Pour Your Heart Out: Asking For Help

flu Tuesday morning.

Feeling awful after being up most the night, sick.

Sore throat, swollen glands, fever, stuffy nose, fever, headache, chills, dizziness…

Yet, still having to get the kids ready for school.

Breakfast, clothes on, shoes found, backpacks checked, lunches and snacks packed.

Trying to get everyone out the door on time.

All while feeling like the world is spinning.

It’s what moms do, right?

No one usually gives us a day off when we are sick.

Then I notice Hubs, snoring away.

Still sleeping because he has this same sickness.

He gave it to me, I’m sure.

Yet, he’s resting.

And I have a wild desire to smother him with a pillow.

Or, at least smack him over the head with one.

Because really, if I’m up and getting these kids ready for school even though I’m sick, he damn well could be up helping me, couldn’t he?

It shouldn’t all fall to me.

Anger flares up.

How I’d love to be still asleep.

It’s not fair.

But before I can pick up a pillow to use as a weapon, I realize something.

Hubs isn’t a mind-reader.

Especially not in his sleep.

He has not a clue that I’m just as sick (if not sicker- let’s say I’m sicker) as he is.

So he sleeps away, thinking I can handle the morning routine all on my own, like I do 98% of the time.

I didn’t ask for help.

I often don’t ask for help- even when I need it.

Sometimes it’s because I think someone should realize that I need help and just offer it without my having to ask, like when I’m sick.

And other times it’s because I hate swallowing my pride and admitting that I can’t do it all and that help would be greatly appreciated.

And sometimes I’m just afraid I’ll ask for help and be told no.

But, we all need a little help now and then- and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask.

Are you able to ask for help when you need it? 

Speaking of asking for help: have you seen the #MiracleMoms campaign I’m a part of? I would love your help with it- and you’ll get ad space on my blog in return for helping. 

Click if you want to find out more about Pour Your Heart Out. Remember, it’s about what you want to pour out: it’s personal, so there isn’t an assigned topic. It’s also about being supportive of others who are sharing: so visit other linkers and be kind with your comments. Please add the button from the sidebar or add a text link to your post if you are joining inIf you have any problems linking, please email me your link.


  1. says

    I have a hard time asking for help I just expect people to realize I need it… I really should learn to ask.. Great post Shell! People aren’t mind readers I guess we cant assume they know right!
    brittney recently posted..The end of the roadMy Profile

  2. says

    No….  I don’t ask. I pretty much do exactly what you do and I need to stop that. Neither of us should have to do it all ourselves.
    This past week/weekend I had exactly what you had and it was terrible and on Saturday night I finally gave up… i took a long hot bath & went to bed leaving the kids to my husband! It was nice for a change.
    I hope you feel better soon.
    Jackie recently posted..Nature’s Hand Granola Review & Giveaway!My Profile

  3. says

    It sounds like a problem a lot of folks share because I, too, have always had trouble asking for help. I’ve been getting “better” but it usually comes after I’ve blown my top :(
    Charlie recently posted..Alone On Mother’s DayMy Profile

  4. says

    My post was about asking for help too! In a different way though. We all need to get better at reaching out when we need it. I am always afraid of the “no” answer too. We can’t do everything on our own. No one can. I hope you are feeling better soon! xo
    Kristen recently posted..Will The Spark IgniteMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I hate the thought of hearing that no… but I guess I haven’t really lost anything if I reach out and ask! 

  5. says

    Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.  As in, I SO can relate.  In fact, it’s like i could’ve written this post, except for the part of realizing my husband’s not a mind reader.  I probably would’ve just stayed ticked off.  Yeah, I’m with Elaine.  I’m not so good about asking for help and instead am fuming away.
    christine recently posted..Joys from The Big One and The Little OneMy Profile

  6. says

    It is what we women do!!  Somewhere we got the idea that we were the only ones who could manage to DO everything alone, so we just keep doing it….even sick as a dog!  Most of the time, help is out there, but you’re right NOBODY  can read minds.  If you need help….ask!  (Especially if you are married to him!!  After all, they are his  (kids, house, car, mother, or whatever) too!)

    It took me nearly 40 years to figure that out!
    Mellodee recently posted.."Sleepy Time Gal"My Profile

  7. says

    It is SO true. So so true. We expect them to know. How many times I’ve been ready to smother mine with a pillow – omg, that line hit home big time! 

