Saying No…

…and why we don’t. I don’t mean saying no to our kids. I know for a fact I say NO about 200 times a day. I mean why we don’t say no to taking on so much. As I was dropping Lucas off at his hockey practice one of my dad friends was talking about how he took on a responsibility he really wasn’t expecting. Another dad friend said “That’s because you can’t say no.” (I learned tonight that not being able to say no is not limited to mamas. Some dads, evidently, have a hard time saying no too.) This little exchange got me to thinking more and more about why we don’t say no.

As a parent today I realize the need for other parents. I feel when I say no I run the risk of alienating others. I don’t keep a running tally in my head of who did what for whom but I definitely remember those who help me out. I had a friend many years back who would always ask me to do watch her kids but would never reciprocate. It got to the point where I didn’t want to help her out because I felt used. I had three little kids who went everywhere with me. I can take my kids everywhere, I thought, why can’t she? I had a very hard time asking for help when the kids were little. I think some of my fear of asking for help was because of my friend who always asked for help. Now, things are much different. I couldn’t survive a night without some kind of helping hand. I try hard to say yes as much as possible to my friends because I know it won’t be long before I will have to ask for some help. When we as mamas and dads say yes to a friend’s request it is like the Visa commerical where everyone is skipping joyfully through the line conveniently paying with their card. When the person with cash comes through everything comes to a screeching halt and chaos ensues. It’s a similar scene in the parenting world. When we ask for a favor, return a favor and have another favor granted the world is good and life goes along smoothly. When we ask a favor and it is denied chaos can erupt because it interrupts the favor giving cycle. I can’t run the risk of alienating anyone or my kids would be out of their sports and activities.

I will continue to push myself to not say no. I am sure I will cross the line and take on way too much in order to ensure the favor giving cycle continues uninterrupted. I will do it for the love of my children…

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