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.