We love our larger-than-average family, but not everyone I come across in life is supportive. It does hurt to get stared at and hear rude comments from strangers. It is even more discouraging when the people close to me just don't understand the choices I make and can't bring themselves to just be happy for me.
So I've become defensive. I've felt like I've had to prove something. Prove that I can handle all of my children by myself.
I have struggled while walking 4 small children across a church parking lot with a baby on my hip, a huge diaper bag over my shoulder, and my guitar case in my hand. I have done grocery shopping and doctor's appointments with all of them in tow....which have ended in tears (mine, not the kids).
And then a sweet soul will see my distress and ask, "Can I help you?"
"No thanks, I'm fine. I've got it."
So they walk away quietly and I trudge on.
The truth is...it's hard. I'm exhausted. I can't do it all on my own, all the time. But my pride won't let me ask for help.
I have thought about the times when I have been able to help someone. It brings us joy when we are serving others. And when I refuse some one's help, I am letting my pride rob someone of joy.
I still struggle with asking for help, but I no longer look at their offers as pity. I am trying to let go of my pride and let others help me. It doesn't make me less of a mother. It is softening my heart and giving an opportunity for someone to be blessed through the gift of help.