17 September 2014

Say Yes More Than No

Yesterday, I was sitting with a good group of women. My MOPS group. We were discussing how, as stay at home moms, a lot of times our job is trivialized; how we feel as moms when we are constantly held to a certain standard -- how the house needs to look presentable at all times, the kids clean and well-mannered on request, the dinner cooked and table-ready at a moment's notice -- and how we work so hard to obtain this image, that we often reach for outlandish "goals", usually at the sake of our kids' entertainment. And even sometimes at the sake of their happiness. At least in the moment.

Imagine you've spent all morning cleaning the kitchen, mopping the floors and scrubbing fingerprints off the windows and doors. Your kids come running in from outside, bringing with them a mound of dirt and grass, sit down at the table and loudly proclaim, "We want to play play-doh" -- what's probably going to come out of your mouth?!


"Can't you see I just spent all morning cleaning this kitchen? I'd like it to stay this way for awhile ... so no ,.. we will not be playing with crumbly play-doh that inevitably winds up smushed and smeared on every surface possible. It's remnants being found in all corners of the universe for days! No play-doh, not today!"

I am that mom. I'll admit it. Play-doh, especially, isn't my favorite toy -- it drives me batty when the kids mix colors and throw them into a random container to put it all away. They drag out seven million toys and utensils, and then fight over ONE KNIFE to cut their creations. They insist that MOM is the only one who knows how to make a round ball or a mustache or any other random thing that pops into their head. And then, as soon as its made, they squish it, and demand another one. Or they pinch off teeny tiny pieces of play-doh, dropping them all over the floor, the table, and everything that surrounds it.

But do I really want to be that mom? The one who tells my kids they cant play with something that will bring them so much joy in the moment, just because I don't want to deal with a little extra mess? Do I want to be the mom that constantly tells them no about the insignificant things, like what shoes to wear with an outfit, or if my daughter can paint her nails for the fourth time that week {even though in less than 12 hours she will have scratched all the polish off anyways!}? Do I want to be that Mom?

Not really.

I enjoy seeing my kids happy. Sure, I realize that my job in life isn't to ensure their happiness. Its to mold them into well-rounded up-standing God-fearing citizens of this world. Not to make sure there is a smile plastered across their face 24/7. My job is to teach them right from wrong. That our actions have consequences, and how to lose gracefully. THAT'S my job. But at the same time, what's it going to hurt to let them have some extra fun by turning on the garden hose and spraying themselves from head to toe, even if its a half hour before bedtime, Even if it means their clothes will soon be caked in mud, and they will be shivering because its only 65 degrees outside. If in that moment, getting wet from the hose is all they want, why am I telling them no?!

From today on, I'm making the choice to say Yes more ... and No a whole lot less. If the situation really warrants a NO, then by all means, say it. But I dare you -- say yes today to something you normally would roll your eyes and say No to. And see just how happy it makes your kids!