So often we women try to conquer the world and say ‘yes’ to every request brought to us.  As a result we over commit and stress out.  Creating healthy boundaries and learning to say ‘no’ to things without feeling guilty is an important lesson for us of all.  In the past few weeks, however, I have realized that I need to learn to say ‘yes’ more often…’yes’ to my kids.

Just as ‘yes’ can become the default answer to requests of my time, ‘no’ has become my default answer to my kids.  Saying ‘no’ is simply easier than actually giving the request some thought.

“Mom, can I…”    without even thinking, ‘no’ just rolls off my lips.

If I just say no, then I don’t have to think.  If I just say no, then there will likely be less to clean up later.  No is easier.  But not always right.

There will come a time when my children realize that it is easier to ask forgiveness than ask permission.  There will come a time when they realize that mom is often to busy to actually listen to their simple requests, too busy (read: too selfish) to consider their desires.  I do not want to reach that point.

Similar to the 10-minute rule I’ve recently implemented to combat the same tendency, I’m also [slowly] learning to pause for a few seconds before answer their little requests.  I am trying to give myself enough time to actually HEAR them and to actually consider what they are asking.

Just this morning I heard, ‘Mom, can I play with your flashlight.’

‘No’ flew out of my mouth so quickly.  What about the battery she’ll be wasting? (as if I can’t just get new batteries when needed).  What about the fight that may ensue as the others want a flashlight too? (what an opportunity to teach all of them about sharing, and about coveting.  Another opportunity to preach the Gospel to them).

So after I said no, I reconsidered.  I asked her what she wanted my flashlight for.   She simply wanted to play with it.  No harm there and I’m sure it was fun.