Friday, July 20, 2012

Just say no

We teach our children to "Just say NO".  I want my girls to know how to do that.  I want them to say no to drugs and drinking and driving.  I want them to say no to banding with the mean girls in their cruelty to single someone out.  I want them to say no to the boy who puts too many moves on too fast (Lord, help me now!).  They need to learn to say "No!" 

Because if they don't learn how to say no now, when will they learn?  How many women do you know that have a problem saying "No"?  Go ahead, raise your hand if you are guilty.  How many of us are over-schedule, over-committed, over-run, and overwhelmed?  If you say that you aren't you are very lucky.  And please call me and tell me your secret!  It seems to be primarily an issue with women.  As I discussed with my husband when and where he had to take the kids for their sports he stated "I don't want my life be overrun with their activities."  When was the last time that you heard a mom say something like that?  And yes, I know that we've said it, but when have you seen true action on it?

 I think that when we are moms often times our overcommitment is "for our kids".  Their sports, school, PTO, lessons,  healthy (and fun!) meals... things that will "better" them.  And how can we say "no" to that?  But is it always worth it if we are tired and run down all of the time?  If we are exhausted and short-tempered and prone to having a shorter fuse with them?  Is it worth it if our children are lead by our example and grow up to become parents who forget who they are and what they want because all of their energy goes into their children and home?

Sierra has a crazy week last week.  She had girl scout camp from 8-4pm, swim lessons in the evening, a swim meet Wednesday night that had her out until 10pm, and girl scout camp sleepover Thursday.  Her cousins were in town visiting so she spent the night with them at her grandparents Friday and then a pool party/slumber party for a friend's birthday on Saturday.  There was another pool/birthday party that our family went to Sunday and then a fundraiser for our friend that evening where we were out until 9:30pm.  We came home from that last event to pack her bags since she was getting up at 5am to go to sleepover girl scout camp for 5 days.  I don't know that I could have made it through all of that but she did with enthusiasm for the most part.  On Friday night when we were at her grandparents she said that really wanted to sleep in her own bed and could she go home.  And that is where I dropped the ball.

I felt that it was important for her to spend time with her cousins.  She only sees some of them once a year (if that).  This was a chance for her to spend the whole night hanging with all of them and "I" felt she needed to do that.  And, yes, I still feel it's important, but I should have taken into account her week and the chaos of it and respected her choice to be able to say "No, I don't want to do that right now".  Yet, I pushed for her to stay, and she did without complaint, and I showed her that no matter how insane your life is feeling you should still push yourself to do more.  NOT the lesson I want her to learn.  So after a little help seeing the light in this situation (here goes... "Brad, you were right!) Sierra and I sat down for a really good talk.  I told her that I should have listened and that she has the right (within a few limits) to say that she is feel overwhelmed and just needs a break.  I also told her that this is something that I hope she carries into adulthood.  I think she "got it" as much as a 9-year-old can get that concept.  And hopefully next time I won't drop the ball on it!

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