I looked up from my peaceful reading spot on my bed to witness my daughter running full speed into my room with EXTREME excitement. She hurdled over the dog (who was sound asleep in the doorway) and proceeded to take a flying leap and a double roll onto my bed. “Mom! Can you paint my nails pleeeeeaaaassseee?” Now, let me preface this with saying we had spent the whole day together shopping, searching for a particular toy, eating at our favorite restaurant and had literally JUST walked in the door not 10 minutes before.
As my daughter sat there waiting for my reply, my first thought was, “Ugh…really?” But her sweet face made it almost impossible to say no. Notice I said almost. Being the super mom I am (insert sarcastic face), I asked her if I could have a little time to read and we would make it a point to paint her nails that night. She happily agreed and bounded out of the room.
As the afternoon turned into night and life took over, she and I both completely forgot about her need for painted nails. She ended up going to a friend’s house to play, and I got busy doing some much needed laundry (after I finished the last 3 chapters of my book). But that night as I was falling asleep, the fact I hadn’t painted her nails dawned on me and I felt bad. It kept bugging me, and the more I thought I about it the more I realized it wasn’t just about that moment. It was about the previous day when she asked me to take her to the park and I asked her to wait awhile and we forgot, or last week when my son asked to go to a movie and I said, “Sure! Let’s do it this weekend!” but that weekend came and went without a trip to the theater. All these things were really digging at me. Why would I agree but not do them? Did I secretly know we would forget so I wouldn’t have to follow through? I am sure there is some aspect of that which is true, but when I really thought about it, I knew I didn’t want to be a “Sure, in a while” or “Maybe later” kind of mom. I wanted to be a “YES! Let’s do it now!” kind of mom!
Now, before I get all sorts of comments about spoiling our children, having boundaries, and so forth, let me say I am NOT an advocate for always saying yes. What I mean is, “Yes I can paint your nails lets go do it now.” Or, “Yes! I can take you and your friends to the park”, or “Yes; I’d love to go to a movie. Go pick the movie out and we’ll buy the tickets now!” I want to be THAT type of mom. The mom who says yes to the stuff that matters. Not the toy at Target or the Xbox game from Game Stop. No, those things don’t matter and will rarely get a yes from me. I want to be the kind of mom who lets the “to-do” list go and makes making memories a priority. And it doesn’t stop with my kids. I want to be a “yes” kind of friend. A “yes” kind of wife. I want to be unselfish and intentional with my time. Something I am learning s—-l—–o—-w—-l—-y!
One of the kindest and most unselfish people I know is my step-dad John. He is a master at giving his time. He gives it freely, without concern for what else he could be doing or getting done. I know if I called him this moment (its 10:30PM on a Saturday night) and needed him, he would come over and help me do whatever it was, no questions asked. No excuse for why he can’t. He would say yes! That is just the way he is and the way I aspire to be.
After this new found realization came to light (the one of how incredibly selfish I can be) I challenged myself to change, to be more intentional with my time, to be a YES kind of mom! During this time, I realized a few important things.
Being a YES kind of mom does NOT mean you say yes to every request!
Saying yes to each and every request will only leave you exhausted. Also, um..you’re a mom! You’re busy, too. Being a yes kind of mom means you pick what is important, what will feel good to you and your kids and you go do it with your whole heart!
Being a YES kind of mom might mean letting go of some things for a while to share in the memories now!
It may mean the dishes pile up or the laundry gets put away later. That’s okay. Let it pile up! It will be there when you get back.
Being a YES kind of mom means teaching our kids how to serve others!
When we say yes to our kids and they see us give up something we want to do for them, we are in essence teaching our kids the importance of service!
Being a YES kind of mom doesn’t have to take all day!
Yes, it might mean an hour trip to the park, 30 minutes shooting hoops or playing soccer, or a couple hours at a movie. But, the benefits are immense. Trust me! When I started saying yes to the things that mattered, (playing more with my kids) I realized our relationship got better and I started to let go of the “mom guilt”.
Being a YES kind of mom is different for each mom!
There is no right or wrong way to do it. For one mom it may mean taking her daughter shopping for 5 hours on a Saturday and for another mom it may mean saying yes to 20 minutes of reading to her son each night. It is essentially being intentional, being present, and giving of our time to the ones we love the most.