Yes or No Mom?
It became glaringly obvious recently that I may just lean more toward the side of fun killer than fun creator. Sad, but true. Unfortunatley, NO might just come out of me a tad more than YES! So I ask the question Yes or No Mom? and does it really have to be one or the other?
Yes or No Mom, what does that really mean?
Honestly sometimes I am not even sure, but I will give you some idea of what I think it means. (Keep in mind this is coming from the wounded heart of a mama who thinks she might be a mean NO mom.)
Yes moms say yes more than they say no. They do their best to always step away from what they are doing to tend to their children’s requests. They allow more freedom and fun for things in their everyday life.
No moms first response is usually no. Even though the request might be easily doable or allowable, no is the response that comes to the tongue first. They find keeping the schedule and order to their routines tends to guide their lives.
Ouch right? It sounds and feels a little harsh, especially when you feel like the No mom! Let’s do keep in mind that these are the extreme ends of the spectrum. I think most of us fall somewhere in between. We may even ebb and flow more towards one side or another at varying times.
Why Do I Think I Am a NO Mama?
My littlest (age 8) recently spent the night at a friend’s house. When I picked her up the next day there are a few of the things th mom had to say to me about my daughter’s time at their house:
“My mom never let’s us have ice cream, and certainly not this much!”
“My mom never lets us have hot chocolate for breakfast, and never lets us have marshmallows with it!”
“My mom doesn’t get up and cook us breakfast.”
“We don’t get cinnamon and sugar for our toast.”
As I listened to this recounting of my daughter’s sentiments, my heart sank. <big sigh> Despite my best intentions at times, she still sees meas the NO mom, the fun killer. I often get so caught of in the daily tasks of life, in my need to check off my to do list boxes that I don’t stop to grasp the here and now. I guess I still have work to do!
How To Be a Yes Mom
Now on to the keep on keeping on part. To the I can still work on this part. Now I offer my hurt mama heart some reminders of how I can be more Yes and less No!
- Be present. Put down the phones, computers, books, etc. and really be there. I am finding that even I enjoy my time spent more when I am wholly giving of myself when I am with them. Then when it is time to work, I try to give my full attention to that. It means more efficient use of my time and happier mommy and children!
- Stop to answer. I sometimes find myself so caught up in what I am doing that I don’t even answer the kids. They ask for something, wait for answer, ask again, and again. They deserve a response just like I feel I deserve one when I am speaking to them.
- Say Yes, unless you really need to say No. It is easy to say No because you might have to do something or the kids might make a mess, but what if you said Yes? What if you said Yes to hot chocolate with breakfast sometimes, or yes to that extra 15 minutes of tv? You might just turn the corner from No mom to Yes mom.
- Work on your automatic response. I often find mine to be No, for no real rhyme or reason.
- How about some real action suggestions like: eat lunch outside on a blanket, have a snack at an unusual time, hide in their fort with them, stop to play a board game, and read them that book!
The guilt will always weigh on me. I will always question if I have done enough, and it will always sting when they express what feels like my shortcomings. But they are kids, and I need to remember that. They will always want 150% of my time and 100% of the things they ask for, and will usually be disappointed when that doesn’t happen. That does not mean I am falling short as mother, just that I am human. (Oh, and that I am a type-A scheduler!)
One thing I am doing is working my way through the book, The Power of a Positive Mom (again). It offers encouragement and practical ideas for becoming a more positive mom, something I strive to be.
More Parenting Thoughts:
Unconditional Love & Parenting
Just 18 Summers – Time with Your Children is Fleeting
October 27, 2014 @ 1:41 pm
Awww… Heidi, I got an ouch on that one too! Great article with fantastic reminders! Thank you for writing this!!!
October 27, 2014 @ 1:50 pm
This is a tough one. I know in my heart that I need work in this area, but I also know that I am making more out of it and taking it more to heart than I should. My babies love me and I do a lot for them, but they are still kids and think they should get anything and everything the instant they want it.
October 31, 2014 @ 7:27 am
Love this! Such practical tips. I think the hardest problem I have is putting down the phone and being present. I try, am doing better, but it is a work in progress….
November 1, 2014 @ 1:25 pm
Misty, I think that all we as moms can do is keeping striving for our best, and be gracious with ourselves and others when we fall short. 🙂
November 4, 2014 @ 10:29 am
It’s so difficult to be a “Yes” Mom. Your tips will certainly help.
I might add to have a fun day here and there. My kids react really strongly to sugar, so they don’t get any of those treats your daughter got on her special day either. But I could loosen up once a week or every other week.
Thanks for giving me the chance to reflect 🙂
November 5, 2014 @ 7:59 pm
Danielle, It isn’t just about sweet treats either. It is about your knee jerk reaction always being “no”. That is what I am working on. Sometimes I have no real reason to say no to them going outside to play, or say no to them bunking with each other for the night. Sometimes I need to say yes when there is no good reason to say no. 🙂