There was a time when I would have answered differently, when this important word hardly ever crossed my lips, when motherhood felt simple, and the choices made were straightforward ones.
Now is a season where the days are full, the hours feel too few, and I have to consciously decide to make room what is important, to let go of what is not. There are are days when my heart is full, when motherhood is a gift, and then there are days that feel heavy, when my feet drag those last few steps at the end of the night, and I second-guess all my choices of the day.
Parenting “rules” change every day, from sunblock to allergies to coconut oil. Who can even begin to keep up with the onslaught of demands on our minds and our energy? Every day I see the struggle among women – the struggle to keep up, to have a voice, to make an impact, to be enough.
But who is it for? What is the intention, the thought behind our choices? Are we spending so much time trying to be everything and do everything that we forget to be and do what matters most to our hearts?
Maybe there will be another season when time has slowed down, but for now –
– the most important word in my motherhood vocabulary is “NO.”
I say no to the demands of a materialistic society, and choose to set different standards for myself and my children.
I say no to people who place weight on my heart.
I say no to time spent on activities that strain our family instead of bringing us joy.
I say no to meeting someone else’s expectations at the expense of my own peace.
I say no to holding onto anger or regret, instead of making my own new path.
I say no to making assumptions, deciding what another person is thinking or feeling, instead of speaking honestly and hearing their own words.
I say no to an excess of noise – the noise of gossip, negative words, and complaints.
I say no to commenting on the flaws, and choose to speak the good.
I say no now more often than I ever did before, because by saying no to all these things, I have so much more room for yes.
The times when I say yes, it is for what brings true joy.
My “yes” is given with love, with intention, and with my whole heart.