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The Benefits of No; The Benefits of Yes

2 June, 2009

Mums are busy creatures. We care for our homes and the people in them – both adults and children, family and visitors. We’re chefs, nurses, personal trainers, lovers, housekeepers, dog-walkers and a host of other things. Then you add commitments outside the home. We volunteer our time at Church, school, in our community or to broader organisations. We are truly very busy.

Sometimes we need to say no. No to another roster. No to looking after four extra children every day during the school holidays. No to cooking for an event, or providing childcare, or cleaning up afterwards. No to yet another thing that will take you away from your home, your family and your responsibilities. Saying no can be freeing. Mothers need to learn to say no more often, and without guilt.

However, sometimes we get so used to saying no, especially to our nearest and dearest, that we forget to say yes. We forget that we can say yes to our toddler who wants a book read. We forget we can say yes to our 6 and 7 year old who want to bake Daddy a cake as a surprise. We forget we can say yes when our husband asks us to make him a cup of tea, or run an errand for him or just come and snuggle while he watches his favourite TV show.

Saying yes isn’t as hard as it seems. Most things are washable. Messes will be made but they can be cleaned up. We may be inconvenienced for a period of time, but our children are only small for such a short period of time. We want to build relationships with them now, and maintain our relationship with our husbands so that we don’t find ourselves drifting away from each other in the busyness of family life.

So while we practice saying no to those outside our homes, we need to practice saying yes to those inside our homes.

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