Be a “Yes” Mom
I am not a “yes” mom. You know the “yes” mom. The fun mom who doesn’t mind noise, mess, and a little chaos. She knows how to relax and have a good time. I wish I could be like that, but, unfortunately, my default reaction always seems to be “no.”
Granted there is a lot to say no to when you are a parent. Kids seem to be able to find trouble very easily. For example, some things I have had to say to my children over the years:
“How did the potty seat get stuck on your head?”
“Yes, if your finger is up your nose – that IS picking your nose.”
“You ATE deodorant?!”
However, one rainy day during spring break, I let myself say yes.
At first I did say no.
I had sent my youngest out to put her bike in the garage. She put her bike up but did not come back inside. When I went out to get her, I found her playing in the rain and splashing in mud puddles. She was having a great time. (Splashing in the mud without a care in the world is totally her personality; she was the one with the toilet seat on her head.)
My first reaction was, “What are you doing?!” (My brain reacted – mud, wet, mess, agggh!!) But then I remembered how she was always wanting to play and splash in the puddles. Almost every time it rained that is what she wanted to do. So I did something different. I changed my thought process. Hmmm, it is not storming, it is pretty warm, and it IS spring break. “Go for it. You can play in the rain.”
“What?” she said, obviously shocked. “YAY!!”
The other two quickly jumped into the action. “What? We can play in the rain?”
All three of my kids ran outside and jumped in puddles with wild abandon. Soon a rousing game of mud tag had begun. They played until they were soaked and had a great time.
Rules and boundaries, especially for children, are important. However, there needs to be a little bit of freedom and flexibility within those boundaries. This is something I have learned after being a parent for 17 years and something I still have to remind myself from time to time.
First of all, children need room to grow and experience some things on their own. Our kids will never learn how to survive real life if we keep our boundaries too tight. They need room to safely succeed and fail own their own.
Secondly, kids are human and no human can achieve perfection. If you present your child with a laundry list of rules, there is no way they can follow all the rules all the time, and it will just prove to be frustrating and exhausting for you and your children. As parents, we need to be able to discern in which moments we should require strict compliance and in which moments we need to show some flexibility. We need to look at each situation individually and determine why we are saying no. I am ashamed to admit it, but a lot of the time I say no just to avoid the mess, the noise, or the hassle.
So if you are a strict, by-the-book, rule follower like me, try giving yourself and your children a little flexibility and a little freedom. Don’t be afraid to be the “yes” mom every once in a while. Don’t be afraid of the mess, the noise, the hassle. Look at the memories you will make and the family time you will share. Those reasons alone make being a “yes” mom worth it.
Dana Herndon is blogger and a writer, as well as a middle school teacher in Georgia. She and her husband love to spend time as a family with their three children. They enjoy coaching and participating in sports, as well as going to the lake and beach. In addition to spending time with her family, Dana’s favorite things are reading, gaining inspiration from Food Network and HGTV, and paddle boarding. You can follow her Blog