What Happened When I Tried to Be a “Yes” Mom


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!

Looking for some more parenting support? Then enjoy a good laugh and never forget to take some time for yourself.
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  1. Alli Smith says

    Congrats on the “best day ever!” How fun! I agree that we need to say no to others in order to spend more family time and to be able to say yes to our kids. What a great experiment! I’ve been trying to unplug from my lifeline (cell phone) more often too.

    • Amanda says

      I don’t know why I’m so afraid to say no to others but say it to the ones I love the most. Clearly it is something I need to work on.

  2. Erin says

    I recently realized something similar. I come up with some interesting ways to say no to my kids and sometimes I don’t even know why! I’ve started to become more intentional with my decision making and it’s made a HUGE difference!

    • Amanda says

      You are so right using the word “intentional.” That is really making a difference for both my husband and I.

  3. Pam says

    Congrats on not looking at your phone for a long time, that can be so hard for me as a blogger. I get caught up in what is going on with my blog and business and forget to pay attention to what is going on right in front of me.

  4. Shirley Wood says

    For the longest kind of time, I refused to even add FB to my cell phone because I knew what a distraction it would be. I caved in but I log out and usually only log in when we are in the car and I’m the passenger. I’m so used to multi-tasking! I am going to make a better effort to live in the moment and stay unplugged longer!

  5. Jeanette says

    Love those days that I can just say yes to my son and have a blast of a day. You’re right it cannot be done all the time or they will grow up to be brats and let’s face it there’s enough of those out there right now.

  6. Jeanine says

    I am always so quick to say no when my kids ask for stuff lately. I have so many though and it can be too much when they are all bugging – I need to make a point of saying yes more or at least considering it.

  7. Chantal says

    I do not have kids yet but I can defiantly see where you are coming from. This was a great read and I am glad you have figured out what works for you.

  8. Jenn @ EngineerMommy says

    As a blogger, I sometimes struggle with the work-life balance issue. It seems fairly easy to always be connected but I have realized that it’s so important to unplug often! We need to focus on what’s in front of us!

  9. Kita says

    Good experiment. My kids would love for me to try this but I will not. I say yes to some things and it’s usually because they earned it with good grades, etc.

  10. Maureen says

    Very good insight … sometimes just a small change in lifestyle leads to a much more positive experience. Love that you were willing to try something new and it seemed to work well for you!

  11. Ashley says

    This is such a great post! I love the idea of a Yes Day (even for myself!) and just doing the things you want to do – even if it’s not necessarily how you should do it. Just a day can’t hurt!

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