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.
When it came to the newest vaccine that came out I also said no. I don’t judge anyone who thinks differently as we all deserve our rights of choice and should be respected for it. My decision was not because I am an anti-vaxxer and don’t believe in immunizations because I do. There’s some valid reasons to have some of them but this one just didn’t sit well with me. I found myself concerned with why the government and celebrities were so involved in healthcare. Shouldn’t real doctors and scientists be teaching us about the options? Did anyone really understand the virus to begin with and the possible side effects, morphications it could evolve into and if a vaccine even worked?
The entire situation quite honestly was shocking to me in how it was handled from the masks thing to just craziness it spilled over into every aspect of our lives. It really seemed no one was thinking for themselves and the advice from the news, government, celebrities and others just was simply out of control and constantly contradicting one another. It was and in a lot of areas still is confusing and frustrating. I wanted as little of it as possible and said no. I would figure this out on my own or find sane people who could answer my questions. I said no to news, political driven agendas and propaganda and supposed experts. I said no to it all and reclaimed my own right to think about what was appropriate for my family and me. That was a no I still don’t regret.
I think there is a lost art for thinking for ourselves. As moms we are so used to thinking of our family first and I think as a result that gives us an edge in being able to critically think through something before saying no or yes. When I say no I want it to be based on information and knowledge I know to be true and not just something someone is telling me is the answer. No to me is not a limitation but rather an invitation to seek out a different option. It is about my own empowerment as an individual and mom to consider what may be a more reasonable, viable, economical and fitting solution for me and my family.
Where I think this strikes most closely for me is in realizing how emotional some of responses we give as moms can be. We absolutely want our families safe, our children to be well and to grow up with as much opportunity as possible. Often that means saying no to things we know don’t support those objectives. It also means finding the right tools, support and information to have other options. Those answers may not be mainstream either but I have learned through this own experiment I did on what I say no to it is very worth it.
Again, if your views on these matters are different than my own that is alright. I think on top of not feeling empowered to say no we often today don’t realize we still have to respect others who think, feel and believe differently than ourselves. Maybe it’s not so much that I have said no or that you do about something but that we have lost the element of respect associated with what that represents. To me it represents our natural right to make decisions for ourselves and live our life freely in what is right and safe for ourselves. When it comes to natural living there is no bigger component of that then thinking for yourself.
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