Wednesday, May 19, 2010

getting to yes

This post is inspired by Momalom's 5 for 10 challenge. Or, if you're me, the 3 for 6 challenge.

A friend of mine from high school was here over the weekend. He's single, sans kids, and asked me a very good question.
"Do you feel like a different person, now that you're a mom?"

Thinking about it, I tried to pinpoint what, exactly has changed. And here it is. With two kids, there are five nos for every yes I can give myself. Here's what I want : to sit down by myself, drink tea, eat a snack, and type on my computer for ten minutes.
But: no, I can't do all of that in the available time. I choose one of those things to say yes to: the snack, say, or the tea. Or, right now, the computer.
I can choose a clean house or sleep. I can choose time to myself or time with my husband. I can choose exercise or laundry. I can choose writing or reading. TV or unloading the dishwasher. There are yesses, sometimes. However, I have to say no to myself far more often then I ever thought possible, back when "Mom" was my mother.

Saying no to myself was a nasty shock. And it was kind of a change, but the biggest change is this: I have gotten used to it. I no longer mind it. Not usually. Instead, I have joy in the yesses I can give myself--the half-hour nap, the sun in the morning while I read a psalm, the time carefully managed to pursue my dreams.

Saying yes is more meaningful when you know the hard shape of saying no so often.


Steve Finnell said...

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Anonymous said...

I really identify with this. Now i just need to get where you are and be a little better at saying "yes" to myself more often.

postmommy said...

SO very true.

And even though parenting means saying "no" to yourself more often, it also makes you appreciate those "yes" moments more than you ever did before!

SoccerMom said...

Coming from someone who never wanted kids. Finally having them was a huge eye opener for me.

Now that they are 15 & 20 I miss the old days when they were babies and often wonder what I was so afraid of.

So happy to have found you thru 5 for 10.

MidnightCafe said...

It's amazing how true this is - this having to say "no" to self, but not minding so much because the yes is so much more fulfilling. Thanks for a beautiful post!

~ MidnightCafe, here from Momalom

Heather said...

Thanks, all. I think my next challenge is simply remembering how to say yes to myself.

Michele said...

There are days when I get tired of saying no, but like you said, when you are able to say yes, either to yourself or your child, it seems to mean so much more now. I sometimes miss the days when there was no either or / yes or no, but I wouldn't trade the time with my girls.