more wrinkles. Ashley is a mother to two handsome, busy boys, ages five and three, who keep her love tank filled and her energy level below zero. Ashley runs off of a lot of prayers and a considerable amount of Diet Coke. She loves family outings, dates with her husband (especially when it involves uninterrupted conversations and good food), being creative, all things LSU, and taking entirely too many pictures of her children. After working as a kindergarten teacher for nine years, she fulfilled a long-time dream of opening a Christian school that could meet the needs of many children in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas. In 2019, she co-founded Agape School of Baton Rouge, where she serves as Head Administrator.

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