Can “No” Be Kind?
We put so much pressure on ourselves as moms, don’t we? In a time where little kid birthday parties can look like they required a full year to plan and a bank loan, comparison comes easy. Ok, that may be exaggerating a bit, but you get my drift. Facebook is a huge means of comparison. We somehow forget that it’s not indicative of real, everyday life. Honestly, how often does or how long can your home look Pinterest perfect when you have small children living in them? That pressure translates into many facets of our mom and wife lives. Everyone has needs but not everyone’s needs are solely ours to fulfill. We extend ourselves so thin that there are days that I look at the clock and count down until I can crawl into bed. Are ya with me?
Saying “no,” can make us feel almost inferior or like we “should,” be able to juggle another obligation onto our already overflowing plate. Why don’t we feel ok with ourselves if we aren’t overloaded to the gills? Why is it so difficult to be honest and say that we are sinking right now and simply cannot take on an extra duty? I know not everyone struggles with saying no or feeling inferior, but I do, too often. It is possible to say no while being kind and compassionate. A lot of times we need to give ourselves permission, and not put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. We do it to ourselves. After all, we say more negative things to ourselves than anyone else does.
We are not failures if we don’t have the perfect home, children, marriage, if we don’t serve in a bunch of ministries, volunteer regularly, etc. There is no such thing as perfect since we are not Jesus. We are actually serving ourselves and our family better when we aren’t running on fumes. We can end up doing many things mediocre or more things wonderfully. Oh priorities, there you are again. There are people in our lives that require and deserve more than mediocre. We need to give ourselves permission to say no to some things. Then, we can give more of ourselves to the best and most important parts and people in our lives. Our marriages can only be put on the back burner so many times and our children will never be the age they are now, again. Truly believing these things will help you say no from a place without guilt or shame. There is so much freedom in that. Knowing you are not spreading yourself too thin and giving more to your most precious relationships will help the “no’s,” be kind. Release the mommy guilt. As a quote I’ve heard and bring to my own mind on a regular basis says, “I can have the courage to be bold and assertive while still being humble.” When playing a name game and finding an adjective that starts with the same letter of your name, mine was “timid Tiana.” Enough said, this is real for me. If you aren’t “bold Betty,” maybe you want to print out that quote and put it on your bathroom mirror. Say it out loud everyday until you believe it and see it working out in your life. Talk to Jesus about it. You can be grateful for saying “no.” There will be different seasons where you can do more of this or that. Make the most of yourself for your family. Besides, adding yet another thing to your calendar that you will do begrudgingly is not kind or honest. Do what you can with a pure heart that doesn’t cost those you dearly love.