When Saying No is OK
I don’t write this from the side of triumph. I write this from the middle of the battle. Coming from the onslaught of commitments, text messages and dinner parties. I write this now to remember and to scold myself, while encouraging you to do the same. I do not write this because I have accumulated all the answers, nor am I on my way to publishing the next self-help best seller book.
When I became a stay-at-home-Mom (SAHM) I desperately wanted friends and things to do. We had only lived in our home for 2.5 years when our son was born. Our group of friends was lovely but small and slowly leaving the area. I clung to the friends I had, traveled with my husband and spent all my time with my son.
Slowly, as time went on and the Mom gig became more manageable, I began to set goals. I would also work minimally from home and volunteer. I felt as though I balanced these things well and tried my hardest to keep about two days a week free for my son and me. And this plan went well…for a while.
I am not sure the exact day this plan broke up with me, but I am pretty sure it was when I started saying “yes” to everything and thought I could take on the world. I really disliked telling people “no” and I think I felt as though I had the power to crash their hopes. But I think the hardest part was that I wanted to do it all. I wanted to be with my friends. I wanted to volunteer. I wanted to write. I wanted to travel. In my ideal world there were 45 hours in a day and 10 days in a week and I could fit in everything.
I do not say this obnoxiously, but I do think I realized my over commitment problem early on. I am slowly leaving it and trying to navigate where I want my “yes” to stay and who I might need to say “no” to. I recently asked a group of women how they deal with this. One of the most common answers was just to say no to what might be asked of us and not to feel guilty about this.
Making our families priority is number one as mothers! There is no need or room for guilt in that. If we need to set aside a day to grocery shop and can’t do anything else, that is all right! If we can’t go a friend’s house for dinner because the baby is teething and just needs to sleep, it is okay. I can’t stress that enough. You have mom gut and mom intuition for a reason. Use it.
I have a meeting with a life coach next month who is also in charge of a lot of the volunteering I do, thankfully. I am looking forward to prioritizing my life, focusing on my talents and ultimately giving my family the best I can be as a mother and a wife. They deserve at least that much.
I’m not sure where you land in this struggle or if you are even in it. Perhaps you are on the mountain of success or the valley of not enough hours. So if you find yourself in that valley, my encouragement to you would be to exercise the use of the word no as a start. ❤