Just say no.
No, I am not channeling Nancy Reagan’s anti-drug campaign from the 1980’s.
I’m telling you to put the word you learned as a toddler back in your vocabulary.
Do you want to make six dozen cookies for your kids’ school bake sale? Not really. Say no.
Do you want to go to your second cousin’s annual half birthday celebration? As if! Say I’ll pass.
As a mom, a teacher and a writer, I have been pulled in a million directions. I love every role in my life, but sometimes I find myself acting like Jim Carrey in “Yes Man”.
I agree to so many things, that when it’s time to do the stuff I really want to do, like take my daughter to the pumpkin patch or see “Bad Grandpa” with my husband (don’t judge), I’m already booked or exhausted.
Don’t get me wrong. We all have to do things we have to do regardless of whether or not we want to do them. There are days I would rather stay in bed and curl up with a Jodi Picoult novel and have a good cry. But bills have to be paid, and dogs and children must be fed. Life happens, but you can make the most of the free minutes you have by saying no every once in awhile.
Two weeks ago, I attended Bloggy Boot Camp in Minneapolis where I met Danielle Smith, a.k.a. Extraordinary Mommy. In her presentation, she told the attendees that if we didn’t react with a “hell yeah”, it was a no.
Now, these words are in my mind every time I am asked to do something that I don’t have time or just don’t want to do.
Smith also said to stop apologizing.
You do not have to say you are sorry for not being able to chaperone your son’s field trip. You have to work, sure, but you don’t have to give a reason.
No need to apologize to your co-worker for not agreeing to cover her shift. Of course, you want to spend the weekend watching movies with your kids, but she doesn’t need to know that. It’s your time.
I still say yes a lot. There are networking events to attend and school functions to help out with. Yes, I will be there when I can, but when I can’t or simply don’t want to, I will not say I am sorry.
Jen Schneider is a middle school teacher and mom to two children. Read her blogs every Tuesday on momaha.com
* * *