Monday, February 01, 2010

Extreme Self Care Challenge: Learning to ask for help

I picked up a book randomly off the shelf today, looking for guidance, and it was this one: The Art of Extreme Self Care by Cheryl Richardson (

The message jumped out at me: "The goal is to practice letting go so others can take the wheel."

She devised a list of Things you can do to support Me for her husband, so she would feel less overwhelmed. "You cannot manage you home, care for your personal needs, honor your emotional and physical health, be successful at work, or be the kind of parent you hope to be without the support of others. Period."

Uh-oh, I already know I'm not good at delegating, although I've been practising. I am such a control freak!

Negotiating is not one of my strong points - I'd rather do it myself than nag someone to do chores. Or let the door stay closed on a messy teenager's room. (are those clean clothes mixed in with dirty ones on the floor?)

So, letting go, hmmm.

We start by thinking about how many items will go on the list and where we will leave it.  On the kitchen counter beside the peanut butter stains and sesame seed crumbs near the toaster?  they usually go there....

when would you like to have these items done by? (a deadline is essential - is tomorrow midnight ok?)

what should your support person do when he or she can't meet a deadline? (sounds like a back-up plan)

who will ultimately be in charge if more help is needed? (well, I could always enlist Daddy to get in there and do the dishes if the kids wimp out on me)

Be sure to give your support person permission to let you know when you're trying to take back control (oh you mean, last night, when Hubby was cooking supper and I came back in with my winter coat on as I was leaving for quartet practice, and tried to tell him how to strain the gunk out of the chicken sauce he was making?)

It's very important to let him or her make mistakes (like those green t-shirts that used to be white, before K decided to wash her coloureds and whites together)

Keep in mind that just because something isn't done your way, it doesn't mean it's wrong. (no, but I can't be asked to fix it later either)

When given room to breathe, people generally bring their best selves to the task at hand (or let the dirty clothes lie on the floor until next week).

Good luck with delegating and asking for help.  I can see I have my work cut out for me with this letting go stuff.


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