How many times have you heard, “let me know if I can do anything to help?” When you have a new baby, this is a constant anthem. How often do you accept that help?
One of my neighbors did more than just offer to help in general; she offered something specific. She told me after Kate was born that if there was ever a time I wanted to leave Baby Kate at home while picking Lauren up from daycare, she would come to the house to stay with the baby. Weeks went by, and I never took my neighbor, Vicky, up on the offer. That is, until Kate got sick.
If you read my last blog post, you know Kate had to spend a night in the hospital with RSV last week. The virus and congestion likely led to Kate’s first ear infection at eight weeks old. I can already envision her getting tubes in her ears, like her big sister. In addition to Kate’s ear infection, she got vaccines at her two-month check-up. So this little lady had a lot of sleeping she wanted to do. When I put Kate down for a nap, it was getting pretty close to when I like to pick Lauren up. So, I called Vicky. I asked for a little help, and she quickly obliged. Vicky’s help allowed Kate to take a four-hour nap, which I know will go a long way to helping her get better faster.
Another friend offered to watch Kate if I ever needed to run some errands. So earlier this week, before finding out that Kate had the infection but knowing she was still getting over the RSV, I took Wendy up on her offer while I tended to some appointments. The nurse who spent a lot of her career in neonatal intensive care units, helping the tiniest babies survive and thrive, told me she was happy to spend time with my little one. It felt like a win-win!
So the next time I am tempted to tell someone, “let me know if I can do anything to help,” I will try to think of something specific. Perhaps they’ll be more likely to reach out for help they might not have even anticipated needing.