When I first started in the corporate world in a public relations firm writing press releases and talking to media, I struggled to say no. I would say yes to every work opportunity that came my way. At one point as a junior consultant, I had 17 clients on the go while the other junior consultants had 8. I loved the work I was doing and I didn’t want to miss out on any opportunity.
I have always said yes to running the spring fair at preschool or the major fundraiser for the school or being part of the teacher appreciation week when we were in America.
But for some very bizarre reason, every time my kids ask me something, I automatically say NO. Maybe it is to do with control or maybe it is the long list of ‘to do’ in my head that if I possibly enjoy those few hours eating ice cream and going to the park, I will be staying up til midnight to finish that ‘to do list’.
It is all a trade off. Time is so precious that if you ‘waste’ just this much time, you have to catch it up.
But, lately that time I have considered to be a ‘waste’ is actually time I will never get back with my kids so I have changed my ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ and embraced every yes moment – the reward has been invaluable.
We have been to the zoo and loved every minute of it. Despite having so many unwritten blogs, ideas and washing piles, I have said yes to ice cream at the park after school and talked with other mums while the kids have happily played in the sun. I have said yes to playing the guitar and now have a little rocker on my hands. I have said yes to my 9 year old making a chocolate cake all by herself and it was delicious as well as a huge boost of independence for her. I always say yes to painting and the creativity always amazes me. I said yes to staying at a friends place until 8.30pm after a lunch time BBQ because we were all having so much fun (and then dealt with crying, tired kids for the 20 minutes it to when we got home to put them to bed!).
Just this weekend gone, the kids asked if they could put the hose down the slide – it was a moment in parenting. At the very same time, my husband said no and I said yes. The yes won and the kids had a ball. My husband even joined in and it created a beautiful of memory of wet, dirty, happy kids.
I said yes to the girls selling home made lemonade to the neighbours out the front of our house. They sold a full jug in 15 minutes and made $3.80 cents. It was priceless.
Sure, saying yes often means money outlay and extra time else where to fit things in or a trade off of letting the kids have so much fun that the bed time routine is wrecked – and more generally at the expense my sleep with early mornings or late nights – but what is more important? Piles of washing folded, blogs written, dishes done or some fun times with your kids. So far, saying yes to the fun things more often lately has been just that – pure fun and enjoyment with my kids.
So who’s up for the ‘saying yes to your child challenge’? Just try it once and either comment here or come over to Facebook and let us all know how it goes.
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To find out more about Anna Partridge, visit her website here.
About Anna Partridge
Anna Partridge is a writer, parent coach, school teacher and mother of three young children aged 9, 7 and 5. She is also founder of bombardedmum.com and runs parenting workshops about ‘Raising Confident and Resilient Kids’. Through her work, she is building a community of like-minded mothers who share the inspiration and challenges of raising the next generation. Find out more about Anna here. If you are a mum and need to find your ‘big picture’ of parenting or turn a frantic family into a fun family, click here to work with Anna.