    I hope you’re feeling better!!! 
    Andrea recently posted..Confession.My Profile

    • Shell says

      I have that wanting to smother him feeling a lot. Like now, when he’s snoring. 😉 

  8. says

    I have such a hard time asking for help, even if it is my husband. Instead I walk around angry, wishing that others were mind readers. I need to stop that. I need to learn to ask more often if I need it.

    I hope you’re feeling better soon!!
    Kimberly recently posted..Just What The Doctor OrderedMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I usually stomp around, thinking things will get better without me having to ask. Not the smartest move.

      I’m finally starting to feel somewhat human. 

  9. says

    I rarely ever ask for help even when I desperately need it. And then I get irrationally mad that nobody is helping me. Sigh. It’s a character flaw.
    Delilah recently posted..So What?My Profile

  10. says

    I am so bad at asking for help.  However, tonight I was so thrilled…just after my husband came home from work he asked me if he could help…I let him (YIKES!).  Then after we cleaned up from dinner he started rinsing the dishes…whoa!  I didn’t ask for it and like you, even if I do I rarely ask for it.  I think I left a lip mark on the floor from picking my chin up.  Hope you get to feeling better!
    Leah aka FFPMaMMa recently posted..Today is Perfect. What is your Perfect?My Profile

  11. says

    Sorry to hear you’re sick, hope you get well soon!

    And I used to have trouble asking for help – I hated to feel like I was imposing on them by asking. However, I know better now. I do ask, and I feel no shame. I know I can’t do it all, and that’s okay. Ask, always ask. 
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..What’s Going On?My Profile

    • Shell says

      I really need to get better at asking! 

      And thanks- I’m finally starting to feel better. 

  12. says

    I’m pretty good about asking for help (actually it’s more like delegating) when it is one of my minions. (They love it when I call them minions or my personal favorite, peasants). Often when they try to negotiate something I just say, “I don’t make deals with peasants.” Everyone laughs and we move on. Hope you feel better soon!
    momof12 recently posted..Cinco de Mayo CelebrationMy Profile

  13. says

    This post could so easily tip me over the edge right now (not your fault, just some circumstances I’m in the middle of).  Personally, I barely ask for help because of the disappointment that tends to follow…whether it’s being given an excuse as to why help can’t be given, or that the person doesn’t follow through after they agree, or they can’t come close to doing what you ask, or you have to walk them step through step (knowing it would of been easier to do on your own).  UGH, it’s just very frustrating.
    Oka recently posted..Kid’s Say the Darndest Things: Mother’s Day AdditionMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I need to learn to ask. But sometimes, I just think that it would take too long for someone else to do it. 

  14. says

    Oh no I don’t ask for help. Usually I suffer and then get pissy because my husband and kids do the same thing. A few weeks ago they played pass the sickness. I nursed everyone back to health and they were up and running by the next day. When it hit me it lingered for a week. Because I refused to lay down and take it easy, when it was what my body so desperately needed.. I need to change that without a doubt.
    Angel recently posted..Happiness ProjectMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Because we don’t get rest! 

      I actually did lie down today, for once. And it really did help. 

  15. says

    Help is hard to ask for. But I think that sometimes the problem with husbands is that as women we know that we would get it. That even if our BFF wasn’t asking for help we would know that she wanted it and would step in and offer or just what needed to be done. I guess guys just don’t have that help intuition gene. It’s hard because I am always afraid that my plea for help comes across as nagging and the last thing I want is to be a nagging wife. Hope you are feeling better.

    • Shell says

      I don’t want to be that nagging wife, either. And it’s been a big change around here- since before, he was the one working so I did everything around the house. But as I’ve added more work hours to my plate, I just can’t do it all. 

  16. says

    Sometimes my husband points out to me that he can’t read my mind. It is hard to ask for help, and when you’re sick, you just want someone to notice and take care of you. I hope you feel better soon!
    Patricia P recently posted..Family Bike RideMy Profile

  17. Carol says

    Open communication is the best remedy for this issue. This is such a great post because all of married one will benefit from this.
    Carol recently posted..panic attacksMy Profile

  18. says

    I struggle with asking for help as well but like you said, no one can read our minds…it would be nice sometimes though!  All of my pipe dreams would come true if my KIDS would do what I want them to without me having to ask!!!!
    Christine recently posted..Summer Bucket ListMy Profile

  19. says

    I have a really difficult time asking, and I have a great support system. I don’t have a problem asking my mom to watch the kids overnight for a date night, but I have a hard time asking her or even hubs to help out when I’m not feeling well or just overwhelmed. I don’t know why I feel like it’s ok to ask for help when it’s about strengthening our marriage but not when it’s about keeping me healthy or even just happy. Sigh.
    angela recently posted..Life, OvertrainedMy Profile

  20. says

    I feel the same way!  I wish people would help but then feel guilty when they do!  I don’t want to ask my husband…I want him to “just know”(Which is certainly not a man’s strong point!)
    Hope you feel better soon!

