It was Monday morning. We had a super busy weekend, so I slept in. That’s almost never a smart decision as a mom. Days run much more smoothly when I wake up and dress before my two little angels arise from slumber. Nonetheless, I slept in. It happens to us all, and even though it’s not the best choice, it’s good to give grace occasionally and just do it!
My phone pinged with a text. It was a late invite to a birthday party. For a split second I entertained the idea of jumping out of bed, quickly dressing myself and the kids, and rushing off to the party that was beginning in a little over an hour.
And then I said, no.
I replied to the text explaining we wouldn’t be able to make it and slowly made my way out of bed to begin the day. A few minutes later I received another text.
Nevertheless, I stood my ground and declined the invitation. Would I have enjoyed going to the party? Yes! Would my children have had a blast at the party? You better believe it! The cake would have been delish, and we would have had a free outing for the day. Win-win!
So why did I say no?
There are times as a mom when saying no is the best yes. In fact, there are times when saying no is the only option.
I could have rushed around to make it to the party, but there may have been some tears in the process to get us all out the door on time.
Maybe that sounds a little dramatic, but all moms know how hectic things become when we are pressed for time. There’s always a dirty diaper, a spilled drink, or a missing pair of shoes when time is short. I do not like being late, and an impromptu outing with no time to spare is most likely a recipe for disaster.
I could have easily said yes with just an extra hour or two of notice, but I know my limits, and I knew there just wasn’t enough time to make this outing happen.
Oftentimes we say yes to worthy things because we have a desire to please others.
We say yes to baking a casserole for a needy friend, we volunteer to teach Sunday school, we drive the soccer team to a game two hours away—all on top of working a job, cleaning the house, and preparing three meals a day!
Our commitments are noble, and they may even be necessary, but over-committing in order to please others is never a good idea. It adds unneeded personal and family stress.
Moms need to know their limits. Personality plays a lot into how much we can handle. If you are a type-A personality and all children must be showered with brushed teeth before you will consider going anywhere, rushing out to a birthday party is definitely not a good idea!
If you work a job outside the home, it’s probably not practical to invite guests over for dinner on a weeknight. If you have an infant, it may not be the best choice to make a thirty-minute drive for your seven-year-old to take cello lessons twice a week.
I teach piano lessons from home, and meal prep is more difficult on those days due to students coming in-and-out for lessons. I serve leftovers or keep meals simple on those days, and we use paper plates. In my heart of hearts, it’s wasteful to buy paper plates, but it saves my sanity, so we do it! It’s a compromise and an opportunity for me to say no to the stress of cooking and dish washing on top of piano teaching and homeschooling.
We all want to be the best moms to our children, and we need to take time to evaluate our commitments. Why do we do what we do? Are there things we can eliminate to reduce stress and avoid over-commitment? Do we say yes just to please the people we love?
We need to give ourselves grace and remember that saying no is sometimes the best yes!
(And I’m still learning this, oftentimes the hard way!)
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