Hello! My name is Julia Dawn and I am a singer-songwriter, blogger, hula hooper, worship leader, and full-time Mom. My little girl was born May 2016 and has turned our lives into a beautiful chaotic whirlwind. I live for her giggles, make it through the day with re-heated coffee and unwind with beautiful stationary and a nice fountain pen in my hands. Oh, how I love my stationary. My goal is to be real, raw and honest about Mom life, marriage, friendships and living life with passion
I get it. You want to be involved. You want your kids to be involved and to have it all, be the best, have great friends and heck, YOU want great mom friends too! You said “yes” to that after school sport because it’s great exercise, a great way for your child to dream up new dreams and a great activity out of the house and away from all the screens! You said yes to that book club with full intentions of reading that book (oops), but why not still go for the wine and conversation? You said “yes” when your husband asked if he could go out with his buddies Tuesday night and you’ll say “yes” to the sleepover your youngest asks for tonight because friendships are important.
You say “yes” because you’re the fun Mom… the involved Mom… the cool Mom. But what If the cool Mom learned to say “no”?
Hear me out, I am cheering your kid on who wants to play volleyball and I definitely think you should go have that glass of wine at her house with the girls. I’m just saying does it have to be all the time? Do we have say “yes” to everything that comes our way?
The Huffington Post published an article called Let’s stop the glorification of busy and it makes some great points on HOW to do this.
We’ve created this illusion that busy is better. I want to challenge that way of thinking. I think when we put down the phone calls, bring the kids home after school, rally around the table and play a board game with the family we are getting further ahead in life. Why? Because we are connecting. We can breathe in their tiny giggles and soak in their friendship that we are only guaranteed for so long. Somehow we need to stop and rest and let it be okay to sit on the couch and cuddle our young ones. I know this is easier said than done, so I have made a short list of ways to make it happen. Sometimes you need to schedule in your non-scheduled time. And that’s okay.
1) Make every Friday night Pizza night (homemade or bought who cares!) with games with the entire family. Friday doesn’t work? Pick a different day. The more consistent you are with this, the sooner your family will say “no” FOR you because they know it’s family night.
2) A phone basket. Bring this baby out at meal times, game nights, an hour before bed, whenever works for you and your family. Everyone puts their phones in (Yes Mom, you too) and get’s it back after however long. Overnight? An hour for a meal? This will create a ‘you time’ that is more engaging and you might actually have fun. Sometimes I do this just for me. I put my phone away and have “me time”, read a book, write, play guitar… this makes it impossible for the distraction of a text because I don’t see it until later on.
3) Surprise your young kids and “kidnap” them from school for the day. What do you think they will remember when they grow up? The day in school they read those 5 pages in English or the day their parents surprised them with a day full of ice cream, the Zoo and Dad jokes? This isn’t really ‘learning to say no’ but more, ‘learning to say yes to fun’. Which I think is important. If your family becomes a place everyone loves to be, it’s not as hard to have time to rest and relax, because you’re already half way there.
4) Take time to teach your kid something new. Baking. Building. A puzzle. Don’t let your school teachers be the only teacher in their lives. They don’t need the piano lessons scheduled in if you can teach them the basics by yourself.
5) At the beginning of the school year give your kid options of activities. Limit them on what they can choose so they can put their all into those few activities instead of becoming exhausted trying to do it all. And while you’re at it, limit yourself too. Do you really need to be volunteering for those things, serving on the board here, the book club, the coffees, the meetings, the job, the +++? All these things are good, but remember to take care of yourself in the process Mama. If you are loving your kids with everything you’ve got and you’ve made a few meals here and there, you are already Super Mom. You don’t need to do it all.
We all crave connection. Whether you are 5 wanting cuddles, 15 wanting slumber parties and gossip or 25+ craving conversation and a real friendship outside of your spouse/loved ones. I believe we were made for connection. In the depths of our souls we are made for wanting community, so no… it’s not bad when you join that book club. I’m saying we will be happier, healthier Mamas and families when we learn to say “no” to SOME of these things to make room for MORE family time and rest.
If not today, when? Rest. Recharge. Re-evaluate and make the tough calls. Learn how to say “no” so you can say “yes” to a happier life. Let’s teach our little ones how to have fun with family and make them a priority instead of always needing to be doing something outside of the home. Saying “no” does not make you a bad mom. It makes you the mom who wants her family to stay close and grow together. I don’t see anything wrong with that.