I Can Do it By Myself

This past Sunday, Anson was getting a little nervous about being behind on some of the freelance stuff he’s doing.  He’s behind because he’s spent more time attending to me rather than work over the past week.  Anson’s been happy to do it and done a stellar job, dark circled-eyes notwithstanding.  Still, there are projects to be taken care of that only he can do.  So I volunteered to take Roan out in the morning, giving our neighborhood a chance to finally see how a Sid Vicious T-Shirt paired with a pair of pink track pants can work (if worn with confidence), and to give Anson time to focus.  It was a glorious few hours of very non-exerting walking about and even sitting around, then Roan and I returned home.  I was whipped.  This was bad news for myself because there was a birthday party I needed to get Roan to in one hour.


Anson saw my energy taking a dive and offered to be the birthday party parent.  I accepted and then felt angry.  I felt angry at Anson that I was going to feel guilty about not being able to take Roan.  Clearly, this was a great reason to be angry with Anson.  Bastard.  So I started cleaning the house. (??)  With the dishes done, I compartmentalized the task at hand:


1.Walk with Roan to the birthday party. 

2.Sit for a few hours talking to parents that I really enjoy.

3.Catch a cab home.


Whatever.  I could do that. Anson wasn’t going to get me to feel guilty.  Not that he was trying.  But I wasn’t going to feel guilty.  Do you know why?  It is because I can do it by myself, and somehow I haven’t moved beyond that developmental stage where I have to prove it.


I let Anson know my intentions, and he furrowed his brow, summoned his most “I’m the boss of you” voice he could and tried to tell me “no”.  We all know what happens when you tell a two-year-old “no”.  Yes, I dug in, and I got my way and I took Roan to the birthday party. 


It’s a short walk, maybe half of a mile.  I arrived a little glassy-eyed, but intact and sort of giddy from exhaustion.  I sat by one of my favorite mothers of all time, and told her about my day.  She looked at me, not impressed.  “So, why didn’t you just call me and ask me to bring him?”


That is a very good question.  The reason is because I fear I may have turned into one of those mothers/women that drive me crazy.  This is evidenced by a voicemail I received from Laura, one of my best friends, on the day of my surgery.  She asked if she could do something, and that I should feel free to ask for anything.  After a long pause she added, “Who am I kidding?  It isn’t like you’re going to call me and ask me to clean your bathroom”.  True.  I wouldn’t have – then – but Laura, I’ve had an epiphany.  I’m going to start asking for help when I need it, because clearly I cannot do it all by myself.  So even though you’re newly pregnant, a little tired and a lot nauseous, will you come and clean my bathroom? 


I suppose next I work on my timing. 


74 responses to “I Can Do it By Myself

  1. love this. i’ve wondered about who it is i’m trying to prove i’m such a bad ass too? not accepting help when help is offered is a silly trend that a lot of women think they need to subscribe to. good wake up call.do you think your pregnant friend would clean my bathroom as well?

  2. When I first read it, I thought perhaps you were the one wearing the Sid Vicious T with Pink Trackpants. Turns out that it was Roan. He really seems to wear it well. Nice job!

  3. HA! I have the exact same issue: my MIL wants to help me all the time, and the more she insists/offers her help, the more I’ll refuse it and push myself to the extreme of being pregnant, feeling like shit, but taking care of things (lousily) on my own.I’ve tried to analyze this behavior and came to the stretched conclusion that it’s my birth-through-forceps-delivery’s fault. I was painfully helped in the one first task I had in my life (being born) and so I don’t like help ever since. Is this super crazy?

  4. Sadly the bathroom offer has expired. Try to do better next time 🙂 love you!

  5. I know the hardest thing for my mother (the most doing, giving, helping person on the planet) to do, was accept assistance. She was 71 before anyone ever made her a meal or hung out a load of laundry for her. It took a knee replacement to slow her down enough that her inbuilt need to not be a burden collapsed.She was always happy, but busy, fussing. Now she’s several orders of magnitude more peaceful.I’m glad you’ve glimpsed the freedom that accepting help can give.

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