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Why You Can’t Always be the Yes Mom
Have you come across the parenting rage lately that talks about being a yes mom?? If you haven’t, that’s okay!! It is such a simple concept you don’t really need to go read about it. A yes mom is the momma who finds times during the day to say yes to the numerous requests that her children ask of her, rather than giving an automatic no. It seems simple right?? It seems like a great concept to really push home. The reasoning behind being a yes mom is because childhood is so fleeting. So I tried it with my family and probably started when Big Girl was around 18 months because that’s when I seemed to stumble across this concept. It was amazing!! Everyone was happier when I said yes. Until they weren’t.
Because lately, the word yes, no longer is a little joy or delight but an absolute expectation. Yes, you read that right. I had said yes so often to my girls that they now expected a yes for any outrageous demand they asked. And to be honest, I am the one to blame. I had put it upon myself to give my children the happiest childhood possible, so when they looked back they would always remember how much fun we had together. All the joyful memories. It’s a dangerous place to be in because when my gut told me no, I would reason with myself that childhood is so fleeting and give in to their request.
Now, please don’t get me wrong my girls are usually really well behaved and are great kids but I also have three little determined personalities in my home (with one being quite strong and willful) that I have come to learn that sometimes even if it is a simple and okay request that no means no. Boundaries need to be set and consequences given.
If you feel lost on my soapbox speech let’s start with this easy example.
My girls are dance girls. So, yesterday as we are trying to get ready for dance I realize that Curly Girl’s dance bag is missing. This isn’t a surprising coincidence seeing that Curly Girl seems to sneak off with her bag on quite a consistent basis to be able to go practice her dance moves. It sounds cute and it truly is but this is one of those times where I had gone with yes against my better judgement because imagine my horror after an hour of searching I can’t find the dance bag. Anywhere. And now my house is a disaster because I have been pulling everything apart frantically to find her bag. It had been a source of contention, Curly Girl would scream and cry every single day. Multiple times a day. To have her dance bag and finally figured out a way to get it out of the closet so she could have it. And at first I was really annoyed but then tried to throw caution to the wind- why not childhood is so fleeting (notice a dangerous head space I am in?!)
Now some might argue that the natural and logical consequence is she just goes to dance without her shoes and let the teacher decide what to do. She will feel sad or uncomfortable that she doesn’t have her shoes when everyone else does have them on. And this is exactly what happened and the lesson was learned about not playing with her dance bag because today she is on a search to find it already. But, I have really pondered about this as I have started establishing Family Laws in our house. Are natural and logical consequences always the best thing?! I sure would agree that they have their time and place but shouldn’t there be some times where our children just realize that they need to listen because I have said no?!
And then I found the answer to my question
I had gotten so caught up in parenting to the world’s standards that I forgot to check in with God if that is actually how I should be parenting my girls. Parenting the world’s way doesn’t necessarily always mean it’s the Lord’s way. I had quickly skimmed a blog post that I truly wish I could find to share but the main idea that quickly came to smack me in the face was the idea that I had jumped on the parenting train relying on the world to tell me where my children’s worth and value should come from rather than rely on their Heavenly Father to guide me. It was humbling to realize that it was time to jump off that train. It was time to go back to He who knows best and do it the right way.
Because to be honest momma, I think you are a rare breed. Motherhood for you is a divine blessing and you view it as such. Your children are your world. Your family is your everything and you want only whats best for them. Before, reading a silly yes mom article you were already that yes mom. You found times to pull out that special paint that is so ridiculous to work with. You found other times to stop and have a dance party in the middle of cleaning. And you found times to stop and read just one more story, three more times.
There must be a consequence for every choice
I truly have come to learn in relation to laws that there are times where as moms we have to say no and find calm and peace in that. We can’t always be that yes mom because being told yes ALL the time isn’t what brings joy. Especially not for children. Isn’t it counter-intuitive to understand and know that children thrive on boundaries and routines and then say yes to every request that is asked of us?? I would say yes. Actually if you want an amazing example of this Dr. Sears talks on his site about why limits are important and needed. He explains it this way through the story of taking a fence away at a school playground. Instead of the children being happy the fence was gone, the children ended up huddling together in the middle of the playground scared to go off and explore and play. So our limits do not actually restrict our children but help protect them and keep them safe. Lesson learned.
I, of course had to research it out and see what other mommas were saying about being yes moms. And my discovery was shocking a little embarrassing actually but I found moms who talked about their children going for play dates and being told no or getting in trouble for throwing toys, playing with scissors or knives, or in general just being absolutely ridiculous. We can’t have those children. And we can’t be that mom. If we want to do it the Lord’s way we need to set boundaries and teach our children that with every choice there is a consequence. Whether it be positive or negative.
I was in a dangerous head space when I became the always yes mom and gave up my happiness at the extent of my children’s happiness. And that isn’t fair. It isn’t fair for the peace and calm I need to function and not go crazy. And it isn’t fair for the resentment I was starting to have towards my girls because they were getting away with murder. It also wasn’t fair for them because they didn’t learn and come to understand that limits and boundaries are needed to grow into happy and healthy individuals. There needs to be a balance in how we live and choose to parent. Because at the end of the day there will always be a good choice, a better choice and the best choice.
So if you happen to live nearby or drive past our house and you may hear yelling or crying and screaming, we are learning to find and test our new boundaries and limits. Because I have now learned how to be a no mom.
Because oh puh-lease!! You’ve got this Momma!!