Tuesday was not a good day. It felt like all I did was roll my eyes, tut and eventually yell at my kids. I have many reasons as to why, but in the spirit of positivity I won’t dwell on them. I realised that I had said ‘No’, a lot, and that maybe a little more ‘Yes’ would be better for them and me.
I woke up yesterday and decided that I need to make it up to my girls. Yes, the mom guilt was strong!
A Little Less “No”.
I decided that for one day, no matter how hard it was, I was going to try my hardest not to say “No”. Instead I will attempt to respond to all their little requests, demands and orders (deep breaths), with kindness and positivity, even if the answer is in fact “no”.
Challenge No. 1
It started off a little rough.
“Mommy, can I have five Oreos?”
Instead of saying “No”, my reply was, “I think two is enough, don’t you?”
Their response was acceptance. Clearly they were just pushing their luck.
Challenge No. 2
Then there was the usual ‘outfit-of-the-day’ challenge. The plan was to take them to the nursery to play in the kids play area while I do a bit of blogging, have a cappuccino and soak up some fresh air and warm African sunshine.
The youngest wanted to wear a party dress. Instead of saying “No, that’s impractical.” I explained that she wouldn’t be able to climb to the top of the climbing frame, or slide down the slide if she wore a dress because then all the boys would see her knickers. She stared at me, blinked then chose a pair of tights! Whatever works right?
Challenge No. 3
When we got there and we were ordering I asked them if they wouldn’t please share a toasted sandwich instead of a whole one each. They revolted. So I decided to get them one each. Normally I’d have said “No,” because I knew they wouldn’t eat it all. Me saying “No” would only have resulted in some kind of scene or tantrum and I quite frankly was not up for that. As I predicted they didn’t eat any of it so we brought it home as take-away. In my head I consoled the control freak side of me by telling myself that at least I won’t have to cook or prepare lunch and quite possibly even dinner! Win, win! Apart from the empty pocket!
I let them play for a couple of hours. I did some blogging and Instagramming.
Let It Ride
Eventually it was nearing the lunch rush and I decided to stop hogging the large table I’d commandeered and I went to sit on the bench and just watch them play. Eventually they tired and came to sit by me. When I asked if they were ready to go home, they said “Yes.”
It was so strange. I’m so used to arguing and cajoling for almost every request. It was so refreshing to have them just be ready.
We went home after that and the day progressed well. I let them swim when they asked. I let them play in the garden. I let them watch whatever they wanted on TV. I cooked them a dinner I knew they would love: roasted chicken pieces with rice and gravy.
In the evening they watched a little more TV and when it was bedtime they just went to bed, no arguing, although they’ve always been really good at bedtime.
Reflection On The Day
Although I’d love to take all the glory for what was a really good day, I don’t believe it was all down to my answering their requests positively. I think a good portion of it was not rushing them. I read a really great post by a fellow mom blogger Jaki Jellz – Why Am I Always In Such A Rush. It’s well worth a read if you relate to any of what I am talking about. It really does get you thinking.
It’s the holidays now, so on most days there is no routine, no rush, no “hurry up”, “get in the car”, “get out the car”, “hurry up and eat”. During term time, some days are so busy. We are here, there and everywhere and I feel like I’m either pushing them along, or dragging them along. I’m certainly not a perfect mom. I get stressed and I know that when I am stressed I yell, just another symptom of anxiety. When I yell, they yell, or worse … they balk at every request I make of them.
Whilst I’m not claiming to have reinvented the wheel, I am going to make more of an effort to maintain this sense of relaxed calm, and use this holiday time together before school starts to recharge all our batteries.
If you decide to try have a “Yes” day, I’d love to know how it goes for you. I suppose it’s not so much saying “Yes” as it is not saying “No” all the time.