"Mom, can we make playdough?"
"Maybe, in a little while."
" Mom, can we go for a walk?"
"Can we build a tent in the lounge"
My children ask something and immediately I respond, without thinking, with 'No' and immediately after that my children ask "Why not....please, can we?" Somewhere, in the back of my brain I hear a voice that says: "children shouldn't argue, if I say no, that's it." So, in blind obedience to this part of my head I argue back usually with some pointless answer like "Because I said so."
"No you cannot build a tent in the lounge - because I said so..."?
Why I am responding like this? I don't even really know. It's true, having a newborn is kind of exhausting and if I am totally honest part of me just wants everyone to be very quiet and not move around much. I don't want to manage any extra mess or do anything that requires extra energy. But seriously, this is ridiculous. My constant 'no' answer - is me - just asking for trouble and frustration and creating friction in our home; unnecessary, pointless friction.
I do not want to be this kind of a mother. I want to be thoughtful and purposeful. I want to be kind and logical and happy. I want our home to be peaceful and loving. I want the word 'no' to mean something and not just be mom's default answer to everything.
I am practicing saying 'yes'. I came across this post and was inspired to just say yes. Why not? Most of my children's requests are simple and harmless. Most of their requests are not even that messy, troublesome or time consuming. Most of the things my children want to do are actually things I like doing. Saying 'no' has simply become a bit of a bad habit.
Mothering sometimes feels like Me versus Them and this is not my intention. I say "yes"....and suddenly it's Me and Them having fun together; making playdough, taking walks, building tents and sharing our days with each other. Building memories, nurturing our love and creating joy. Just Say Yes. No friction, no arguing, no disappointment. And then, when I need to say no - it has a better chance of being taken seriously - because it is probably something that I actually take seriously.
"Mom, can we...."
*** I make playdough from this recipe!