B and I take our first flight by ourselves. He has traveled about four times but every other time, my mom has been with us. Doing it by ourselves... what a scary concept, but as always, we are up for the challenge.

The morning we leave, my mom is rushing me. To her credit, we are leaving ten minutes later than she wanted... then it turned into twenty minutes. That's what happens when you have a baby in tow. You never know when you're going to leave on time. With a baby, sometimes late is on time. We are two minutes down the road, when I blurt, "Oh my gosh, I forgot his milk."

My mom says, "I asked you if you had the dry ice."

"I know, but that's not his milk."

"I asked you if you had his bottles and nipples."

"I know, but that's not his milk."

"You even said how you didn't heat a bottle up for him."

"I know, but it didn't occur to me to get the milk for it."

She says, "What?"

I reply in a joking tone, "Mom, you can't expect me to draw a line from A to C. These days I NEED you to put in point B."

We can just chalk that up to baby brain (yes, now I believe it exists). Frustrated, my mom turns back around. Good thing I figured out then and not ten minutes later. My mom is taking her own flight for work, so she volunteers to take me to the airport. After all of that, we still arrive in plenty of time.

In addition to B, I have his stroller, car seat, base for the car seat, two roller suitcases, and my bag, which holds his diaper bag in it. I check one suitcase, his car seat, and its base. I'm still left with a lot, plus I still have to feed B lunch... and I have to make my way to another terminal. We didn't have THAT much time.

Since my mom's flight leaves an hour after mine, she asks if I want her to help me. YES, PLEASE! We get to the gate and within 15 minutes, start boarding. As I walk down the jet bridge, I realize it's going to be challenging with all the stuff I still have and carrying B on board. I leave his stroller at the bottom of the jet bridge, outside the plane. I take him in one arm, along with two blankets and his three small toys, and then pull my suitcase with my bag attached with my other hand. Fun times.

I slowly make my way down the plane's aisle trying not to hit people with either my suitcase or B's hand or foot which are sticking out. Finally, I'm at my seat. Now, how in the heck am I going to pick up the suitcase to put it in the overhead? I'm holding B. There is no one to take him, and I can't lift it with one hand.

I put B down in the aisle seat (my seat) with his toys and blankets, because he's too young to stand up. I put my left leg in front of him, so he doesn't fall forward. As I slightly lift the suitcase with my right hand, I move it in front of me so I can have my left hand help push it over my head into the bin. I muster all my strength to do it, as I half way watch B to make sure he is sitting sit, after all he's a mover and a shaker. Just great! It doesn't fit in the bin. So I move it lengthwise into the space and it works... thankfully, because as everyone watches me having troubles, no one offers to help.

The flight seems longer than the 1 ½ hours. B is in a good mood when we depart, but then is Mr. Cranky Pants in the middle. He desperately needs a nap but can't get comfie, because he's not in his bed. He finally falls asleep 15 minutes before landing.

When we start departing, the guy sitting next to us asks if we need help with our luggage. I say, "Yes, please."

He gets it down from the overhead bin. I thank him profusely and then say, "Thank you for your patience and help everyone," as I'm holding up everyone behind me to exit the plane. Everyone else deserves a thank you between that and Mr. Cranky Pants whining.

Then as I'm attaching my bag to my suitcase, the same guy says, "I got it." He takes the baggage and wheels it down the aisle for me. What a help!

When I pick up my extra bag, car seat, and its base, I have to get a cart for all of it. I'm trying my best to push this full cart and a stroller, when a lady offers to help me to the bathroom. At first, I tell her I'll be fine, because I don't want to inconvenience her. Then she offers again, and I take her up on it.

Since we have to wait a little while for our ride, we try to find our way to a few seats. Another lady offers to help me there. I decline, but she insists. She says her husband will still be another 30 minutes, and as a mother of two and another on the way, she knows how it is.

Our trip was great--short but great. For our flight back home, everyone is the same way. People are offering to help me through security, opening his stroller, and pulling the luggage. You name it, people offered, and I took them up on their offers. Just like on the way there, I realized I could do it on my own. Do I want to? No. So why make it harder on myself?

When someone is offering to help, just say YES! People want to help. Let me repeat that for you--People WANT to help! Think of yourself, if you see someone else struggling, do you ask, "Can I help you?" Other people ask too, because they WANT to help.

As a mom, I'll take all the help I can get. Before B, I would insist on doing things myself. I would think I'm an independent, self-sufficient woman. I also used to think it was a sign of weakness. It's not. It's a strength to be able to accept help. It's strength to say, "I can't do it all."

It allows you to be vulnerable when you ask for help. People offer help, because they want to help. If they don't, they would never offer. So when someone, anyone asks you, "Can I help you," take them up on it. Don't hesitate. Don't think you can or should do it by yourself. Don't say anything but Yes Please!

We ALL need help, and it's only the strong that allow themselves the luxury of someone else helping them. The most successful people need help. Do you think they get to where they are on their own? No, they have a lot of help! Even if you can do it, let someone help you every now and again. Take a break from feeling like you have to do it all.

Asking for help is one of the hardest things for us to do. We take it all on ourselves and yet sometimes expect others to read our minds--knowing that we need help, so they should offer it. Well, I'll let you in on a little secret. They don't know you need help. SO ASK FOR IT! Don't expect others to read your mind. I know I haven't perfected that talent. I would rather people just tell me than my trying to guess.

Don't be afraid... just DO IT! Don't talk yourself out of it. Just DO IT! Just ask, the most they can say is No. If they do, then you aren't any worse off than before. Why make it harder on yourself? You need things easier--not harder. So when people offer, just say YES. If they don't offer, then you ask them for help! If it's courage you lack, get it. If your pride stops you, then get over it. Just ask! They just might say YES--this coming from an independent, No-I-can-do-it-myself woman to YES-please-help-me single mom.

Why? I want the easier route, because with kids (let's face it) nothing is really easy. So I'll just take easier, when I can get it. YES PLEASE! If someone asks you how they can help you. Come up with something, anything. If you don't know, tell them you will think about it and get back with them. Make sure you get their contact information (if you don't know them). But definitely get back with them. As I say, they don't offer it, if they don't want to help you. Please, please take advantage of it. So, how can I help you?

Author's Bio: 

As a single mom and founder of The Single Mom Movement, Jessica Rector knows how you are stressed but know there is more for you. With targeted private coaching, programs, and a school, single moms use her proven strategies to discover their empowered self. Do you feel like no one really understands how you feel? You're not alone. Join the club at http://TheSingleMomMovement.com/community Get FREE videos to Breathe Happiness. Be Fulfilled. Live Empowered! Sign up at http://TheSingleMomMovement.com