Friday, July 3, 2009

Yes -- or No?

Is "No" your default response?

Kids ask a lot of us, from morning until night. "Can I have cheesecake for breakfast?" "Can I play at a friend's house?" "Could you get me some milk?" "Change me!"

(That last one is from my not-yet-potty-trained three-year-old.)

All the requests, frankly, can be a bit exhausting. With four boys, at 1000 questions a piece per day, that's 4000 questions or 166.6666666 questions per hour! Subtract sleep time and the number increases to an amazing 222.22222 questions per hour. No wonder I'm so tired at night!

It's easy to viewt our sons' questions as intrusions. Every little "can I....?" adds something to the day I hadn't planned, and our days are pretty packed as is. Saying no often seems like the easy way out -- "No, we can't go swimming today" or "No, you can't have a friend over."

But what if we viewed our sons' requests as an opportunity to know them better? What if, instead of viewing requests as intrusions or an added burden, we viewed them as their souls, telling us what they need?

Author and blogger Jill Savage is hosting a Yes Mom challenge for the month of July, and I'm taking her up on it. Will you join me?


  1. First off - I'm *sooo* glad that you were the one who did the math on this one. Otherwise, I'd have a headache ;)

    I've never really been a "no" mom, more of a "let's do that later" mom. Unfortunately, that often meant that other things came up and we never got around to doing whatever it was he wanted to do. And yes, I'll join the challenge this month! Cody will be 14(!) next month, and I'm running out of time to say yes.

  2. I've never been a "no" mother. I'm open to all their ideas, we talk about them.

    Sometimes the answer is if you can do it by yourself and clean it up then you can do it. This started with teaching my kids to change batteries in toys at age two. Before that I said, "Sorry, only Dad can change batteries." Battery changing was a thing I hated! LOL.

    And when I needed quiet I explained that sometimes my mind needed some rest so could we have some quiet?

    I homeschool my boys so there is never a break, basically.

    At other times we had months of one hour of quiet time in the afternoon where we all read to ourselves or the non-reader(s) played quietly by themselves while I got to read or lay down to rest for a bit.

  3. Firefly Mom -- I hear you about time running out. My oldest is only 11, but I think that about him already too. There are certain things I wanted to do with my kids, and I only have 7 more years left with him.

    Christine -- I homeschool my boys too, so I totally understand what you're saying about "never a break." Quiet Time was always one of my favorite parts of the day, but now that my youngest (age 3) is an inconsistent napper, it doesn't always happen. I do try to sneak off to the computer for some quiet "me time," though. I need that to recharge!