The Freedom of Saying “NO!”

One of my favorite mom bloggers {and probably yours, too} is Jen Hatmaker. She pours truth into my life while simultaneously punching me in the gut just about every single time I read her words. One of her known phrases has stuck like glue into my mind and framed the way I make many decisions as a mom.

“If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s a NO.”

Can you count the number of birthday parties you’ve attended this year? What about baby showers or weddings that you guilt yourself into attending? Have you been asked to be team mom or bring dessert to a school party more times than you can count? We RSVP yes and then dread going to the event or secretly hope a kid gets sick so we get out of going {shameful, yes?}. As moms, we are stretched so thin trying to do everything we can to make others happy. We sign up and volunteer for things that we really don’t have time for and over-commit ourselves to the point of exhaustion.

We need to learn to simply say NO.

N-O.

Not going to happen.

No, no, no.

Next time someone is asking something of you, hang on to this truth: Every yes you say to someone else is a no you are saying to your family.

And as a mom, my priority is my kids. So, I’ve had to say no to serving on a committee at church, no to a volunteer organization I really wanted to be a part of, and no to hosting baby and wedding showers. Instead, I’ve said yes to my family. I have said yes to being there for bedtime stories, and yes to being at swim lessons, and yes to playing outside on long summer days. For me, that’s an easy “Hell, yes!”

But as much as I try, I’m still not great at saying no. My husband will tell you that I don’t say no enough because we often spend our weekends mastering the art of time management as we are running around town to various obligations that one or all of us is committed to. It can be so exhausting that sometimes I dread the weekends. I remember before we had kids I was so over-committed that I was hardly ever home except to sleep. Having kids made me step back and reevaluate where I really wanted to spend my time.

It’s interesting how having children will completely humble you and make you realize that you can’t do it all. You just can’t. And when you hold those babies on your hip, you are totally okay with that. When I realized where I wanted to be, it was wherever my kids were, no question. I can’t do it all, and for the first time in my life, I actually don’t want to do it all.

One of my closest friends has taught me so much about protecting my time with my little family unit. She almost always says no to Saturday morning invitations and reserves those few hours just for her family. She says yes to her family, and I respect her stance on keeping her family time protected.

I’m trying to make an effort to say NO more often, so that I can say YES to my family. I still attend functions and make commitments, but I’m a lot more selective about what I do outside of my family. These days with my kids actually wanting to spend time with me are probably numbered, and I sure don’t want to miss out because I’m too afraid of letting someone down by saying no.

For me, it’s a “Hell, Yes” to my kids…and that’s always an easy choice.

Freedom of Saying No

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Originally from Louisiana, Brittney has called Houston home for nearly all her life. Brittney graduated from Houston Baptist University where she was a member of Phi Mu and a four-year cheerleader. It didn’t take long after graduation for her to meet her husband Jeremy on the sand volleyball courts at Memorial Park. She jokes that when marrying Jeremy, she also married LSU because she tied the knot with the most passionate Tiger football fan. Many weekends in the fall, they can be found in the shadows of Tiger Stadium at their big family tailgating party. Brittney has a Master's Degree from LSU and works in secondary education as an administrator and a cheerleading coach. Brittney and Jeremy have three boys, Connor {Nov 2012}, Parker {Nov 2014}, and Ryan {May 2018}. Brittney is a big baby-making, food allergy fighting, NICU surviving mom. Though she grew up surrounded by hairbows, pom poms, and lots of pink, Brittney now embraces being a boy mom. She loves raising her three boys and learning all about superheroes, baseball, and the pain of stepping on a lego when barefoot. In her kid-free time she enjoys working on craft projects, getting lost in a good book, and watching Grey's Anatomy.

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