Sometimes I will meet a woman at work and instantly become concerned for her. She will tell me how she works full time and then tell me about her home life with multiple kids who all have multiple activities and how she volunteers in lots of things and then also takes care of her older family members and has other friends who need her time and attention.
I often have to stop myself from grabbing those women, shaking them and telling them that it is OK to say No to stuff.
No one will be surprised when that Mom burns out and has a meltdown over some dishes in the sink at work. (Yes, that really happened one day.) There is a big difference between a selfless and self-protective giver.
I know myself well enough that if I make a commitment to someone, I will stick with it. This was true when I agreed to be the statistician for the girls basketball team in high school, even thought I don't like basketball. My teacher (who had asked me to do it) pointed out at the end of the season, that while I did a good job, she saw that my heart wasn't in it, and I should learn to say "no" to things I don't really want to do.
I am thankful that she liked me enough to have that straightforward conversation with me.
I think about that conversation when I approach other people for favors that I am not sure if they want to do or not. I try my best to remind them that "no" is an option and that I will still like them if they decide to exercise that right. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.
I feel like entire books have been written on this subject: How to say No. And yet, we still have tons of Moms who find it difficult to put themselves in that position. And then those Moms burn out, which is painful to watch.
So, to all the Moms out there: You say "no" to your children to protect them from things they shouldn't do in the world...why not give yourself the same break and save yourself from the world, too?
When's the last time you wished you had said "no" to a request? Tell me in the comments.