    • Shell says

      Maybe marriage vows should be rewritten and include having that intuition to know when we need help! 

  21. says

    Because of my migraines, I ask Hubby for help all the time. I actually probably ask too much and he always helps. When it’s just me, I suffer through if I am in pain in the morning, but if he is here, he helps because I ask. It’s true that we need to let others know what we need. I hope you feel better soon!
    Denise recently posted..Stepping Out of My Comfort ZoneMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Sounds like you have found the healthy balance in this! I need to learn from you. xo 

  22. says

    Girl…you are being way too nice to that man! Mine does the same thing…and I’m finally at the point where I think we shouldn’t HAVE to ask for help from our husbands. But other people? Yeah, I NEVER ask for help. EVER, unless it’s an emergency and I have no choice. I’m stubborn like that.
    Mary recently posted..Activating Your “I Don’t Give a Fu&%” SwitchMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I hate having to ask anyone for help. Absolutely hate it. Even if I have done a million favors for them and haven’t asked them for one yet. 

  23. says

    I have a pretty awesome husband, but I agree that sometimes I just look at him and want to say “WTF? Can’t you see me floundering here?”
    Honestly, I hate , hate, hate asking for help. I want to look like even through sickness, tired, cranky etc, I am in control and able to “do it all” but the truth is that makes me MORE TIRED, MORE STRESSED OUT, MORE CRANKY and that makes it even worse for all of us. (my family I mean, but hey maybe it does make it worse for you too)

    I think you bring up a great question and a great thought. I could tell you that we should all start to feel better about asking for help and there is no shame in it etc…but I don’t know how, so it’s not advice I feel good giving. I think you’re amazing, if that helps. xoxoxo
    Kirsten recently posted..WOE & Trifecta: Gathering Buttercups:Worth the TroubleMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I keep thinking that I never mind when others ask me for help, so I need to realize that should go both ways, so it should be okay to ask for help. We’ll see if I can actually put that into practice! 

  24. says

    I hardly ever ask.  But last week I was sick like you are this week and I did ask for the first time in years.  He said yes, of course (even though I had a totally irrational moment when I thought he might not).  But I was so sick I could hardly even appreciate it.  I just slept.  I hope you get better soon.  If I learned (remembered) one thing last week it’s “when Mama goes down the whole house suffers.”  So taking care of ourselves is so important!  
    Missy | Literal Mom recently posted..Yep. I DO Judge and I’m Not Sorry for itMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thankfully, he helped with bedtime last night(after I’d already written this) and that did help a lot! 

    • Shell says

      I figure that’s what husbands are there for, right? 😉 Going to try to get better at asking. Before I lose my mind.

  25. says

    I have almost given up on asking for help. My husband will actually roll over and go back to sleep. Maybe he doesn’t do it on purpose (he does have sleep apnea and doesn’t rest well). Thanks for reminding me to not get so angry. I hope you are feeling better soon. I hate being sick.
    Teresa recently posted..Happy Mother’s DayMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Mine sleeps through anything and everything- so I try not to get mad during his sleeping times. Just the rest of the time. 😉 

  26. says

    I can ask for help probably about half of the time that I should. It is a hard thing to do. And yes, it is amazing how mad and upset you could get with someone for not reading your mind but then that just isn’t fair. I am trying to be better about just saying what I need. Hope you get better soon!!
    Emmy recently posted..My Mother is a Task MasterMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I have to learn to say it before I’m so upset that it comes out as a screech. LOL

      Thanks- I’m starting to feel better. 

  27. says

    Oh, I’m so sorry you’re sick. That’s the worst. Hope you feel better soon.

    I’ve actually gotten pretty good at asking for help. But because of my depression – somebody has to takeover or nothing gets done :(
    molly recently posted..The MailMy Profile

  28. says

    Hi Shell! Remember me? It’s Melinda from Coming Clean … but I’m back in the blogosphere with a new blog that I’m doing with a good friend of mine. I’m finding blogging so much more doable now that I’m not alone! Anyway, I’ve missed you. :) Love your post today. I’m so much the same way. This morning, I was angry that my husband wasn’t helping enough with keeping the kids on task this week as they studied for finals. And, then I realized, I really hadn’t told him what I needed. So I called him and he agreed to do whatever I needed him to do. Imagine that? Kind of like magic! :)
    Hope you’ll stop by my new place!
    Melinda recently posted..Where Are The Village People When We Need Them?My Profile

    • Shell says

      I’m so glad you are back! I’ve missed you! I’ll be over to visit soon- I’m starting to feel better tonight.

