As a mom, I tend to say “no” a lot. It has many forms: “maybe in a little bit”…”not right now”…”let me finish this first”…”just a minute” (then an hour passes)…”Mommy’s busy right now”…and so on.
And, yes, there are perfectly appropriate times for “no”: “no, don’t touch the stove”… “no, we can’t see them today because we have to wait for everyone to be healthy again”… “no, that’s not safe”…etc.
But, there are plenty of “no’s” I give that could easily be “yes’s”…that could encourage my little ones to keep asking, keep seeking me out, keep coming up with creative ideas! Oftentimes, my “no” stems from my own busy-ness or just plain selfishness, when I’m tired or just not feeling up for (yet another) round of playing dolls. Can anyone relate??
Yes, my children need to learn appropriate times to ask, which usually do NOT include: when I’m on a phone call…when I’m in the shower…when my husband and I are in the middle of a conversation. That’s just teaching manners. But being intentional, as I’ve grown to be, to keep phone calls during the day minimal and letting them know I will talk with them after I’m dressed, or reminding them to wait their turn can all be more readily accepted when they’ve gotten plenty of “yes’s” to their sweet requests throughout the day.
You see, they just want me to enter their world. And, at the ages of 5 and 6, this is the window of time where they freely invite me to enter their world just because I’m Mom. But, this window won’t necessarily always be here. Soon, this window will only remain open because I’ve kept it open during this foundational time of establishing a two-way road in our relationship.
If my kiddos primarily hear “no” in this period of time, then I may face having to hear “no” from them in a few years when I’m ready to enter their world. This is the window…now!
So, I’m taking the Yes Challenge, and I want you to join me! For one entire day (baby steps, people!) let’s seek out opportunities to say “yes” to our little ones! Of course there must be “no’s” here and there for safety’s sake and such, but at least for one day, can you open yourself up to saying “yes” as many times as possible? It may just make a “no” easier to take for them. It may just help you appreciate their world more today. It may make you want to say “yes” again tomorrow. So, what do you say?
What are some ways you can say “yes” today?
Yesterday was one of those days in my land of mommy-hood…struggling to make it through the day…frustrated at the seemingly constant need for redirection, melt-down diffusion, and overall discipline. After these many moments with my son, when bedtime came for the kids, I was amazed when he skipped over to me with a smile and asked me to tuck him in. I figured after the day we’d had that he would much prefer Daddy to do the honors tonight. But, no. He wanted me! He held my hand all the way to his room…cuddled under the covers…turned over to give me a huge, squeezy hug and a sweet little-boy kiss. Before I closed his door, he said, “I love you, Mommy!”
So many things in life right now are great…exciting…fresh…wonderful. But then there’s that one glaring area of parenting where I find myself of late feeling like I’m failing, just trying to make it through the day. And it stings especially because tomorrow celebrates all of us “moms”!
A little while after getting him to bed, I was getting myself ready to sleep too and this realization came to me: “I am not enough!” But this time, it wasn’t the condemning voice of the enemy that I heard. It was me…realizing that my “not enough” added to God’s “more than enough” is plenty! And instead of feeling the brooding sense of failure, I felt a spark of hope. I don’t HAVE to be enough, because He is!
I don’t have to be super-mom. I don’t have to have all the answers. I don’t have to conjure up the strength to do this thing called motherhood. I am not enough so that I can lean on the One Who is!
I also don’t have to believe the lies that tell me I’m failing when my kids disobey or that my voice doesn’t matter when they don’t listen. Because reality is that I am succeeding and my voice makes a HUGE impact in my kids’ lives! When I tell my son how proud I am of him, he beams! When I tell my daughter how beautiful she is, inside and out, she smothers me with hugs! To them, I’m the best mom in the world! (Taking a humble moment to really believe that myself!)
I can trust in my kids who actually want me around, even after having been with me all day, every day. And tomorrow, when the “Happy Mother’s Day” sayings abound, I don’t have to feel condemnation in my “not enough”. I can remember my God Who is.
Are you a mom struggling to see the fruit of your labors? Don’t believe the lies that you’re a failure. You’re not! You are the best mom in the world to those kiddos you love and give yourself to every day! And God will make up every area of “not enough” you have with His “more than enough”.
Are you inTENtional in your relationships with your children? Beneath the weight of living and day-to-day responsibilities, it’s so easy to stay in survival mode. We think it’s too hard…we aren’t doing enough…WE aren’t enough. But God always is. When we partner with Him in raising these kiddos He’s entrusted to us, when we put aside time on purpose, we can live inTENtionally. Check out my latest ebook, The inTENtional Mama, a quick-read where the inspirational meets the practical day-to-day. You’ll be blessed, uplifted, inspired, and equipped to become an inTENtional Mama! [Available where ebooks are sold!]