Monday, March 19, 2007

No way, Jose

My name is Lori, and I hate telling my kids No.

Now, I am a pretty firm mom, and am not swayed by begging, arguing, whining, or fits of any type. And to their credit, my two big girls almost never behave that way. And have I mentioned Scooter is 3? Yeah, whole different ballgame.

BUT. I can’t stand disappointing those girls. I don't like the look on their faces when I say it. No. I must say No at least 20 times a day, and it feels like crap. It just feels like crap. I know that it's impossible to raise kids without disappointing them, but oh my goodness, it guilt?...just wears me out!

  • “May I chew gum?" "No, we're about to eat dinner." This literally just happened while I was writing.
  • "Can I play in the bath tub?" "No, it’s already after bedtime."
  • "May I wear my new shoes to school?" "No, it's a PE day and the rules say you have to wear tennies." (I hate that rule. Really limits our fashion choices.)
  • “Can we go to Grammy’s house?” “Not today. She’s not feeling well.”
  • "Can I have Pop-Tarts for dinner?" "Sure." See, I don't always say no. Even when I maybe should.

I just empathize, and wonder how they feel every time I say no. Realistically, I know they usually forget it within 3 minutes, but still...for 3 minutes they are disappointed. Even so, I stand firm in my decisions 98% of the time. But have I mentioned it makes me feel like crap?

So, sometimes I say yes even when I know I should say no. For example, tonight. Tink wanted to play in the tub, and it was almost dinner time. So, instead of saying no, I give her conditions. “You have to bathe really quick, and then if dinner isn’t ready, you can play for a bit.” But she is just slow as Christmas, and dinner is almost ready and she’s not even in the tub yet. And I know that’s all on her, and she should live with the consequences, and she does. But I still hate giving her the bad news.

I read an article recently about a mom who told her daughter yes to everything for a period of time, I don't remember if it was a day or a week. I'm considering trying that experiment sometime soon, maybe this summer. For a day. No more. The earth might spin off its axis if things got willy nilly around here for much longer than that.


Kristen said...

Sounds like you're a great mom!

Kelley said...

Hey Lori,

I stopped by to see your little corner of the blogosphere. Thanks for visiting mine too.

I know what you mean about saying "no" All.The.Time! I hate it too. I wonder if I said "yes" to everything for a whole day, would it end up being worse on me or the kids?!

Alli said...

I read that same article a while back. And just yesterday, I was wondering to myself if every other stay at home mom says no as much as I do. Thanks for reminding me that I'm never the only one dealing with whatever it is I'm dealing with!