I’ve gotten better at saying no to obligations or requests that don’t work for our family or my schedule. I’m less inclined in my thirties to worry about people pleasing in general, and am able to set more realistic boundaries concerning things I am willing to commit my time and energy to.
But with my kids, sometimes my yes is yes and my no is no. But often my yes, is maybe, or let me think about it, or ask your father. Sometimes my no is also, we’ll see, I’m not sure yet, or the enigmatic maybe.
Why do I do this? Stall with my answers?
Usually, I have a pretty strong idea which I am leaning toward. Sure, there are times when I can’t be sure if it will work to have a friend over or to go the park when I know we have a lot of errands to do or school work to finish up.
Sometimes, we’ll see is the only appropriate answer because I cannot foresee the future and therefore don’t know if my half hour of errands will take all day because the baby will have a meltdown in the store, Kaia will need to go to the bathroom, I will realize I’m almost out of gas, and the woman in front of me in the checkout will need a price check for an item that no employee can find in the entire store.
But sometimes, I know that I am not answering because too many times I have said yes and ended up trapped into commitments that I am too tired or busy to complete.
I am bad at this. The cardinal rule of good parenting, keep your word. I make promises I can’t keep and let my kids down. Never out of spite but rather because I am an idealist and in a perfect world, we would have time to bake cupcakes in the afternoon, or sew doll clothes, or go to the pool. But in reality sometimes that promise made at 10 am before the full day of errands is foolish, and when the time comes to sprinkle cupcakes or get our swim gear together, we are still standing in line at Costco with four overloaded carts ahead of us.
So I am forever in “I’ll make it up to you tomorrow mode.” Not only will we bake cupcakes but we’ll have your friends over for an impromptu party. And then those extra promises take more time and energy and money and I am behind again and failing at the next promise.
I have good intentions but I am realizing I am that mom. The one that the kids don’t really trust to do what I say, and I hate that.
Hence the mom of the maybes. And if your kids are anything like mine, the mom of the maybes is then badgered to death for a definite answer and sanity is at a breaking point with every impassioned plea from a hopeful child.
I am a flake. Ugggh. It actually hurts to say this because I really don’t want to be. I think of flaky people who can never be taken an their word and I don’t want to be lumped into that group.
But alas, the sad truth is that the pace of my life is anything but slow and leisurely. There is a frenetic pace that never seems to slow and I have trouble doing all of the things that I want to. To do the things that matter.
I think I need to take a step back and reevaluate my priorities this summer. So, I am delving back into Organized Simplicity by my friend Tsh from Simple Mom. I am also going to be reviewing some of the 52 bites.
I have read and applied both in the past but I seem to have difficulty maintaining the level of simplicity that actually allows me to keep my word and have time to be the mom that follows through.
Because although I love the idea and concept of simplicity, I tend to think that I absolutely will repurpose those 6 wool sweaters in the closet or that the stacks of scrap fabric will come in handy when I finally do my Pinterest rag rug or the piles of outgrown clothes would be great for a needy family so I’ll just set those aside for, well forever. And the constant clutter makes like busy and the cycle continues.
So grab yourself a copy, they are worth a read, even for those who don’t need a clutterers anonymous group. I’ll be sharing my journey with you this summer and possibly fall depending on how far I get. I don’t want to make any promises… And hopefully, I won’t be the mom whose kids want it in writing.