Learning to ask my family for their support is harder than I think.


“The most empowering relationships are those in which each partner lifts the other to a higher possession of their own being.” 
― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

So, I just did an episode on Enchanted Beast Podcast about my love of using Google Assistant to help me with pretty-much every question that pops into my head, but how it's like pulling teeth to make myself ask people I know for help with the smallest things.  It got me thinking about how I am in my home... with my family. My husband and three daughters. Do I have trouble asking them for help and if so, why?

I'm not talking about silly stuff all moms ask their family members to help them with.  You know, like bring me some water, please. Or, I'm out of toilet paper, can you bring me a roll?  Leave it by the door, please.  Thanks!  Not that kind of help, I mean asking them to help me become the successful authorprenuer I'm aspiring to be.

No.  I don't ask my family to help or support or assist or improve or make more pleasant my current situation in regards to my career.  I talked a little over an hour about why I don't like asking for help and what I learned about myself as a result of unpacking those loaded questions; therefore, I will not rehash the whys and whats of my non-help-seeking-ways, but I do need to figure out how to seek the support and assistance of my husband and children if I'm going to be successful.

Ok, I need a plan.  What have I done in the past to try and bring them on board?  What worked? What didn't work?  Yes, I'm going to start here--asking the hard questions and putting the information in a usable chart to make it easier to evaluate. I don't know why I'm writing this stuff down...you don't need to know this...or that I'm thinking about how you don't need to know this😕😊

Methods Explained

Communication Center--consists of dry-erase family calendar, cork board, mail drop, gratitude jar, affirmation chalkboard, and folders for each kid to leave/retrieve signed school papers.
Cleaning Card Pull Game--consists of cards with check box list of cleaning tasks to be done on either daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. One for each room or space in our home.
Recipe/Meal Plan Book--consists of a binder divided into meal type sections. Each family member chooses 10 meals with recipes and instructions to go in binder. Giving us a library of 50 dinner meals.
Corporate Family Structure--consists of each family member being given a job within the family based on the strengths, likes, and schedules. Allowances tied to job performance.
F*** It! I'll Do It Myself.--consists of me becoming frustrated, aggravated, irritated, exasperated, agitated, exaggerated...pretty-much any other words that both rhyme with and mean the same as any of the words in my list.

Now that that's out of the way, it's time to analyze my findings.  What is this chart telling me about my family and my attempts to ask for them for help?

My Findings

  • I've learned the communication center is the most consistently used system we've implemented and the cleaning card-pull game was the most effective system we've implemented.  Both the recipe/meal plan book and the corporate family structure systems were all or nothing.  So, if everyone didn't buy into it, then it wouldn't be successful. Ok. This is helpful.  I'm sure this information can be useful to one of those "I'll come and get your family in tip-top shape" experts with cute little sayings and million dollar empires  based on their "Raising Arizona on $100 /Week" blogs.
  • I'm not that person and I'm really just trying to figure out how to become a successful authorprenuer without having to abandon my family in the process.  I want them to be excited about what I'm doing and be proud of how hard I'm working to make my dreams a reality.  Honestly, I mostly feel like they think I'm just sitting at home, playing on social media all day.  Okay, I just hit a nerve. Maybe I should explore this a little deeper.
  • Maybe what I'm looking for from my family isn't help in the traditional sense of the word.  It would be great if they cleaned the house more.  Maybe take on the responsibility of preparing some of their own meals from time to time. And, I'd love it if I didn't have to plan every family outing when we go out.  
  • We tried a lot of these systems when the girls were younger and I was still considered able
    bodied.  In all honesty, the girls are responsible for cleaning their own rooms, bathroom, doing their own laundry, preparing their own breakfast, lunch and at least 3 nights/week, their own dinners.  We don't do as many family activities as we used to because the girls are older and enjoy spending time with their friends so, usually I just have to buy tickets to a movie or buy stuff to make cookies for our Bad B-Movie Marathon nights.  
  • Well... I'm not completely lost.  I realize I what I'm having a hard time asking my family to support me. To be excited about what I'm doing? To be proud of how hard I'm working to make my dreams my reality.  God, I wish there was an OK, Family app that I could ask this question and be pointed in the right direction.  I wonder what it would tell me?
Well, I don't have an app and I still want my family to support me.  When I was still teaching, my girls told all their friends where I taught and about my antics in the classroom.  My husband was so proud of my success as a classroom teacher, proud to introduce me as his wife, the creator/director director of an at-risk transition program.  

I asked him as I was writing this article, why he hasn't shared what I do for a living with his coworkers.  He's an elementary school administrator.  The first thing he said was, and I quote, "I don't trust them."  What the hell does that even mean?  When I asked him to clarify, he went on to say something like he doesn't trust them to believe I'm a writer or I've written a book.  I said it's easy enough to pull of my author platform and the link on Amazon where my book is for sale.

Something smelled fishy and he stuck to his guns when I asked him later in the evening.  And then like the proverbial anvil falling in a Loony Tunes™ cartoon, it hit me and let me tell you... That damn anvil hurts so much more than that little lump indicates.  He's embarrassed because I write erotic romance.  He doesn't trust them to not use it against him in his career.  Just like he doesn't trust them enough to drink wine at an off-site function.  Damn!  This hurts heaps.

My girls tell their friends and their not embarrassed as much as because their friends think it so amazing!  But I'm realizing it's not my entire family.  I need my husband to be excited, to be proud, to be support my career like he did before.  WOW! 

Ok, Family?  What should I do about this?
Answer:F*** it! Do it your-damn-self.  Whatever his hang up are, don't worry about them.  He loves you, and has to comes to terms with your greatness.  Until he does or even if he never does, your success is dependent on three things and three things only.
  1. You
  2. Your Talent
  3. Your Hard Work
Any more questions?

How do you deal with family members who may be embarrassed by what you do for a living but love you?  I'd love to hear from you.  Until next time. Remember writing is a journey and it's what we discover about ourselves in the process that allows us to be brave, be beautiful, and be enchanting.


Ella



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