Just Say No

This week has been much better than last week.  Thank you for your support and encouragement!  Today is the first day in a week that both of my boys are at school.  Normally, I find this kind of free time paralyzing, and have, on more than one occasion, completely frittered it away on Buzzfeed or Pinterest or some other vortex-like site.

Currently, I have the dual pressures of needing to practice for a gig, and also needing to write my weekly post.  No matter how hectic my schedule has gotten, I have really tried to stick to a one-post-per-week schedule.  This week, as Sunday and Monday melded together in some sort of harrowing parental gauntlet, I was not exactly able to do either.  And due to the everyday challenges of keeping the house functional and devising ways to trick my kids into eating, I have not been feeling highly motivated to do a post.

Indeed, I have not been feeling highly motivated to do much of anything.  Yesterday, when my oldest, in a voice full of love and excitement, suggested that we bake some cookies, I barely responded.  I think I told him that I was going to take a nap first, and that we would do it “later.”  And when later came, I wasn’t exactly a paragon of patience.

Now, I’m all for midday napping, and making sure that a Mommy nurtures herself, but clearly I was on edge, and a mere 30 minutes of rest wasn’t going to cut it.    I needed an attitude shift.

This morning, after seeing a wise friend of mine share this post about taking time to be calm, present and grateful, I realized that I’ve been so focused on what I “need” to do that I forgot that I can say no to things.  I don’t have to write a post.  It’s a self-imposed deadline.  I don’t have to practice today.  The gig isn’t until the 26th.  I don’t have to clean the kitchen, or pick up the toys.  The dishes will be dirty again (sooner than it seems possible, really), and the toys will continue to clutter the house (which is a maddening blessing).  These things are always waiting for me.

So, this is all the posting I’m doing today.

Ironically, once I stopped feeling like I had to do all the things, all the things suddenly become so much easier to do.  I cleaned the kitchen, picked up the toys, put away some laundry (!!!), wrote this post, and I’m about to practice.  Oh, and I made these cookies, too.

oh yeah, that's all chocolate right there.
oh yeah, that’s all chocolate right there.

I should reverse psychologize myself more often, apparently.

12 thoughts on “Just Say No

  1. It’s amazing how productive we become when there’s no pressure! And it’s amazing that you have so many chocolate cookies to still put away… I probably would’ve eaten half- they look delicious!

  2. I used to get so stressed out at the thought of my kids being off from school and having to entertain them and get everything else done around the house. But last week when they were on break I vowed to take it easy and enjoy spending time w/them and not having to do the morning routine and rush out the door. And although I could never homeschool, the week overall was a relaxing success and everything that needed to be done was done when it needed to be! Do you think that as stay at home mom’s we put more (unnesseccary) pressure on ourselves to get things done, to feel productive and accomplished?

    1. Good for you! I think it’s likely that as SAHMs we are too hard on ourselves. I know I have to keep double-checking that my expectations are realistic, and finding the balance that works for my family.

  3. Oh, do I hear you on the self-imposed blogging deadlines. I’m completely convinced that if I stop posting two new recipes and a menu plan each week, I will lose all my readers forever. (Thanks, self.) If it wasn’t a labor of love…

  4. Love this post!
    It’s so cool how we can accomplish so much when we lower our expectations and allow ourselves to say no when it feels like too much. I also find that making lists helps tremendously. This way I feel SO accomplished every time I cross something off the list. It may take til day 2 to finish everything on my list, but when I’m done, it feels great!

    Can you share the recipe for those cookies? They look delicious! :) Wish I can take an e-bite!

    1. Thanks! It’s amazing, I agree. And thanks for the reminder about list-making. I find that it really helps me schedule my time better.

      The cookies are the Giant Zebra Fudge Cookies from Kosher by Design Short on Time Cookbook. They’re supposed to be rolled in powdered sugar but I didn’t have any on hand. And yes, they were still good without it!

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