In case you haven’t heard, I’ve been on a “yes” kick lately. I had noticed time going by too quickly. And I was aware of my tendency to stick to routines and in my comfort zone. So I have been working on saying yes more often in an effort to give my family and myself that much more.
But the other day, I was moaning to my best friend that one of our sacred weekend days was jam-packed with activities and back-to-back birthday parties. I knew it was going to be stressful, sugar-loaded, and time-crunched, and that by the end of the day, I would be fried — and my daughter probably would be, too.
“You can always say no,” she said.
Which, of course, I blew off. Because, how could I say no when there wasn’t a good reason to bow out? How could I say no when I had already told my daughter about both invites? And how could I say no and hold her back from fun activities and celebrating with her friends?
In fact, it turns out it’s actually really easy to do. You open your mouth, form the sounds, and the words simply roll off your tongue.
I said no that weekend. And I did not have a compelling argument as to why. I said no and explained to my daughter that sometimes we just can’t do it all. I said no and got two more hours to enjoy with my family.
It felt so good! It felt so empowering to stand up as a mom and as a woman who has been socialized to say yes. I even took it a step further and avoided giving in to the urge to come up with an excuse as to why we would not participate in an activity we’d been invited to. I felt proud as I helped my daughter make a choice between activities. It felt so affirming to hold true to what felt right for me and my family.
By saying no, I said yes to what mattered. And I will say no again.