Is there anything you wouldn’t do for a good friend? We all get caught up in our day-to-day lives. Maybe we don’t call our friends as often as we should. Sometimes we can go weeks, a month, even longer, without getting in touch with a friend. But when a good friend comes calling, when a friend really needs you – you’re there. You drop everything.
Why is it though, that when you’re the one that needs help you’re reluctant to ask? Why do we feel guilty or a burden when we need the help of others? Why can’t we accept help when it is offered?
After our first was born we had a lot of trouble breastfeeding. We were essentially housebound. I couldn’t be far from my breast pump or an outlet for any length of time. The baby nursed every two hours and the whole process of nursing, supplementing, pumping, and washing the pump and bottles to be ready for the next feeding took about an hour and a half. We barely had time for eating and sleeping never mind actually preparing meals. We had tonnes of offers of help, lots of people saying, “If you need anything, just ask.” We politely declined. At one point my mother-in-law just brought us over some food: homemade shepherd’s pie, bread, cheese and other quick, hearty, nutritious foods. She even brought us over some wine. It was by far, the best gift we could have received.
When our second was born I said to my husband, “Nobody is getting in the door to see the baby unless they have food.” If people were offering, I was taking! I learned an important lesson – how to say “yes” to help. Now with four kids and a busy life, we never say no to a helping hand.
I have a friend who’s had a string of bad luck recently. She had (and still has) an offer of help from some people who wanted to help her out with a daunting task; a chore too big for one person and she wrote to me, “…I feel like I’m running low in my favour band these days, and don’t want to put anyone out since I seem to need so many of them.” Reading these words broke my heart. These are the times, my friend, that you need to say yes.
There’s no such thing as “running low” when it comes to favours. They do not run out, they do not expire, there is an infinite supply. Nobody asks questions, nobody keeps track, nobody keeps score. These are just the things that you do for your friends.