Thursday, November 20, 2008


So a few days ago, I was reading another blog about being a "yes mom".

As in, why say no, when you can say yes.

There are so many times when my kids ask me to do something, and my immediate response is "no". But it got me thinking. Why do I say no all the time? Usually, it's mere laziness. I'd rather read my book to myself (still slogging through Eclipse btw) then read Pinkalicious one more time. I really hate making messes. Painting is messy. As is gluing.

Sometimes I say no because I really need to say no. No, Elisha, you may not wear your hoodie to school when it is 45 degrees outside. No, Shana, you may not wear that shirt with a hole in it. Jacob, you must take a shower. Dovi, you may not drink that cup of milk. You will aspirate it into your lungs and get pneumonia. It's my job to keep them healthy and safe.

But most of the time, that's not why I say no. Despite outward appearances, I'm really lazy. I kind of want the kids that want to sit around and read on Shabbos afternoons. I don't particularly enjoy playing Trouble. I like sitting myself on my couch with a cup of tea and reading. Hopefully something other than the Twilight series very soon.

But I need to remind myself-that's not my job now. I wanted these kids. Really, really wanted them. I love them. It's my job to guide them and nurture them, to love them and teach them right from wrong. And what am I teaching them if when they ask me, if, say, can we make banana bread with you Mommy, I say "No! It's too messy" or, "Will you read me a book?" and I immediately respond with a no?

On Monday night, we dropped Dovi off at the reading tutor. The kiddies were in their jammies already. As we left the house, they realized it was snowing. Tiny little flakes, only sticking on the grass, but snow nonetheless. Elisha, Shana, and Jakie were thrilled! SNOW!!!! When we got back from dropping him off, they asked me if they could go outside and play in the snow. I immediately responded "No, you're already in your jammies". But then I realized-WHY was I saying no? For no good reason. Homework was done. Lunches were made. Laundry was put away. We really had nothing else to get done before bedtime, which wasn't even for an hour. So I said:

"You know what, guys? Yes, you can play in the snow!"

They were so excited! Enjoy the pictures.

Look how cool it is-their jackets have reflective tape on them, and it really works!!

So all went well.

Until Jacob smashed Shana in the face with a debris filled snowball. She still has a big scratch across her face to show for it.

And then Benjie tripped over the huge pile of boots on the front hall carpet.

You can't have everything, my dears :)


Kelly said...

Very sweet post. And, by letting your kids play in the snow, you got some fun pictures to add to your post. ;)

I'm going to try to remember this lesson a little more often. Thanks.

Rachelz said...

Wow Sara, I felt like you could have been talking about me. I loved this post. I am actually struggling with the no/yes issue myself right now. I am always torn between setting limits (and one of the my kids has an especially hard time with them) and not falling into my own laziness by saying no.
Thank you for the inspiration.
Also, can we have a list of some of your favorite books, I am feeling bored reading wise.

Stephanie said...

My general rule is to wait a beat before saying "no" so I can think about why I'm saying no. It helps. Sometimes I say "in 5 minutes" which is NOT no, but then sometimes they forget, and I feel less guilty. :D

Shosh said...

awesome post

DESJ and Company said...

I basically read anything that I can get my hands on.
DId you read the "Something Borrowed" Series? Excellent.
Cecelia Ahern? You'll sob from PS I Love You
I have an excellent book called Fragile about a woman with a child with special needs- I "know her" from online. You can borrow it if you'd like...
The Big Stone Gap series-I read it out of order and that sucked.
I could go on...

elisha said...

I really liked this post too. I find that I say no more when I am stressed and feel overwhelmed. I am trying to let that go and say yes more often too. ( I think a cleaning lady to handle the messes might make me say yes more often)!! As for the reading (which I do obssesively) do you like Twilight? I just bought it even though vampires do nothing for me!

DESJ and Company said...

I'm about to start the 4th one. Completely NOT impressed. I feel like I'm reading Dawson's Creek with vampires. I'm going to read #4 because I need to finish what I've started but I feel it's soooo not lived up to the hype.

Anonymous said...

I used to say "maybe tomorrow", until my daughter said to me "but tomorrow never comes..."


Toni said...

What a great post! I am glad it inspired you, and I love the pictures of the kids, the exact same thing happened to me this week, except we didn't have that much snow. The kids begged to go outside in the flurries, I almost said no, and then I remembered my post! They had fun and it was not a big deal at all for me to say yes!

Rachelz said...

i haven't read any of those books. I am very excited to go to the library now, thanks, i appreciate it.

amy (3Peas) said...


Nice jackets- we have the same ones!
But you are MUCH nicer than me- as there's no way I'm charging those darn battery packs. (not for the jackets OR the backpacks thank you very much) I lied and told the kids they were broken after they died the 1st time :) lol

Jill said...

Your post really hit home for me. I can totally relate. :)
Hope you're enjoying Eclipse. It was my favorite book in the series.