True Confessions of a Mom: My New Favorite Word (And Why I Don’t Feel Bad Using It)
Life is so hectic for me right now. Not anymore crazy than someone else’s I would imagine, but to me it seems like I am in the middle of a tornado and spinning wildly. We have had a steady stream of things going on lately. Driving school, reunions, parties, a new puppy, remodeling and on and on it could go. I am sure you have felt it. The “Calgon Take Me Away” moments of life. They are real, and can be annoying. You find yourself snipping at the kids, or zoning in front of the TV because you couldn’t possibly form a coherent sentence to anyone after the day you had. As if home and work wasn’t enough there are other people, obligations and tasks that need your attention. Well, I am declaring my independence right now from the tyranny of obligation! I am doing that by practicing my new favorite word……… NO! Here are some examples of my new “no” word liberation:
- NO, I cannot come to your house for a candle party. If I went to everything I was invited to I would attend 9 parties a week. Yes I am aware there are only 7 days in a week….but people double dip on the weekends….I mean, really? There is nothing wrong with a candle party or a jewelry party. I have had some and have gone to some, but some days the only mail I get is in invitation form!
- NO, I cannot watch your child. Not that I don’t love children, but I am struggling liking my own right now and I am afraid adding anything else to the already fragile balance of my day may be the one thing that lands me in an institution.
- NO, I do not want to meet you ANYWHERE at 9 on a Saturday! Yes, I love having girl time and to catch up, but that is my ONE day to sleep in a bit and enjoy my coffee without getting anyone off to school, getting myself to work, or anyone to church.
- NO, we cannot come for dinner. I haven’t even had a relaxing dinner with my own family unit so I really don’t want to take the one night we are all home and spend it somewhere else! This doesn’t mean I don’t love you or want to spend time with you. It just means I love my family and really want to spend some much needed time with them. You understand, Right?
- NO, we cannot get a puppy. Ok, I pretty much caved at that one.
This may all seem extreme and maybe even a little mean but what you need to know is I am a natural people pleaser. It isn’t easy for me to say no to people. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or make them angry at me. I have been like that forever and because of that, have done and gone to more things than I care to admit. Countless hours of my life doing things I felt OBLIGATED to.
Not that I have a miserable time doing these things, but this is the way it typically goes down: I am running late to something I don’t want to go to for the 3rd time in the week. I am agitated and snapping at someone in my house, (by the way, my hair never looks good on these occasions) I am sweating from running around; I always hit traffic and repeat to myself “Why am I even going? I totally just want to be at home. I have so much to do!” I get there and have a good time, if it is a party, I always buy something I don’t need or have money for. I get home later than I anticipate and poorer than I was hoping. I turn the washing machine on the same load of laundry for the 4th time and go to bed thinking maybe tomorrow I will remember to actually put it in the dryer.
So dear friends and family, I still say yes to plenty of things that I genuinely want to do, (and a few I don’t want to….listen….it’s a process) but if I say no to you, please don’t be offended. It isn’t because I don’t like you, or because I don’t want my home to smell great with a new candle. It is because I am one home party, one dinner party, and one carpooling commitment away a complete meltdown. For the love of all that is good, please understand! I also give you permission to say NO! It is ok!!! If you are like me and have a hard time, you may have to practice in the mirror saying no (you don’t have to do it in different voices and accents like I do…..hey, don’t judge me…we all decompress differently.)But practicing makes it easier. Just know it is ok to not do everything and go everywhere! You are only one person! Plus one of the perks is the empowered feeling you get when you realize it is ok to say….NO!