Monday, May 31, 2010


Toady I made a visit to the bank in an attempt to tame our runaway finances  ( it's been a lesson to me to face up to my problems instead of making like an ostrich in the Gobi), and I experienced the very rare feeling of being Grown Up...
....which is a handy thing to feel when you're 39, with  kids who have bigger feet than you have.
After many months of fretting over my husband's shrinking salary being unable to stretch across the expanding waistline of our  debts, we cast a cold objective eye over our finances and concluded that we need help.

It's wonderfully liberating to express this, without any shadow of shame or blame.

When you can look someone in the eye (be it a bank manager or a child psychologist) and confidently say that despite your best efforts  you just can't manage anymore, it shows an ability to trust in other people.
It's not the same thing as abdicating responsibility.  We still have to fix it, but now we have been given the tools (and the expert advice) we need to deal with this problem.
Because we asked.

The last time I felt like this was when I took my son to my Public Health Nurse at the age of 20 months, and said I need help.  He's not talking, he won't look at me and even though everybody tells me I'm over-reacting, I know I'm out of my depth here.

I used to think maturity was something peculiar to cheese and fine wine, and was  occasionally cited as a consolation prize for wrinkles and grey hair.

But learning that we don't have control over everything (and, crucially, not having a acute onset of the screaming heebeejeebies over the fact) is a skill that, in my case, has come with age.

I have a half-baked theory that OCD stems from a desire to impose control on a life we realistically have no hope of ever doing....we can alphabetise our CD collections and wash our hands until they're raw, but this won't prevent a lightening strike or a recession...or even a diagnosis of autism for our kids.

Sometimes no matter how hard you work, how diligently you monitor your purse-strings, or how fiercely you love your children, life can still throw you a curve ball.

The real skill is knowing that asking for help is not a sign of failure, but of finally becoming a Grown Up.


  1. Excellent post Jeanie. When I grow up I wanna be like you! xxx

  2. Great post and a very touchy subject for me - I so hated admitting that I couldn't cope after bringing home my first child with special needs. But once I'd got over myself, I found that being helped can actually it can be quite pleasant! Hope you get the help you need with this Jean xx

  3. Being a grown up is something that makes me break into giggles sometimes, I still feel like I am 21 most of the time and then have to admit that I am 21 with a LOT of experience!

    I hope this goes well for you babe, am in the audience shrieking for you :) Jen.

  4. So who gave you my Psychotherapy file and said you could make a blog post out of it?

    My OCD is totally connected to imposing control. After being robbed this week I stupidly spent a day moving furniture around (my valium) to reorganise the kids rooms and make a lockable spare room (to slow future burglars down) and guess what?

    No, I did not get squashed by a wardrobe as I carried it up to the attic, but I did shag my neck muscles to the point of chronic pain for the last 4 days. STOOPID!

    And I can't control that !

    Asking for help hey??? hmmmmm

  5. @ petunia, thank you ma'am
    @Blue Sky...needing help is very an ex-nurse I'm much more comfortable giving it than receiving it, but like you found, it's kinda nice
    @Jen 21,eh? I'm still stuck at 14...glad you're in the audience ya mad groupie
    @ I'm gonna write about your shoe fetish...

  6. inspiring blog as usual can i adopt you as my life coach.then i could start facing up too.

  7. @ Breda, you can only adopt me if you promise I will never have to cook or iron again xxx

  8. May I join Petunia in wanting to be you when I grow up? I've got pretty good at asking for help (some days have the feeling I do nothing else), but accepting sh*t happens and sometimes nobody is to blame is beyond me.
    I'll do the cooking if Breda does the ironing?

  9. @ Truf, I think 15 years in nursing taught me that sometimes bad things happen to good people, no matter how hard you try. That didn't make me cynical, just realistic.
    The ironing/cooking arrangement sounds fine to me XXX

  10. Wise words doll! I copped on a while ago (after trying to get pregnant the old fashioned way)that asking for help doesn't mean you've failed, but rather that you've realised your limits. I'm in the crowd with Jen!

  11. @ Taz...backstage passes for you both xxx