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Blowing Bubbles

Say No So You Can Say Yes to Something Greater

By Rachel Meeks

I went to a parents’ meeting at school so we could set up a schedule for volunteer help. At one point the discussion turned to who would be the room mother for each class.

“I can’t do it.” said one mom. “I already signed up to be the room mother for fourth grade. With my work schedule, I don’t have time to be the room mother for kindergarten too.”

“Okay, that’s fine.” replied the volunteer coordinator.

“Unless you want me too,” she continued. “I just don’t have the time. But if no one else can do it, then just call me.”

Does that sound familiar?

It’s perfectly fine to say no. We assured her that we didn’t want her to be the room mother for both classes.

“Thanks,” she said as she sat back in her seat and sighed with relief.

For every time that you say yes to one thing, you need to say no to something else.

My kid just started kindergarten this year, and she loves it. I was a little worried that having the new structure for seven hours a day would be hard for her, but she gets excited about it.

“Are you going to sign her up for Book Buddies and Earth Savers after-school clubs?”

“Maybe not this semester, I don’t think we’re going to be joining anything yet.” I don’t want to add another hour to her new school schedule, and our family has never been busier than it has these last few months.

Then there is the choice of ballet, gymnastics, tee-ball, soccer. I bet she would love a ballet class. Maybe we will find her one in a month or two.

But honestly? She’s only five, and she spends seven hours of her day in structure at school before coming home. What she needs is time for free play and time with the family.

When we say no, then we get to say yes to better choices. For her that means more time to play. Dress-up fairy costumes, quilt tents built by her daddy, packing up her backpack for imaginary adventures, and dressing up her little brother who adores her. I love it. We’ll have plenty of time for more plans later.

Have you chosen to say no to anything lately so that you can say yes to something greater?

Photo credit: Thinkstock

About the Author

Rachel Meeks

Rachel Meeks is the voice behind the popular blog Small Notebook, a resource for simplifying and organizing your home. (Because it’s so much easier to b...

Rachel Meeks is the voice behind the popular blog Small Notebook, a resource for simplifying and organizing your home. (Because it’s so much easier to be a parent when you’re not surrounded by a ton of stuff.)

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