Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Saying Yes

Lately, my oldest son, AKD, has been asking me a lot of questions to which I can answer yes. 

Mom, can I have a healthy snack?

Mom, I need more books to read, can we go to the library?
YES!  One should always say yes when her child asks to go to the library, doncha think?

Mom, I need some more jeans, can we go shopping...in the basement?

{An explanation, in case this doesn't make sense to you: the natural progression of acquirement when anyone in our family "needs" something is to first go shopping in our own home, to see if we can find something that meets our needs that we already own--in this case, I shop Goodwill, clearance racks, and garage sales year-round for kids' clothing, storing them by size in the basement.  My motto is why pay full price when you don't have to (and you very rarely have to).}

Mom, I'm cold.  Will you snuggle with me?

I love answering yes, don't you?

I find myself answering no far too often, though.  Lately no has become my knee-jerk, pat answer whenever anyone asks something of me.  And then I have to back up and reconsider whether I really wanted to answer no in that instance. 

Sometimes I have to say no because I'm the parent, and I need to look out for my kids' best interest.  For instance, my babies do not do well (that's putting it mildly) if they don't get enough sleep.  So I need to say no to staying up late, no to sleeping with a sibling, no to a sleepover in the living room on a school night.

Those aren't the nos that bother me.  It bothers me that my kids keep asking 20 gazillion times hoping that the answer will change, but I'm really OK with saying no to something that isn't good for my kiddos.

Sometimes I have to say no because I'm doing something else.  Sometimes I have to say no to one kid because I already said yes to another, but too many times a day I have to say no because I'm washing the dishes or making supper or doing any number of things that are sooo much less important than showing my children that they are loved.  I mean, those things have to get done, but do they really need to get done right now?  But if not now, when?  There are only so many hours in a day, and I need to sleep sometime.

Sometimes, I'm a little ashamed to admit, I say no, because saying yes would be inconvenient.

I hate those nos.

How do you balance the nos and yeses in life?  How can I show my children through my actions, my choices, that they are my priority, but at the same time show them that they are not the center of the universe?  How can I show my children that, while they are my biggest and most important responsibility, I have other responsibilities as well? 

I don't know the answers.  I mean, it says right up there ^ in my tagline that I'm not Super-Mom.   I can't do it all (subtext: I don't need to feel guilty that I can't do it all).  All I can say is, I'm working on it, and it's in the working on it--the knowing that even the best mommies need to work on it--that I take solace. 

I'm sharing this post with The Parent 'Hood--come on over and join us :)


  1. Such great thoughts! I find myself saying "no" out of laziness a lot, too. We're on vacation this week and it's so much fun to get to say YES all the time!

  2. If you think saying yes is important now, wait until your kids are teens! It's a fine balance of being "that mom" who says no to everything, and saying YES! --letting them do things that allow them to spread their wings -- even when their independence is sometimes hard for a mom to accept. Like you, I admit to sometimes saying no because "yes" isn't convenient for me. I try to really evaluate a situation before just giving an easy "no." There's never a dull moment in parenthood, is there? =)

  3. I love your perspective and your determination to be a yes mom! I have often had to intentionally flip the switch from no to yes. Thanks for linking up to Parent 'Hood!


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