The Importance of Yes Please

This week was a reminder of the importance of partnership in parenting. It’s funny that it happened on this particular week – one in which our community totally helped share the load. Between friends and neighbors and my parents, I didn’t have to cook one meal or worry about those post-nap, pre-dinner hours. My “connection with community love tank” is completely full because of the kindness and generosity of those surrounding us.

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Breakfast in a Rocketship

On the opposite side, it’s also been a rough week for Frank. He’s reached the 70+ hours schedule that won’t stop until April 18. Even though the girls and I have found a bedtime routine that works, Bea was up, crying that she just wanted daddy to tuck her in. I get it. I wanted daddy to get up out of sleep and tuck her in, too. This time of year renews my awe and appreciation for those parents who do it alone – either by choice or circumstance. What do you do without someone to share the hugs, the frustrations, the load of parenting?

And for us as a couple, this is the moment in tax season when we are like ships passing. Even in the years without kids, this last month and a bit was tough. But now, with two, we never have a moment just the two of us. I think that’s a hallmark of this season of parenting anyway – two kids (and a dog!) and two parents means someone is always occupied. But, adding the time factor, and our shared time as a couple is about as low as it can get without Frank being completely gone. (Again, renewed appreciation for those whose partners travel for extensive periods. It’s rough.)

And yet. At those moments when I just feel like I can’t anymore. Or I just need Frank to step in and share this with me, a gap in his schedule opens. A Noodles date happens or he squeezes in time to take the girls out for donuts so I can write this five minute post.

And I’m reminded that tax season doesn’t last forever. That he is home every night (even if it’s after midnight). And that I do have a partner to share this load. In the meantime, I’m so grateful for those who share as they can. They remind me of the importance of front-loading community. Of accepting help and saying “yes, please.”

Do you have people to help share your load? Or are you more one of the helpers, who takes the burden?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is share.

Sharing Stories

In my MOPS group, we’ve chosen to use our “off” weeks as time to share stories. At first, this was daunting. Many women were worried they didn’t have a story to share; they had “journey envy,” as they had led such a drama-free life; they didn’t like speaking in front of others. But, as women have stepped forward and shared with courage, we’re discovering the power of story and storytelling.

We’ve heard from women who came from idyllic, stable families; women who raised siblings at the age of 9; women whose parents made tough choices about family and immigration; women who have seen the effects and redemption of unhealthy doctrine. We’ve shared of the hard, early days of motherhood and the lessons learned from building a family.

We’ve learned that our stories are interconnected, no matter how seemingly separate the details are. We’ve learned that God can take hard, impossible moments, and bring about grace and redemption through them.

Mostly, I’ve learned that our stories are important. By taking the time and creating the space to share our own stories, we are slowly learning pieces of a bigger story, a greater puzzle of how we are all connected and intertwined.

Have you shared your story lately?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing.