My son would tell you I say no. He tells me he’s not even going to ask me things because he knows the answer will be no. I am a little surprised when he says that because I like to think I don’t always tell him no. But maybe I do? Granted I will say no to things like snacks before dinner, staying up past bedtime and even some things he wants to do that I’m not sure are exactly safe but isn’t that what moms are supposed to do? How did no become some such a bad thing?
I started paying attention to all the times I say no to my son and everything else in my days. Maybe he was right. What I learned was my no is actually a bundle of mom thinking that has influenced a lot in my life. They never tell you when you become a mom that your body, heart and mind all change. My mind had changed a lot since I became a mom. Things I used to not give a second thought to had become no somewhere along the way. It was no longer a simple matter most of the time and I felt compelled deeply to make wiser choices. Was the attempt to be wiser also holding me and my family back?
A mom no is final. Most of the time. I try to make it sound final at least. We all know kids are going to ask again and I strive for consistency but he and I both know there are times that no will turn into an alright. Yet when I say no it means I’ve said yes to something else. Let’s face it there are usually a couple options on the table and we make choices based on the moment we find ourselves in and the information available. It is about doing what is right for our children and family in those moments of big and small things that we face in this responsibility.
When we were faced with the virus last year I still said no to chemicals in our home. Our family had seen improvement in how often we got sick and how severe it was when it happened as I had cleaned out the toxic chemicals in our house. I felt comfortable saying I didn’t believe masks were necessary and we didn’t need to make our home smell like a chemical wasteland in the process. We could be protected, we were and we still are. We were responsible and took care where we went, practiced good preventative healthcare and moved on with our daily lives as much as was possible in the flurry of overreaction occurring everywhere in our society. I said no to becoming wrapped up in it when I realized how much it was going against what I thought was a better way to respond.