Photo from the talented “Yes” Mom of Bella Jackson Photography
As a mom, I have become VERY creative coming up with different ways to say “no” to my kids….not right now, let me decide later, I don’t think that’s a great idea….the list goes on and on. But after a while, it got me thinking. Why am I always saying “no” to my boys and “yes” to others who are trying to take my time away from my family? So that inspired me to go an entire day being a “Yes Mom” to my boys…as long as they weren’t in danger, of course. And I’m not going to lie, we all learned a ton. Read to on to learn what happened when I tried to be a “Yes Mom.”
Why “Yes” Was So Hard for Me
I have always been a no-nonsense type of person…the strict teacher, the focused business woman, and the firm parent. Does that mean that I don’t know how to have fun? Not at all! But if my kids are freaking out in the candy aisle at Target, I will be the one who takes them out of the store to calm them down instead of simply giving in to their demands. When my boys fight taking naps even though they are so tired their eyes are almost crossing, I carry on with our schedule to ensure that they get the rest they need (and I get the break I need as well!). But constantly saying “no” to the people you love the most really isn’t fun. So I wanted to do an experiment and see what would happen to our family if it was filled with a day of “yes” to them and a day of “no” to everyone else.
What Our Day Looked Like
Thankfully my boys didn’t pick up on my day of “yes” until later on in the day, so we had a healthy breakfast and we stuck with our typical morning schedule. But when I asked them questions about how they wanted to spend the day, their eyes absolutely lit up when I told them that I was happy to take them to their favorite play space and then out for a junk food filled lunch. After going down slide after slide and diving into the bottom of the ball pit per my boys’ requests for about two hours, I came to a wonderful realization: I haven’t looked at my phone. You see, as a blogger my phone is my life line, and the fact that I didn’t look at it for so long (at least for me) was a pleasant surprise and helped me to realize that it actually is possible to “unplug” and “be in the moment” without feeling like you are missing anything.
I knew that the biggest battle of our “yes” day was going to be nap time, and since I was mentally preparing for the boys to skip a nap, it really wasn’t so bad. We spent the afternoon playing in the sand box and making sun tea, as well as resting on the hammock (with me secretly hoping they would fall asleep, of course). Dinner consisted of their favorite meal, followed by a bath using their favorite bubbles and readings of their treasured Elephant and Piggie books. By the end of the day we were all exhausted, and when my four year old told me that it was “The Best Day Ever” I couldn’t help but smile at my success.
What I Learned
But here’s the thing…I’m not going to say “yes” to every single one of my kids’ requests. Not only would that turn them into brats, but it also just isn’t healthy. I mean, do your kids willingly brush their teeth and decide that they don’t want every toy they see? Didn’t think so. But I am going to be more aware of things that I can say yes to. And even more important? The demands outside of my family that I can say “no” to. Because if I can spend more time fully engaged with my family and enjoying every day (even those super long ones when you are cooped up with colds—my worst nightmare), it benefits all of us.
Now go out and see what happens when you try to be a “Yes Mom.” Hope it includes some ice cream!