I am the person who always says yes. Host girls night? Yes!
Help plan a new program at school? Yes!
Take on an extra project at work? Yes!
Have a playdate even though I should grocery shop and prepare for the week? Yes! Yes! Yes!
I was drowning in yes, and the truth is, it was killing me.
It took me a while, but I finally learned the little word that would set me free. Even better, I learned how to say it without guilt.
No, I cannot add another thing to my plate.
No, I cannot sacrifice myself and my time anymore.
No, the mom I want to be cannot suffer because I added another activity to my already overly-packed schedule. The answer is simply no.
Mom’s overcommit; try to do it all, worry about handing everything for everyone and forget ourselves. I finally realized that no one will see me as less if I start saying no. Turns out, these crazy demands were not being brought on by anyone else but myself. I needed some boundaries. I needed to start saying no.
I think the whole boundaries thing is really difficult, especially for moms who want it all. They want to help, to nurture, to serve others, to feel valued, and feel needed. But the truth is, we can’t do it all and at some point, we need to choose ourselves.
How do you do that? You say no.
No to the things that waste your time. No to the people who make you feel less-than. No to what you think you have to do to be a good mom. Instead, surround yourself with people who lift you up, fill you with light, and make you feel like more. Spend your time doing the things you love, not the things you think you should be doing.
Learning to say no has taught me to put myself first. No guilt. I just choose me. How can I be there bright-eyed and fully present for my daughter if I am up all night working on yet another extra project I took on? How can I be there for my husband and enjoy our time together if I am beyond exhausted by the time our daughter goes to sleep? How can I be attentive and there for my friends if I am running through a to-do list in my head while on the phone?
By trying so hard to be what I thought everyone needed I was sacrificing the mom, wife, friend, and version of myself that I wanted to be. Once I was able to realize that and see how it was affecting my family, I was able to step back, set some boundaries, and gain freedom and happiness. All I had to do was say no.
How can saying no set you free? I challenge you to find out.