November 7, 2012
Another thing I’ve had to get used to in the past few years . . . the need to be ‘bailed out’ by others.
No, I haven’t ended up in jail at all (yet! who knows what this crazy life might bring) – just tricky situations or unexpected hiccups that I can’t take care of without friends and/or family jumping in to help – usually last minute.
Asking for help is not always easy (well, pretty much never easy for me), but at times there aren’t many other options. Another thing that is frustrating about being an ‘only parent’ as I wrote about in my last post.
Recently I had a day off (from the store) where I was trying to get stuff done. Dog nails clipped, wood pellets delivered, car service and new tires, mixed in with my weekly treat of a pilates class, and hopes to clear up some (frighteningly behind) bookkeeping for the store.
The day started with a big, teary drop off at kindergarten for C*. That made me a little late to meet my friend at the house who was to clip the dog’s nails. Thankfully my mom was meeting us there with her dogs, so they were able to get started without me. Things smoothed out for a bit, tea with my friend, off to pilates class, then back home to wait for the pellet delivery and get a little work done.
I called to find out when they were coming (as time passed and I was getting a bit anxious), and of course (after initially saying I wasn’t even on the schedule) they told me it would be around 2pm, which is ‘exactly’ when I needed to be dropping my car off for servicing (as I had told them on the phone when I ordered the pellets). Along with this, I called the store to check on my very pregnant employee, and I could tell she was not feeling well. Not wanting her to have to stay working, I started trying to figure out how to get my pellets delivered, my car to the tire place, my kids picked up from school, and cover off the store so she wouldn’t have to work.
Thankfully, my other employee had stopped by the store to see how she was doing as well, and offered to stay until I could get there (which also required her to ask her mom to pick up her son from school . . . ) – bailout #1
Then, my mom (who was also not feeling great, mind you) came to my house to wait for the pellet delivery, so I could get my car up to the service station – bailout #2
My pregnant employees partner works at the place I needed to take my car, so he said he could drive me down to the school to get my girls (then he would take the car back for the work to be done) so I could walk them to my house, where my mom could then drive us up to the store – bailout #3
Of course, when went to drop off my car, they only had 3 of the 4 tires I needed, so I was only able to get the service done and had to arrange for the tires to be done next week. Grrr.
As I got to the school to pick up the girls, my friend Sian offered to drive the girls and I back up to the store so my mom could just go home – bailout #4
And, my employee’s partner brought the car back to me at the store at 5pm when I was off work, so then I could drive back with him to pay for the service done. Thankfully the tire place is only a few mins from my work, and of course he was ok doing this as it meant his very pregnant partner was able to get the rest from work (and I know they do this for other customers too, so it’s not entirely unusual).
Just trying to sort it all out was exhausting – within this there were MANY phone calls back and forth to see who could do what and when and how to make it all work.
This past week added more when, one of the days C had a teary, hour long drop off at school which made me almost late for work, and therefore no time to make lunch, so a ‘favour’ was asked (one of my employees who had stopped by the store) to pick me up lunch. The next day, I went to the store expecting to be there just for an hour, had C in tow, no food for lunch – and turned out needing to be there for the whole day as both my employees were sick. As such, my mom picked up lunch for C and I, took her for a few hours, picked up E from school and got her to dance class. As my employees were both off for the rest of the week, that meant a little extra child care there too, and another favour from my pregnant employees partner to pick up and drop off my car once again so the tires could finally be done.
I am BEYOND thankful for the people who step up to help (and I’m grateful to know they are willing, and usually happy to), and no one makes me feel like a burden – but ‘I’ certainly feel like it at times. It’s still hard to know that you can’t manage without. And, it definitely makes it more difficult to ask for any ‘extra’ help with other types of things that I just could do myself, and especially for childcare for something that just may be fun (gasp at the thought!). These last two could also be covered by paying someone – like lawn mowing, gutter cleaning, babysitting for example – but on a variable income and being a ‘tightwad’ as is, this just doesn’t happen either.
I also wish I could return the favour more often. I certainly try to help out when I can, and perhaps one day I will be able to do more, or will pay it forward. And, in reality that was a rough stretch – and though they do happen more often than I’d like – thankfully in our ‘day-to-day’ with no unexpected bumps I’ve managed to work a schedule where we don’t need as much help (at least with childcare/transportation issues), but we still need to call on my mom a few hours a week regardless, and have some friends who help out when they are away.
And, just as important, I have my friends who may not live near by, but are my ‘virtual’ sources of a bail out. When the pain of missing Elias just hits harder than usual (or the frustration of this life in general), their understanding and comfort bails me out once more, and I can return to the ‘regular’ grief that I have learned to manage in the usual ‘day-to-day’.
(of course there are others who live near by who do this too, only usually by phone . .. .)
Both groups are incredibly valuable to me. Both groups have helped me to function through this season of my life. They have helped me to get this far – though I’m not sure exactly where that ‘far’ is. . . .
I suppose I should give myself ‘some’ credit for getting myself there too, but this is to thank those who are my bail bondsmen and women. Both near and far.
P.S. I Love You
*I haven’t written much about it yet, but transition to kindergarten has not exactly been easy for C and I. I’m not taking her 100% of the time as I just don’t feel that is what is best for her or us, but even part-time has had it’s challenges (and with one staff member having just left for maternity leave, we need to up another day….). And, as I’m not someone to leave her screaming and in tears at the classroom door, I will stay until I’m confident she feels comfortable with me leaving. Much of this has come under question as well (also part of the frustration in my last post), but we’re just trying to find what works best for us. Her grief has been hitting much harder in the past few months (since just before school started) and I’ve recently set her up with a counsellor at school in hopes to help. And we keep on keepin’ on.