“Help me… Help you… Help ME help YOU!”

There are so many moments when – as a parent – I am desperately trying to help my kids do something that is good for them (i.e. get into a carseat, put on shoes, change into a clean diaper, etc.),  and they are resisting with all their might.

In one of these moments today, I actually said the words, “Help me help you.  Help ME help YOU!”

As soon as I said it, I realized I had just quoted a movie.

Anyone recognize it?


That’s right.

In my moments of greatest parenting desperation, I inadvertantly channel (not Dr. Phil, not any of the great mothers I know, but the one and only…) Jerry Maguire.

I thought that was very odd of me, so I went to youtube and watched that whole scene of the movie (1 minute, 2 seconds).  To my amazement, it actually sums up the worst emotions of a parent quite well.

Imagine yourself eliciting stares in the parking lot of the pediatrician’s office because your child is screaming at the top of her lungs that she “will not ride in a carseat!”  Or in the bathroom at Target completely covered in poop because your 1 year old won’t quit squirming on the changing table.

While all of you is loving your children (as I do mine, always, even – and especially when they need it – in those hard moments!), wouldn’t a tiny part of you be thinking this?

Jerry Maguire:

“I am OUT HERE for YOU.

YOU don’t know what it’s like to be ME out here for YOU.

It is an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about.


[Jerry attempts to pull his own hair out, then continues…]

“Help me…”

“Help me!”

“Help me…Help you…”

“Help ME Help YOU!”

The best part is that after this rant by Jerry, Rod sums up what my family would absolutely be thinking if I were ever to say all of this out loud.

Rod:   “You are hanging on by a very thin thread.”

(He then adds, “…and I dig that about you”, but I don’t know if my whole family would agree with that part : )

Here’s the youtube clip if you want to see the whole scene.  You just have to (1) mentally replace Jerry Maguire with me, and Rod with one of my children, (2) remember that the “Help me Help you!” was the only part I actually said out loud, and (3) remain non-judgmental by recalling that I am either being screamed at in a parking lot or being smeared with poop or had just taken newly shooed foot to the face when this internal “help me help you!” rant started.

In that spirit, here’s the link (And yes, my kids make that same facial expression sometimes!).

“Help ME help YOU!”


(At least next time I’m in one of these positions, I will chuckle to myself remembering the movie!  My kids – who I love always! – are going to wonder why – in these moments – I start calling them “Rod”…)

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