I have a friend with a fair bit going on. She has three young kids, all of them lovely… and all of them brimming over with energy, exactly the way young kids are supposed to. That can be challenging even when you have a co-parent spelling you off. But since the spring, my friend’s husband has been spending long periods away from home on business. It’s a lot for anyone to hold together. She does get some support from her extended family, and then there’s her friends – some of us darned nice, if I may say so – but yet, understandably, she has her moments of feeling utterly steamrolled.
So how has she been coping? As a true-blue pal I was one of the first to suggest martinis. But it turns out drinkie-poos just aren’t her thing. Instead, she’s been making a point of doing good. During one week that she was feeling overwhelmed, she registered with the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network. Another day, she wrote a letter to an old friend just to let her know how special she is. This week she has made plans to give blood for the first time.
Research shows we do reap benefits from helping others, like a boost in mood and self-esteem. So are these acts of kindness giving my friend a lift when she needs it? Well, put it this way: She’s still smiling, her marriage is intact and the lovely kids haven’t been put up for adoption. So helping helps? She votes yes.
Forget what I said earlier about the martinis. Time to get high on good deeds… A.K.A. Mother’s Little Helper.