I am a “yes” girl.
You want to have a playdate? Need someone to watch your kids? Looking for someone to run an errand for you? Pick up extra work? Clean your house? Support your business? Throw your girlfriend a surprise party? Deliver your baby in a kiddie pool in your living room? Recreate an impressionist painting to hang above your mantle?
Sure. Yes. Absolutely.
I don’t think I’m physically capable of doing half of those things, but yeah. Okay.
I’m your girl.
I’ve always been this person, and I’ve always loved it. It makes me happy to do things for others. I enjoy seeing my loved ones smile. It’s worth it to go the extra mile and put myself second for the people I care about.
Unfortunately, priorities as a mom are very different from priorities pre-baby.
I used to be the friend who would bring you flaming hot cheetos at 11pm because I know you’re having a rough day. I used to be the friend who would drive you to your dentist appointment an hour away because your car broke down.
I am now the friend who leaves birthday parties early and cancels coffee dates last-minute.
I could still do all of the things I did before, but I would do it at the cost of my sanity. I would do it while toting around an overtired baby, I would do it after canceling our only date night this month, I would do it instead of waxing my horrifically overgrown eyebrows.
I’m understanding more and more the importance of saying “no”. I’m understanding that I am the most important person in my life. I can’t be the wife and mother my family deserves if I’m running myself into the ground.
The “yes girl” in me will still emphatically agree to come over and redo your floors “sometime”.
Spoilers: “sometime” likely won’t happen until all my kids are in college. Sorry, floors.
You see, I’ve tried to do it all. The first few months of baby girl’s life I went on every road trip, showed up to every gathering, ran ragged doing favors. I didn’t want anyone to think I’d gotten lazy in motherhood.
And then I went back to work.
And I spent 9 hours a day missing her, wishing I’d spent more time with her while I had the chance instead of worrying about other people. Wishing I’d let myself soak up all the newborn snuggles before they were gone. And since leaving my job, little by little, I’m finding myself setting more boundaries. Respecting my time and my comfort more. Prioritizing myself and my family.
I would like to make myself a set of commandments. A “yes girl” reformation program, if you will. I plan on repeating these to myself whenever I feel pulled in too many directions. If you, too, are a “yes girl”, I hope you’ll join me– but don’t feel pressured, that’s literally the whole point of this.
- My time is valuable. I will respect it.
- I have worth as a human being beyond what I can do for other people.
- “No” is not a bad word.
- I am my number one priority right now.
- My boundaries are not up for negotiation.
This won’t be something I figure out overnight. I might be 50 years old and still agreeing to things I know I can’t handle. But for now, baby steps. For now, maybe I can be a little less “yes” and a little more “maybe, sometimes, not right now”. For now, I can remind myself that I deserve to be happy, too. I matter, too. And that’s a start.