We all know it…there are times to say yes and times to say no. But are we any good at getting it right? I’m not sure I am. I try hard to find a balance, the thing I find myself most passionate about is leaving space to be creative or to find restoration. To allow rest in the day to linger over coffee with your hubby. To withdraw to sew something you’ve wanted to. To say no to things that ultimately leave you space in your day to do the other things you need, those things that you crave – the soul nourishingly good things; and I do think it’s different for different people. Make, read, garden, walk. The things you need to incorporate into life which restore and refresh you.
When our girls were little I was all about finding the peace within the chaos. I didn’t want ‘me’ time necessarily. I wanted to feel at ease when everyone was around me. I am not naturally the type of person that needs to ‘escape’ though…I want to be around my kiddos, to build space within the chaos of family dynamics, if that makes sense?? So maybe that was the right fit for me. I said no to the folk around me who tried to convince that I needed time away…it wasn’t me, it wasn’t my restorative need.
Now that are girls are getting older, we still continue to say no to a number of things to preserve our space while we still can. We don’t do music or clubs on a Saturday morning…Saturday has become quite sacred, a day of rest in some ways for us – for family restoration and communication away from the distractions and demands of schools and clubs. There will come a day when this will end, but for now, it stays sacred!
We also say no to certain clubs…we keep it to as little as we can. We value their space and allowing them to find their own restorative need. The older two do music in school and we have started piano in P5 but other than that we do a sport and GB at our church. We feel any more seems to tip us over the edge! They need time to be free from pressure or practise or instructions from us. Simply time to be.
We have also begun the mantra in our house to say ‘yes’ when we can. To those little things that are asked of us and inconsequential (to us) things throughout the day…if it is ok – say yes.
Yes to playing Frustration.
Yes to calling on a friend even if it is for 10 minutes.
Yes to moving a bookshelf or to listening to a song.
Yes to watching a dance routine.
Yes to running into the sea in their t-shirt and pants.
Yes to one more story.
Yes to tying ribbons to their tree in the ‘den’ up our road.
Yes to walking to the shop for sweets on a Saturday.
Yes to asking the chemist for a sampler of perfume.
Of course there are times when you have to say no…we are adamant about not entertaining them all the time and allowing them to get bored. But when we can, and they aren’t being demanding, we try to say yes.
We try to protect our girls..growing up seems to be creeping in at a younger stage. We try to protect their childhood and as a result, they feel we say no to a lot of things – to mobile phones, to social media, to wedge heels and to make up! We have made a conscious decision to counterbalance that; more than ever while we can, to those simple childhood requests, we try to say yes.
I don’t know…maybe there are more yeses and more nos we need to think about. Maybe we indulge them by saying yes too much.
There is whole deeper conversation to be had but for now we’ll keep the mantra simple. I’d love to know if you’re a yes person or a no person…or maybe a bit of both! How do you manage the vast requests of a little one!