Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A "Yes" Mommy

There are so many times that I find myself saying "No" to my boys.

Then, I think about it.....and I wonder exactly why it is that I just said no.

Sometimes, I turn right around and say, "Oh, never mind guys--it's okay. Go ahead and do fill-in-the-blank."

But, not all the time.

Mostly, I find myself saying no to my boys because of my own selfish reasons.

When Colin comes to me and says, "Mom? Can we built a fort in the living room?"

"I don't think so, buddy." I really don't feel like having to re-fold the 47 blankets you are sure to drag out to build your fort.

"Can we go swimming at Aunt Karen's, Mom?"

"Not today, guys." It's too much work for me to have to watch all three of you while you're swimming...and besides, I would really much rather grab a raft and float around on it for a few short hours. Plus, I have so much work to do around this house....

"Mommy, can we please stop at Old McDonald's for lunch and play? Pleeeeease?"

"No, boys, we have to get home now." I'm so tired....and don't you know by now how much I hate that place? That germ-ridden, overrun-with-disobedient-and-loud-children, nothing-good-for-you-on-the-menu place? Ugh!

The scenarios could go on and on.

It's my own laziness. Selfishness.

I want to stay in my own content little area and keep as much peace and normalcy as possible. What you are doing is asking me to come out of my little circle, and I just don't feel like it right now!

Even though I am working on it, my normally-perfectionist-mindset still takes the reigns--with full force--some days.

That is why, when I read Jill Savage's post yesterday, I was so excited: she was giving me just the thing to say "yes". A challenge!

When her boys asked her to "see if it was hot enough to actually FRY an egg on the sidewalk!!" the other day, she confessed that her initial feeling was "No!" But, as she thought about her reasoning behind saying no, she realized that it was her own reservations, stemming from selfishness--not wanting to waste an egg or clean it up off the sidewalk, etc.--that was making that decision for her.

What she thought instead was, "What would this hurt?" And, she let them give it a go--with their promise of cleaning up the egg when they were done.

I saw a very accurate reflection of myself in what she was saying, and I confess--I don't want to be that kind of mother.

We've always said that we make it a point around our house to say "yes" as often as we can to the boys--because there is so much in this world that we are going to have to say "no" to because of safety or boundary reasons. At least, we say that we've made it a point to do that. In reality, I find myself saying "no" a lot more than I am saying "yes" lately.

And, this month, I'm working to change that.

This is the first of what I hope will be a post each day of July on how I said "yes" to my children that day, when I really would have rather said "no"--and the 'something great' that came out of it.

{Also, for clarification: these are things that do not involve safety issues or parental boundaries. I am not advocating to tell a four-year-old that they can go to the park by themselves just because they asked, and just so that a Mom can say "yes". What I am talking about are those things like I mentioned above in my post, or things like what Jill mentioned.}

I started off the challenge yesterday: with a trip to Old McDonald's. My stomach did not thank me later, but the smiles on the kids' faces when we pulled in the parking lot was, quite possibly, the highlight of my day. A chorus of "Yes!! Yay!! Thanks Mommy! YAAAAAY!!" filled the van.

It was great.

Today, despite the fact that it is 62 degrees (on July 1st? Wha??) and raining, we went outside to play. I can't remember the last time when I've let them play in the rain.....but they loved it. "Mom! Mom!! It's like we're in the shower--but outside!! And with all our clothes on!!"

I sat in the garage and froze....but it really was worth it.

(Side note: apparently, playing in the rain really wears children out. I'm going to have to remember that one....)

Anyone that wants to get in on this challenge is certainly free to head on over to Jill's blog and check out all the details. I apologize in advance if you get tired of hearing all the things I said "yes" to! But, I am so very excited to see what this challenge brings--and where it brings ME!!


Kara said...

You beat me to it!! I am so taking this challenge and I can't wait. You posted everything I wanted to say and more...great job!

Here's a month of fun for us and our boys!!!

Julie said...

I need to be more of a yes mom myself! Thanks for the encouragement to do so. I can't wait to hear about all of the adventures you are sure to have this month.

Jen said...

Great post Devin! I often find myself saying "No" because I am lazy and it is just easier. I will work this month too and try to be a better "yes" mom. Maybe I could be a better "yes" wife too. . . but that's a different post for a different day! :)

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

Ummmm. . . the deleted comment was me. I posted twice. I am a clicker, have zero patience, and like to push button. What can I say? :)

Leanne said...

I took your advice and "visited" Aimee today.....

Ah, I wish we could meet in person, she and I, and tell her everything in my heart!!!

Anyway, I am a "no" mom too...and it is for the very reasons you listed! I want to take the challenge too, and I'm going to visit Jill's site today.

I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship for you, me, and Aimee.

Blessings today!

Nicole said...

THIS was a fabulous post... a very truthful. I say NO... a LOT and it is because I don't want to clean up a mess, I don't want to move out of my "circle", etc. Very honest and I loved it!

Sharon said...

Thanks for the good reminder and challenge! I love to see their faces when I say yes to something unexpected. It is worth it all (even the mess!):)

Carolyn said...

Wow. Good to see that there are others who are as selfish as me (ha,ha!) I love the idea - and accept the challenge....especially with the summer we are headed into. I was just thinking the other day how we are really going to have to be firm in our boundaries and consistency as we travel North America, etc.. (and in many ways that statement has truth to it) - BUT - what a better perspective to say - this summer is going to be so fun because I am going to b a "yes" Mom! I am so in! But, won't promise to post daily my "yes" accomplishments...but I will post some!

Thanks a million for the push - cheers to some happy boys and kids around the world as us Mommy's become more giving, daring, adventurous, and risk-tasking Mom's who first say "YES" (even tho I am sure their will be the odd regrets involved!) HA!

Love, Care

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for this post...this is such an encouragement to me as I am definitely a "no" mom too. Sometimes I say no without even thinking about it! Thanks for your transparency and willingness to post!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post! I am so a "No" Mum when my boys ask me things. I couldn't be bothered cleaning up the mess or I'm too tired. Hmmmm. Food for thought.

Mamasita Chimichanga said...

I am taking the "Yes" mom challenge too! I haven't blogged about it yet, but I read Jill's post last night and thought it was great!

Nice to see you posting again! I can't wait to get back into the swing of it too!

Have a great July 4th weekend! =)


rameelin said...

I loved this post! I find myself saying NO all the time because mine are 2 and 1, and well...need to be told No more than yes it seems. haha. But, I definately strive to let them do the things I know will not hurt them. Thanks for this! I completely relate to everything you wrote.
And I love the picture of your guys from Wednesday!
Oh, and I'm from Clinton. Like 45 minutes from Champaign! Crazy, huh?? Talk to you soon!

Meghan said...

i just discovered your blog, and your challenge, and I love it!! I really NEED a challenge like this. I can identify with the "NO" response-without-thinking, and I hate that that is the kind of mom I have become. I am late getting in on it, but I am going to start first thing tomorrow morning! I am excited!!