I’m addicted. It’s official. I should be going to sleep now but I can’t because I’ve begun writing this blog in my head. I’m having blog withdrawal symptoms having not written this week. And there’s so much to talk about… there’s always something going on. From teachers calling about Princes who aren’t behaving in class (does this only happen to me? Proof that I’m not a perfect mom. Am I still qualified to write a blog on mothering then? Maybe I’m more qualified considering my kids and my parenting aren’t perfect. We’re works in progress.) Ahem excuse the thoughtful digression. Back to lots happening…

My parents from Australia were here for 6 days. A distraction from writing a blog if there ever was one. I learnt a lot in 6 days. More than I ever thought I would, and that visit deserves its own blog. I’m still digesting the whole me being a child to parents thing. (Although it all relates to how we are parents ourselves. But the heartrending blog or article needs to be written.)

Kate and William are now married. (I borrowed my neighbour’s daughter to watch the ceremony, because let’s face it my Princes weren’t the slightest bit interested.)

And yes it’s official Prince No. 2 has a serious Oedipal complex. He gave me a ring on Mother’s Day. (How was all your Mother’s Days by the way? Do do share your stories.) Admittedly he found it on the floor. But what really worries me is that he drew a picture for his ‘weekend news’ at school and when I asked him about the figures he pointed to the two big figures and said, ‘This is me and you.’ And when I asked about the small figure next to us he said, ‘That’s Dad.’ Right Oedipal. I’m going to have to speak to someone about this.

Which brings me to today’s deigned Right. The Right to Ask for Help. I think a lot of people find it challenging to ask for help when they need it. Underneath it is a feeling that they don’t deserve help. Okay, okay let me own it. Big sigh. I think in my twenties (yes that lovely big 30 is almost here and I can look back and nostalgically say, ‘In my twenties’, with that accompanying sigh.) I didn’t know how to say what I needed. Hell I wasn’t even aware of what I needed, and because of that I certainly didn’t know how to ask for help when I really needed it. I was ‘miss can do it all.’ Super mom, super cook, super immigrant.

In fact it was so bad that I think I even birthed that way. Mind you I was twenty-two with the first Prince. I barely knew that I had a right to call the midwife to come check me when I was in labour. And as I laboured I worried about conserving energy so I tried to sleep through it. And I worried about my lovely hubbie’s energy through what will be a long labour (or so I thought) so I certainly didn’t wake him up. Needless to say that by the time I was in enough pain to call the midwife, she came and after checking me announced that I was 9 cm dilated and in transition labour and we’d better get to the hospital pronto. We made it just in time. I kid you not.

So that’s the extreme of being ‘undemanding’ as my midwife called me. But I think we all do it to some extent or other. And now I’m turning 30 and am so much wiser (all 40 year olds reading this turn a blind eye now and don’t laugh at my obvious naiveté and lack of smarts. I’m not up to 40 wisdom yet, so have patience.) I would say ‘ASK FOR HELP – you have every right!’ and the most amazing thing of all as I’ve put this into practice is – people love to help. Family is only too willing to step in. It makes them feel important in your life. And the truth is I probably have not engendered much love by being so self-reliant. In fact a lot of love was even lost because receiving is also part of being in a relationship. So not only do you have a right but it’s a must.

True when you ask it’s wise to make your request simple and direct, especially for your better halves. And it’s not so simple I know. Sometimes we ask for things and they’re not given. They’re either forgotten (like my birthday card/present last year by my hubbie, and that was after I made it reealllyy easy for him with a whole list of possible pressies. Don’t worry he’s making up for it this year. He’s in charge of everything to do with me turning 30. ‘Ten birthdays rolled into one’ I told him.) or said ‘NO’ to. No always hurts a bit especially after summoning the courage to ask, especially if you’re undemanding. But who said life’s simple. I’m good at asking questions. The answers I don’t always know. I do know that it’s worth discussing with your loved ones and if I was to be asked by Oprah, what I know for sure, I’d say, ‘It’s not worth suffering in silence. If you need help seek it. Life doesn’t have to be miserable.’ And that help can come from loved ones, friends, support groups and yes you can always go pay a therapist (but please, please make sure it’s a good one – you can and should shop around – although admittedly it’s not as easy as a Woolworths shop).

A lot can be said for the subject. And any of you with small babies at home, which can get lonely, go seek company, love and support. You deserve it. And yes those of us with bigger children and bigger problems, definitely get support, even if it’s a chat with a good friend on the phone or over Facebook. We should never be too busy, or feel too undeserving to seek a kind, listening ear. Don’t wait until you’re 30 like me. (And yes, yes I say that tongue in cheek because I’m well aware that most of my friends are above 30. Humour me 🙂 )

And for those who read this just for the recipes. Here’s the yummy, healthy, nutritious Sweet Potato soup I made for the ‘Letting Go’ event which everyone loved. It’s a Patrick Holford recipe from his ‘Your 9-Day Live-Detox’ book. (I’ve since learnt that maybe it’s not the best idea to follow detoxes from a book. It’s better to get a personalised detox from a nutritionist or dietician.)

Patrick’s Primordial Soup

(It has a whole intro in the book explaining that it’s a health tonic, but don’t worry it certainly doesn’t taste like one!)

Serves 2-3

1 tbsp coconut oil or medium (not virgin) olive oil

1/2 red onion, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 large carrot or 2 small-medium ones, not peeled, chopped

1 large sweet potato, or 2 small-medium ones, not peeled, chopped to the same size as the carrot to ensure even cooking (to be honest we peel ours)

1 heaped tsp grated fresh root ginger

1/4 tsp Marigold Reduced Salt Vegetable Bouillon powder  (I leave this out)

1/2 red pepper diced

75 ml (2 1/2 fl oz) coconut milk

1. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until they start to soften but do not turn brown.

2. Add the carrot, sweet potato, ginger, tumeric and bouillon powder. Just cover with boiling water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

3. Add the red pepper and coconut milk, then blend until smooth and thick.

And enjoy on these cold winter evenings. The kids also love it by the way.