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It's OK to ask for help.

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I can’t express the importance of asking for help. I always tell people if they don’t take care of themselves, they will not be able to take care of anyone else. I learned the hard way why the flight attendant instructs you to put on your mask before you help anyone else.

For those of you that don’t know my story, I have 5 kids. 3 biological and 2 adopted. I have a set of grown children (ages 28, 26 and 23) and a set of toddlers (ages 4 and 5).

We officially adopted Samantha and Elijah, November 2, 2016. They are my biological grandchildren from my oldest son. We will save that fun story for another day. 

Well school started back a few weeks ago and my commute home from work is now 2 hours. All of you with kids know that after-school care for 2 kids is about as much as a mortgage. My husband and I decided that we would only put Eli in after-school and he would pick up Samantha from school.

I get off work at 4 and meet my husband in his jobs parking lot at 4:27 to pick up Sam. He has to start work at 4:30. I then go pick up my grandson Jordan from school. We usually get there between 4:45 and 5. It all depends on if little Ms. Sammy wants to be independent and put on her own seat belt or if she will allow me to help. 

After we pick up Jordan, we have to drive to the other side of town and pick up Elijah. Depending on traffic, we get to Eli at 5:30 and take the 15 – 20 minute ride home. We usually get home between 5:50 and 6:00. But if we have to stop at the store or get gas, that can turn into 6:15 – 6:30. I cook dinner, do homework give kids baths and put them to bed. On a good night, I can get this accomplished by 9:00. By then I’m dead tired.

Last Thursday we didn’t get home until 7:30. We had to run to the store, rather 3 stores. And as you imagined, it didn’t go well with 3 hungry kids (ages 4, 5 and 7) in a bright shiny craft store. By the end of that adventure, mommy also known as Hun, was almost in tears. I couldn't wait to put them to sleep so that I can have a glass of wine. I started second guessing myself. Wondering if I was a good enough mom. Wondering where did I fail these kids. Wondering, can I really do this again?

Then I remembered my sister asking, if you ever need anything, let me know. When I got to work the next day, I emailed her and said remember when you said if you ever needed anything…. Well I need your help once a month. Please come pick them up on a Sunday and take them to church with you. This will allow me to take a nap. I haven’t had one of those in years. She said no, I will keep them for the entire weekend. I screamed THANK YOU JESUS. So next weekend will be my first free weekend in a long time. I’m super excited.

So fellow parents, know that you are not alone. Know that you are not the only one with a crazy, hectic life. Figure out a way to find balance between your life and your crazy without driving you bonkers.

I know that a lot of parents don’t have the luxury or having someone to help. If you don’t have that luxury, then create that much needed me time. Put your kids to bed a little early and read that book you have been wanting to, catch up on your favorite TV show, take a long bath or better yet get some sleep. If you don’t take care of you, you can’t take care of anyone else.

Please take care of you....

- Chaundra

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