It’s o.k to say no

I realize that might sound a little strange but hang with me for a second.

From early on in life one of our first words uttered with force from our lips is “No!”

We all have seen “that” child with arms folded, pout painted on their face screaming “No,no,NO!!”

Chances are if we are honest with ourselves we can admit we have all been that child too.

Don’t believe me? Ask your mom.

It Doesn’t matter if it’s because your sandwich was cut the wrong way or are refusing to get back in the car.

Unless we can be convinced otherwise we have made up our mind and that’s that! But along the way something happened and slowly our “no’s” morph into “yes”.

It’s almost like we have been taught that it’s not ok to say “no”.

Yes, we have all had our feelings hurt by a negative reaction but has anyone ever died because of one? I have never,ever seen anyone drop dead because I have rejected their movie invite and I doubt you have either. sometimes I wonder if we are trying to protect ourselves from a negative reactions our “no”‘would bring even if deep down we feel like folding our arms across our chest, stomping our feet and screaming “no!” We find ourselves pulling out our calendars and hear yourself saying “yes”. What?!! We all do it in one form or another. Sometimes without even realizing it. Accepting invitations to events we really don’t want to go to or have the time to enjoy. Adding more work to an already tight schedule. Running to the store to grab something for someone else when we just got home and want to put our feet up and rest. You get the idea. Well, this summer I decided it’s o.k to say “no.” I’m saying “No” To dragging my children to a zillion summer camps, unnecessary car rides and over scheduled days. Instead we are saying “yes” to carefree summer days I enjoyed when I was little.

Summer days filled with cold drinks from the muddy garden hose.

Splashing in the plastic wading pool with water so cold you don’t want to sit.

Building sandcastles in the sand.

Swinging on the swings until it feels like you’re going to reach the clouds.

Riding our bikes.

Creating masterpieces with sidewalk chalk.

Blowing bubbles.

Munching Freezies on a hot day.

Tending the flower garden.

Listening to the birds chattering in the birdhouse.

Reading books in the coolness of the shade.

Nights spent roasting hot dogs & marshmallows over the fire.

Listening to the fire crackle and pop.

Packing everyone into the truck to go and Explore one of the many nearby lakes looking for the “perfect one.”

BBQ with friends and family.

Reconnecting and recharging.

When I was little summer vacation was all of the above but somewhere along the way I bought into the lie that every single day needed to be filled with something.

I’m just as guilty with creating bucket lists so we could celebrate the passing of each season. Somehow I bought into believing we needed something to “look forward to” instead of enjoying the here & now.

But this summer I said “no” to all of that and “yes” to my children being children.

I’ve so said “no” to myself as well.

No, I’m not scrounging around my house looking for odd and ends to donate even though they will “be in our area shortly.”

No, I’m not adding an additional night or two of child care work outside of the house.

I think the 50 hours a week I already work is more than enough.

I’m already looking into trimming back to 40 (gasp!) I’ve allowed myself to not feel guilty for passing up on jam berry parties (sorry melody!) or skipping the party to make my eyelashes look fabulous.

Instead I chose bedtime stories with my kids and snuggles on couch.

I’ve said “yes” to quiet time in the garden.

To enjoying every summer day along side my children.

The only difference between he summers I spent as a child and now is I call my children home for the night.

Not the street light.

And for the record I still wipe the mud off the hose with my shirt.



18 thoughts on “It’s o.k to say no

  1. I have been the same way this Summer. I have grown to be okay with saying “no” to the hecticness of planned out days and driving around to a zillion places. I have enjoyed having a carefree Summer. It’s been much more enjoyable!


  2. I have been struggling with this lately – especially as a blogger. I hate saying no to pitches, but a lot of the offers I get lately really don’t appeal to me. Thanks for the reminder that it’s ok to say no.


  3. I spent a lot of time feeling guilty about “no”; even to the point of it affecting my health in a massive way. I’ve learned that using the elective to turn something down is a gift to myself and the other party. It means I won’t put undue stress on myself to meet an demand I cannot handle; and I won’t overwhelm them as a target for frustration because they initiated the request. Using our power to limit the demands on ourselves is part of limiting the constant drain on our resources – without any replenishing.


  4. Awesome article! I totally agree. This is how we do it here, moment by moment, with only meals, naptimes, and craft time scheduled in. The rest is pretty well outdoor play time 🙂


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