      Amazing what asking can do, right? My husband helped with bedtime last night and it made a huge difference. 

    • Shell says

      I try to remind myself of all the times I’ve helped others when I’m trying to get up the nerve to ask those same people for help… yet, I’m still not getting better at it! 

  29. says

    Ohhhh yes, I suffer from thinking Rob’s a mindreader all the time.  I keep thinking “he’s an adult, he shouldn’t have to be told that when I have all four burners going at once, I might need help setting the table”.  And yes, maybe he *should* see that without being told – but it’s just easier to ask.  Avoids a lot of resentment…and it avoids me slamming the dishes down on our (glass!) table.  😉
    Mrs. Jen B recently posted..Attitude of GratitudeMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Exactly- the times when it seems like it should be obvious what we need- I get so mad. But then if I actually ask, it’s like he doesn’t realize until I say something!

  30. says

    I don’t know what is worse, not asking because my pride of not admitting I can’t do it all gets in the way or asking and still not getting help. That’s what is happening over here lately. I finally get the courage to ask and the answer is either no (from others outside my family) or yes but then they don’t (my husband and kids). Sorry you aren’t feeling well and hope you are getting some help!
    AnnMarie recently posted..Audition for So You Think You Can DanceMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I got in a nap today when our power went out thanks to a thunderstorm. That helped. 

  31. says

    Because my kids are older than yours (and therefore, at least in my own mind, require less “care”) I’ve convinced myself that my day is so much easier than my husband’s that I can’t possibly complain.

    About anything.

    I assume he is more tired, more stressed-out, more burdened than I; I act like he deserves all the breaks. And he does deserve a lot. He’s a wonderful husband, father, man.


    I work hard, too. All day long. I just don’t get paid for it. I never sit. (Well, I sit. But I’m working when I’m sitting.)

    I’m also usually multi-tasking: managing chores, writing, commenting on blogs, chaperoning, chauffeuring, cooking, cleaning, laundering…

    I don’t rest. Or ask for help. Because in the midst of it all I do know I’m lucky to have all that I have; I know I’m “living my dream.” I am. 

    Still. Sometimes I get tired too.
    And I wish I could tell someone without feeling guilty about it.
    julie gardner recently posted..Then and NowMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Even though it’s your dream, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy.

      I think a big part of the struggle in my house is that I work from home. So even though my day starts earlier and ends later than my husband’s, I’m at *home* so that must be restful, right? Um, no way.

  32. says

    I used to be the same way, when I was still with my daughter’s father. But he’s a special case. Usually it was during times where he KNEW I needed help, like when I was trying to eat and the baby got fussy. But either way, I never asked for help. Now that I’m on my own there’s no one TO ask for help. Somehow that’s easier to deal with than having someone there who can help but doesn’t. 
    Ness recently posted..The story of how I got where I am now, where my ex is concernedMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Though I’m not in your shoes, I get small tastes of it when my husband travels- I have to do everything so I just suck it up and do it. But if he’s here, then it’s more frustrating to not get that help. 

  33. says

    Oh this is SO me. I always get smother-him-with-a-pillow cranky and then at some point realize that he can’t read my mind and because I do do it all and never ask for help he’s assuming just that. 
    Jessica recently posted..Running AheadMy Profile

  34. says

    I never, ever ask for help. I know I should. But all I hear is my mother-in-law with her comment ” Honey, every mom needs a break. So when you need a break let me know. I never needed a break when my boys were little, but I am sure you do.”
    I know it is better for you to ask the hubby for help, but a good whack with a pillow never hurt anyone. It’s a pillow. 😉
    Kim Young recently posted..How to Add Lens Flare to Your Photos with PhotoshopMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I sort of want to whack your mil with a pillow. 😉 

      I don’t think that our mils/moms/that generation can understand what all we are going through. The pace of life and expectations have sped up since they were dealing with little kids. 

    • Shell says

      No mind reading here- and when I’m rational, I know that. It’s those cranky moments that I forget it! 

