How many times have you felt bad for saying no? I used to and I would find myself offering all kinds of explanations why I couldn’t avail myself to people or commitments. Not anymore, I have generally learnt the liberating power of a gentle no. A gentle no frees me from pressure and stress associated with a forced or hesitant yes…I did, however, go through a a little scenario in the past few days that I’d like to share.My kids have been on spring break and for the first time since I went back to work I took the whole week off to be with them during their break. We went on a planned trip to Disney World which was amazing but also very tiring because it involved a lot of walking! My husband and I figured it would be a good idea to take 2 days off after our Disney trip to recuperate. Sure enough we came back exhausted and I was glad we made the decision to spend the last 2 week days plus the weekend at home relaxing.
I’m a work from home mom which has been a great blessing for keeping that work-life balance, but it can also be hard to have your office in the home because the temptation to log into work is right there, under your nose, a few steps from that comfy couch. Needless to say I found myself working away in my office the night we got back from vacation. I told myself it was only to check emails but 2 hours later I was in, knee deep, doing more than checking emails. I even told myself I would work for “just” 2 hours on Thursday and Friday as well, after putting the kids to bed! Crazy, I know!
As life would have it Thursday came and I had other things going on like unpacking, cleaning house, playdates, and I had no motivation or the energy really, to work. I caught myself starting to feel bad and that little inner voice said to me; “it’s your time off, you know you don’t need to be working, that’s what paid time off is for.”
I was in that moment, reminded of the gentle power of a no…
No sometimes is necessary to take care of you first, to give you the time you need to rest and reflect and sometimes just do nothing. We all need that time of nothingness and we can’t get it if we always say yes to everything and everyone. Saying no does not make you a bad person. It simply says I value my down time and I will not overwhelm myself with saying yes to everything because after all, we need rest in order for us to be fully functional Moms/Humans in the many roles we juggle in our day to day lives.
Do you have a hard time saying no to people or to certain requests? Do share your experiences and let’s help each other on how to use that gentle no from time to time.
Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
My Family and I at Animal Kingdom, Disney World.