Editor's Note: A tremendous help
The past 18 months have been – hands-down – the most challenging of my life. I’ve become a caregiver to my mom, and if there’s anything more painful than witnessing a loved one’s struggle with a serious illness, I don’t know what it is.
In this month’s “All About You” column, Richard Hawk writes about how difficult it can be to ask for help in our professional lives. The topic hit home for me. Lately, my work-life balance hasn’t been very balanced, and I’ve wrestled with the guilt that comes with being away from the office and the Safety+Health team much more often than usual.
Richard is spot on when he says that both pride and the fear of being an inconvenience can hold us back from asking for help. He adds that recognizing this has helped him overcome his reluctance. I can say the same – thanks to my amazing co-workers. “We’re here for you,” “We’ve got this” and “What can we do for you?” are things I hear every day, and knowing they’re sincere has made it easier to admit when I could use a hand.
I’m also grateful to National Safety Council leadership for offering both flextime and paid family leave.
Although the past year and a half has been rough, it has also been incredibly rewarding. The one-on-one time I’ve spent with my mom – the conversations, the stories and the laughter at the most unexpected times – has been a gift and I hope has made me a better person. It never would have been possible without the kindness, patience and unflagging support of my work family. They’ve been a tremendous help, and I’ll never forget it.