“Hey Mom, can I please have this delicious looking sweet that my friend gave me in my party pack?”
“Please, please, please, please, please, please can I have it?”
Conversation repeats itself until I have threatened to take away all privileges, any hint of fun and maybe even life itself.
The truth is, I find myself saying NO to almost everything.
It could just be because they ask me to do ridiculous things on a regular basis, but still, I find the word NO coming out of my mouth at least 25 times a day. A simple question of “Can I wear a short sleeve dress with no jersey today?” will get a big fat NO, because it’s freaking raining outside child, can’t you see that?! Or “Can I play with water and make mud while wearing my school uniform?”, uh, NO! because duh! “Mommy, I’m huuuuuungry, can I have a banana?” NO – it’s 10 minutes till supper time.
Those ones are logical. But what about the ones where I just say no because, well, no!
“Mom can we please play with the marbles?” NO. Why? I don’t know. Except that I know that I’m going to be finding marbles all over the freaking place for the rest of forever because they don’t know how to pack away. Or “Can Kyla and I PLEASE sleep in the same bed tonight?”. NO Why? Uh, well, um, because I said so.
Do you know how much it sucks to be a NO Mom?
I’m always the bad guy, saying NO to snacks and treats (because they get more than enough at school and Granny). Or NO to doing the fun stuff even though it makes perfect sense that you can’t play in the sprinkler on the windiest day since hurricane Matthew. Or NO to the request to leave the table until after they’ve finished their vegetables.
It sucks. I’m tired.
So on Friday night the girls asked me if they could have a “sleepover” with each other in Kyla’s bed. Both sleeping next to each other. Usually my default would be, well, you know, NO! But I said yes. Because I’m trying this new thing where I don’t automatically think that the worst will happen but rather of all the fun they’ll have and the memories they’ll make. Then I apologised for always saying no. So then obviously Kyla said, “Mom, you should make a sign that says ‘I say NO’ and put it on your door, so then everyone knows that you say no.”
And I was all like emotional and stuff because I don’t really want my children forever thinking of me as the Mom who tried to reign them in, to protect them from doing stupid things and stopped them from having fun that would hurt them in the long run.
Except that I kinda do.
Now I’m stuck trying to find the balance of saying yes to the things that don’t matter (like sleepovers, tents, playing in the sand and other fun stuff) but still making sure that I parent my kids by saying NO where it matters. It’s not easy. Like any facet of parenting really. It’s never easy. But I’m hoping that in the long run, they’ll turn into decent humans and we’ll still have a pretty good relationship at the end of it all. We can only hope.
Do you always say NO like me? Or are you a cool YES Mom?