Not too long ago, the big thing for moms was the mantra “Be a yes mom!!!” The idea is that we should be trying to say “yes” to our kids more than we say “no” to them…within reason.
I tried so hard to make this work for me. I thought it was a great idea! I saw people using the hashtag on Instagram (613 posts to date). I tried. I really did.
I think I maybe lasted part of a day. I even used the hashtag once. Fail.
The truth is, you guys…I’m a “No” mom. It’s true. I can’t try to be something I’m not. Just yesterday I said to Annie, “Can you please ask me something that I can say yes to?!” True story.
Then I read this post from Katrina Ryder, How I Finally Started Enjoying Motherhood, and it really let me realize I could hang loose and be myself…I don’t have to say yes most of the time. In fact, I think my parents were “No” parents too…and I turned out just fine and remember a fabulous childhood. 😉
It makes me side up with Tim Hawkins on his Gift of No. In fact, I use his skit on my kids all the time. I start in on it and they run away yelling “stooooooooooooooop mommmmmmmmmmmmm!” Eenie, meenie, miney NO.
Maybe we’re a weird family, but my kids are always asking me to do nutso things that I can’t possibly say yes to! “Mom, can I make a wind chime out of q-tips and tape and hang it beside the bird feeder in the rain?” Uh, no. You’ll scare the birds half to death. True story.
“Mom! It’s 5 minutes before dinner, can we eat an entire chocolate bunny?!” Uh, no.
“Can we jump on the bed with our muddy shoes?” Uh, no.
“Mom, can I walk down the street to a person’s house that I never met before and get a tour of the inside of their home?” Uh, no.
“Mom, can I sleep on top of my covers in my sleeping bag so that I don’t have to make the bed ever again because I hate that?” Uh, no.
“Mom, can I lick all the chairs in this auditorium?” Uh, NO.
As I am standing here writing, I hear Barry in the garage saying “Kids, no no no no.” See, be a “No Dad” too.
So, I’m starting a new mantra. Let’s be a “No Mom.” It’s cool to be a no mom. Plus, it teaches our children to be ready to accept adulthood, ya know? How often are you told “Yes” at work?
Can I have a raise? Uh, no.
Can I eat a million doughnuts without gaining weight? Uh, no.
Can I stop paying my electric bill and still use the lights? Uh, no.
See- training for adulthood. Start ’em out young, mamas!
Does this mean my kids are very sad all the time, hardly have anything to do and really just don’t enjoy life? Uh, no. Right now, they’re outside running around with their toy golf clubs and narrowly missing each other with each swing. Keep your eye on the ball, kids! Oh wait…that’s baseball.
I’ve been listening to Hands Free Mama on my Overdrive app. It’s convicted me and let me know I need to be more present for my kids and my husband. So, the phone isn’t being used as much…I had already cut back before, but it wasn’t enough. Sure, being on my phone and talking to my friends is okay…but it’s not okay to do it all day long. I’ve deleted all my social media apps with the exception of Instagram. And it feels good – do I need to know everything that’s going on on Facebook? Uh, no.
This book has let me realize I don’t have to try to always say yes to my kids…I just need to be present. I can be present and watch them do safe things like play in the sprinkler – or play in there with them. But I don’t have to stress myself out trying to always say YES when NO is an okay answer most of the time. 😉
Give your kids the Gift of No.