I have always had a hard time with the word No. I hate to disappoint and therefore say yes to everything. This has been cause for much stress in my life and I have had to learn to not overestimate myself and know my limitations and say no every once and awhile. I can’t tell you how liberating it is to be able to accept your limitations and know that saying no is not the worst thing in the world.
I still say yes all the time. Ask my husband, he will tell you I am much too easy on my boys, never telling them no. “Mom, can I play the Wii even though my room looks like a bomb hit it?” Sure thing! “Mom, can I play outside until after dark even though I haven’t practiced my violin once this week?” Of course! “Mom, can I jump on the trampoline even though I haven’t done one thing you asked me to all week and totally disrespected you five minutes ago?” Can’t see why not! While it may seem that I am exaggerating for artistic purposes, I’m really not. Obviously we have some discipline issues in our home. I just get so sick of nagging them all day to do the things they need to do in order to have some fun and I want them out of my hair so that I can get my own chores done. You’re right, I know that I need to be less permissive with the boys, and most of the time I’m not, there are just days that I don’t have the energy to argue with them, my husband works nights so I don’t have any back-up, and the boys totally know how to play me.
I say yes all the time, so when I do say no, know that it is because I really, really, really mean no. I would much rather say yes all the time and it is extremely difficult for me to say no, so when I say no, I mean NO. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. You would think from the previous paragraph that I would be a total doormat and just let people walk all over me. That is not the case; I’m just a lot more flexible than most folks. Even rubber bands can only be stretched so far before they snap.
Meet the rubber band. (Hi, howareya?) I know when to say no and in order to prevent myself from snapping, I stick to my guns when saying no. There is usually no room for negotiation. It can be hard for people to understand when a person seems so flexible, easy, and permissive acts so stubborn.
I’m not as wishy washy as I appear. When you spend as much time in your head as I do, decisions are made long in advance, so when the limit is reached there is no more and the answer is no.