If You Feel like a Baby,
Get a Baby-Sitter
Charlotte Davis Kasl


I have deduced that the part of me who had to be too independent too soon and who decided never to show her tears pays a visit when I am faced with a difficult task.  It's as if a three-year-old is being told to fix dinner and do the dishes.  But figuring out where it comes from doesn't always take the anxiety away.

Once I owned up to my anxiety, I started asking others if they got frozen or anxious trying to do various tasks.  I spoke to a man who could scale mountains but had a terrible time grading student papers at the end of a semester.  There was a brilliant physicist who got nervous trying to make spaghetti.  And a professor of political science had anxiety attacks trying to balance her checkbook.  In other words, it's not about brains.

I pondered this for a long time and thought back to my parents, particularly my mother, who never seemed to get as anxious as I do.  I thought of her growing up with five brothers and a sister and having numerous relatives all living within a few blocks.  Everyone helped everyone else, and no one had to be good at everything.  When I was a child, my father fixed everything around the house, my mother sewed and cooked, and all four of us children had chores.  Mother would take us out to every kind of orchard and farm to pick fruit and vegetables, which we would bring home and can.  It was definitely a team effort, and one was seldom alone.  Now we are often faced with running a household alone and have expectations that we should be able to do everything.  In reality, most people have some tasks that reduce them to feeling about four years old.

Irene, a rehabilitation counselor, was chronically late getting her client reports written up.  Every day, she gagged on guilt, seeing the file folders accumulate, and she worried about it on the weekend.  Yet she felt powerless to get at them unless a crisis occurred--either her boss got mad or she needed the notes for court.  We tried several tactics for getting her motivated, but nothing worked.  I suggested she get help.  She kept saying, "I don't need help, I know how to do it, I just have to get started."  She would also add, "I feel so stupid about this, I don't know why I'm such a baby."

I laughed and asked, "Do you want to know what I do when I feel like a baby?"

"Sure," she said.

"I get a baby-sitter."

She laughed.  "But isn't that giving up?"

"Giving up what?" I asked.

"Well. . . working it through."

"Well, that's a nice idea," I said.  "But what's life for?  To be grueling it out all the time?  When I get anxious trying to get ready for a workshop, I call my neighbor to come be with me.  I get help organizing my writing."

"What kind of help would I get?" she asked.

"Hire someone to come sit with you and talk you through it, develop a new system--whatever you need," I said.

Irene countered, "But that costs money."

I laughed.  "And these therapy sessions don't?"

She smiled, paused, then said, "So you don't think I'm a baby?"

"I think you are a normal, grown-up woman who sometimes gets overwhelmed.  I think most of us have times when we feel like a kid wanting a mommy to help us."

So Irene hired someone to come in and help her get a system together.  Then she asked friends to keep her company on Saturday mornings while she wrote her notes.  Her Catholic guilt dogged her for a little while (things shouldn't be this easy, there should be more struggle) but she certainly felt a lot happier having her work under control.

So remember to ask friends for help sometimes.  It is also wonderful if partners and loved ones can be "baby-sitters" for each other on some of these occasions--not as caretakers but as friends in need.  It's much easier to do things when we're not alone.

Charlotte Davis Kasl, has hit the
nail on the head!  Want to change your life for the better?  Want to really enjoy your days and
learn to get through the rough
ones?  This book can help.
She has thought of everything
from finances to love, to kids,
to your entire outlook on life.
The sections are broken into
101 mini-topics; she uses techniques from many cultures and religions without pushing any religion on you.  Read a section a day (If you can
put it down after just one!) and
you will feel the difference as you internalize the beauty of true Joy
in your life.   ~~Tiffonie Baker


If you’re carrying more than you can handle today,
choose to let some of it go by letting someone
else in. You may feel vulnerable asking for help,
but wouldn’t the world be a better place if we
all learned to depend on each other?

Lori Deschene


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