  35. says

    I am SO bad at this. I assume that Craig can read my mind and that he knows when I need help but he can’t and I end up being annoyed with him on top of stressed out about whatever I needed help with.

    And also? the number of times I want to smack him with a pillow is way higher than is healthy, I’m sure. :)
    Krista recently posted..Paths that crossMy Profile

  36. says

    I am divorced and live alone with my son so my help comes in the form of shared custody most of the time but if I am sick or have a migraine I am not shy about asking my ex to get his butt over here and take his kid. LOL Afterall when I don’t feel well I can be bitchy as hell and my ex knows my son would hate life around me like that.
    C… recently posted..LucharMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I have a hard time remembering that all the time. After this long together, he should just KNOW, right? 

  37. says

    Oh I hate that, when you’re so totally sick and worn out and the hubs is sleeping away, completely peaceful, or gets to take a nap and you don’t. But I think you made a great point. So many times I get angry at my husband for similar situations, but it’s true, I don’t ask him for help sometimes when I really need it or I don’t tell him what I need. It’s true, they aren’t mind readers. Great post!
    SuzieQ recently posted..What is My Freaking Deal?My Profile

  38. says

    I’m terrible at asking for help. T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E. I try to do it all on my own, and when it starts to overwhelm me I get more and more irritated that hubby isn’t stepping up to help out. I know he’s not a mind reader — but somehow it’s easier to get angry than to remember that. 
    Great post, I think we all need a little reminder to simply ask for help.
    Deb recently posted..Mother’s Day RunMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Once I’ve reached the point of being truly angry it’s too hard for me to remember to be rational about it! 

  39. says

    I am horrible at asking for help, but because of my struggle with depression and anxiety, I have learned to do it. I have to for my family and for my marriage.
    Katie recently posted..Being RecruitedMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Though I don’t have those struggles to that extent, you’re right- asking for help is what is good for family and marriage. 

  40. Angie says

    I am horrible at two things – asking for help and saying no to people. Ugh. Hope your feeling better

    • Shell says

      Which means you are doing tons for others when they ask, but they are never returning the favor. :( 

    • Shell says

      It’s getting to that point when I’ve let it build up that I really get angry- and that’s not fair. 

    • Shell says

      I think it’s awesome that yours is like that. Mine truly is getting better. Just never when we are both sick. LOL

  41. says

    Your post today was me last week. And no, I did not ask for help. I guess I could have, but I put on my “big girl panties” and did my mom duties. So when the hubs got sick this week, I had zero compassion for when he wanted to lay down and rest. As if he didn’t notice that I was suffering with a cold and sinus problems- all while being pregnant. So if mama sucked it up, so could he.
    Tiffany recently posted..Friday Fragments Episode #197My Profile

    • Shell says

      That’s what I always feel like- like I should just suck it up and do it all… but really, it shouldn’t be like that!

  42. says

    Sorry you are sick! Hope you are feeling better soon! I rarely ask for help from anyone besides my husband. I would be told no 99% of the time anyways. My husband helps, but many times I forget that I have to tell / ask him to just watch the kid long enough for me to cook dinner alone. 
    Audrey recently posted..Cupcake PoppersMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Ugh. I hate that feeling of being told no all the time. Makes it harder to want to keep reaching out.

  43. says

    I’m cracking up! I know you’re not feeling good, and that’s obviously NOT funny, but I laughed out loud with the whole smothering him with a pillow thing, and then him not being a mind reader in his sleep! LOL 
    This is so true! I don’t ask for help enough. I do a lot of huffing and puffing and complaining, but wouldn’t it be so much better to just say, “could you please help me with this”? Because, he would. And the really tough thing to realize, is that he’d help me without complaining. 
    Great post, Shell!
    Adrienne recently posted..Positive Parenting: It’s Making a Difference!My Profile

    • Shell says

      Exactly. Asking would bring me that help. It’s not fair of me to expect him or anyone else to read my mind! 

  44. says

    I’m usually good about asking for help from Chris and he is usually good about giving it.  I think that I’ve gotten so good at keeping it together even while sick that he can forget that I am sick too so I just gently remind him.
    stephanie @ babe’s rockin’ mami recently posted..SciTechDailyMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I think that’s mine, too- he’s used to me just pushing through and taking care of it all, so he doesn’t realize that I need the help.

  45. says

    I hope you’re feeling better! I get angry when my husband doesn’t volunteer to help too…but you’re so right, these men of ours aren’t mindreaders. Good point. 
    Runnermom-jen recently posted..So Much…My Profile