As a stay at home mom of three, I have learned a lot of ways to say No.
In a minute.
Let me just do this one thing first.
Maybe after dinner.
Give me a few minutes.
We can’t right now.
Sorry, we don’t have time.
Ehh… maybe in a bit.
I wish we could, but we need to leave right now.
I spend a good portion of my day saying these things.
Of course, saying no is a necessary part of parenting. Goodness, could you imagine how terrible it would be to always give in to every whim of a single child! Much less THREE of them?! You would never get any adulting done. And your children would never know true gratitude.
On the other hand, saying no too often is also a problem. I expect a lot from my children. And I find that their behavior deteriorates and their sweet little spirits dampen when I consistently put their requests and impromptu wants at the end of my to do list. They are only children once. And childhood is the best time to have fun, to play, and to indulge in a little folly.
Sometimes as moms, we get so caught up in managing the household and family activities, that we forget to take time to enjoy the moment and to do things just because. What a shame because the just because things are often the most memorable to our children!
So for July, my goal is to say Yes! to my children’s requests when reasonable.
MY YES-PARENTING IN ACTION
This morning as we were heading to my heading to my favorite fitness class, I told the girls we needed to go to Costco after class to pick up groceries. My oldest gave a groan, my middle gave a sigh, and my baby squealed happily, “WE HAVE GO COSCO!” Clearly my baby is just as in love with Costco as I am.
After my fitness class, as we were getting into the car, I reminded the girls that we were going to Costco next. Again, more groans & sighs & general complaining behavior. So I asked the girls what would make the trip more fun. My oldest grinned, “Ice cream? Can we get ice cream?”
Now usually after such a busy morning, I’d be in a hurry to get home to fix a quick lunch for everyone to scarf down before rushing to put them down for naps/quiet time. But not today. I cheerfully said, “Yes, that sounds fun! Where should we go?”
The girls were extra well-behaved in Costco, making our trip quick and efficient. Several customers and employees gave compliments on the girls’ behavior. As a mother, nothing feels better than when you can go into a busy store and your children behave the entire time. It’s practically a miracle.
After Costco, we made our way over to the ice cream shop, where each child got a huge “kid-sized” ice cream cone. They rode the little merry-go-round in the shop, and all three girls were beaming with happiness by the time we left.
Even though ice cream cones were not in my plan for the morning, I’m so glad I gave the girls a little fun this hot summer morning. It really brightened my day to see their little hearts so content from such a small sacrifice on my part. Everything worked out despite the change in my usual schedule – my cold items from the store were still cold by the time we got home, I still had time to fix a quick lunch for the girls, and the girls went down for naps/quiet time easily. Well sort of easily… my youngest is still up there playing with her stuffed animals. 😊