How to Ask – Real Stories

Early childhood Family & friends Staying connected


I had to ask for help from a neighbour. I went back to work really early, when my son was about 5 months old, and I needed somebody to watch him because the normal, my mum’s the normal carer for him when I go to work and she was ill, so I had no one else to look after him and I needed to go to work. So I went and asked the neighbour if she would kindly look after him.

I guess going there, there was a lot of anxiety and anticipation.Is she going to say yes?Is she going to say no? Am I going to appear rude? Or, what is she going to think about me? But once I got there and explained the situation to her, she was fine with it and welcomed him with open arms and said she would look after him. And she did a fantastic job for the afternoon.

How it made me feel afterwards was a sense of relief and knowing that I’ve got somebodyelse that can help me. And that though, we’re not, we don’t see each other all the time and talk all the time, she’s always there to help. And that it’s OK to ask for help and I would hope that she would feel the same with her children, and if she needed help with them, somebody to look after them, or to watch them while she went to the shops, she’d come and ask me as well.

Being in that situation, I know how anxious it can make you feel. So I would definitely offer help to anybody that asked or, you know, if I see someone struggling with something, you know, say, ‘can I help?’ Or, ‘can I do something for you?’ Even if it’s just, you know, taking the rubbish bin out or making a cup of tea for them. It makes a world of difference.

Last Updated: 25 June 2020