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Home Blog Mommy Daze Trying hard to say 'yes' — Mommy Daze

Trying hard to say ‘yes’ — Mommy Daze

His little 4-year-old face all crinkled up, eyes wet from tears, my son James says to me, “Mom, you say ‘no’ to everything!” The way he said it is what got my attention. There was so much hurt and frustration in his voice. Granted, he can be a tad dramatic at times, but this was raw and honest.

Mommy Daze son vacuumingI took a second to let it sink in and collect my thoughts. Then I pulled him in for one of those stiff “I’m still mad at you” kind-of-hugs and told him how sorry I was. That I would try to say “yes” more often.

But let’s be real. I’m a parent. I have to say “no” a lot.

I realize there are tons of ways to say “no” without actually saying “no.” I’ve read the articles. But it got me thinking about why do I say “no” so often? If I was vying for “Mom of the Year Award” I would say it’s because I have my child’s best interest in mind.

But let’s be real again.

It’s because I’m a super-controlling person who likes things done a certain way. It’s a gift and a curse. When my kid is asking to do something that I either won’t have control over or will actually go against the way I’m doing things, my immediate knee-jerk reaction is to say “no.” Sometimes it’s totally the right thing to do like, “NO you can’t cut your own hair” or “NO you can’t eat that bug.”

But sometimes it’s such stupid things, like when they want to help me make food, fold laundry, or clean up around the house.

Don’t get me wrong. I get them involved in those things all the time, but it’s on my terms, set up the way I want.

For instance, I call my oldest son James my “Official Egg Cracker” because he’s really good at cracking eggs, he’s gentle and doesn’t make a mess. My almost 3-year old, Luke, not so much. So who do I always ask to crack the eggs? James. If Luke asks, I dance my way around saying “no” by re-directing him to something else. Why? Because I don’t want the mess, the extra time it will take to pick out the shell pieces that will inevitably be in the bowl, and because after I let him do it once he’s going to ask every single time. (They never, ever forget.)

Am I going to let Luke crack eggs sometimes? Of course. But it’s probably going to be few and far between because, in all honesty, I’m an impatient, over-worked, under-paid, controlling mother with a to-do list that never ends. I just don’t have time to say “yes.” Or so I tell myself.

After my talk with James I’ve been working on changing that knee-jerk reaction. I’ve been trying to hesitate before answering, asking myself if this is an opportunity that I could say “yes” instead of “no.”

I realize there are parents out there who do this quite easily. I’ve met them. I’m super jealous.

For me, it’s taking a lot of practice. I also need to make sure I don’t start a mental tally of how often I say “yes” to things so that I’ll feel justified when saying “no.” Because kids don’t care! I could become like their fairy godmother, putting aside all responsibility and chores in order to meet their every request, but the second I say “no” I’m the evil witch.

But I’m not either of those things. I’m their mom. I’m a mom who sometimes says “no” because I’m tired, out of patience, and just want to make muffins without egg shells in them. But I’m trying more and more to be a mom who says “yes,” even if only half of the kitchen floor is going to get vacuumed.

In the big scheme of things, that “yes” can go a long way.

Watts FamilyClick here to read more Mommy Daze.

Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.

Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.

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