A Gentle “No”

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.

Trudy M.

14 thoughts on “A Gentle “No”

  1. I need to learn to say that ‘gentle no’. I went on a week long vacation a month ago and had people from my office calling me to do something even though everyone knew I was on vacation. I logged on every day and did at least an hour or two of work.
    I didn’t mind but I think a line need to be drawn.


  2. When you stay in Zim you have to learn the gentle no. Though culturally people will never understand it. They assume you are rude and inconsiderate. Pressures of extended families.


  3. Well done Trudy thoroughly enjoyed myself reading your blog. I especially love your authenticity. Well done. I am


  4. Girl I had to say no to leading Praise and Worship for last year felt guilty lol but best decision ever I have been taking care of myself completing my first music project down couple of dress sizes
    I love this new girl that says no often still workin on the guilt lol


  5. Talk to me sister. I also took time off from work for spring break and went to corpus Christi for four days with my family (three kids N hubby), we did a lot of fun things. Walking distances, summing just to name few. Nevertheless, we came back home Sunday evening and the plans was to cook something for dinner put kids to bed and relax than I’ll unpack and rest myself for work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. My phone rings at 8:15 it was my boss asking if I could please work today without thinking I said yes, she and I had a little conversation and then she said are u sure u want to work tomorrow and I said yes again. I’m at work today can’t keep my eyes open so tired, I should have said no but , don’t know how to say “A gentle no” I think it is wise to say no at time wi th ” YOU” on mind. Thanks for the wisdom dear love you.


    1. Sis, thank you for sharing your experience, I’m so glad you got time with your family over spring break! Please take care of you first, I know we’ve had this conversation before:) I love you!


  6. During my course we have a module we do entitled โ€˜self compassionโ€™. And it is part of self compassion to look after my well-being so l can also be off better help to others. Saying no is part of that self compassion.


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