Bless the YES


Countless books have been written about it...
There are seminars galore to teach you to be better at it...
Many women I know struggle with it...
Countless have undoubtedly sought therapy for it...

*IT* is the inability to say **NO** when someone asks you to do something, donate something, work at something, make something, commit to something, teach something, lead something, join something.

Last week as I listened to an acquaintance rattle off all the things she had done that morning (I swear she was holding her head in her hands), all the things she had yet to do that afternoon before picking her children up at three different schools, then all the after-school activities and commitments she had, I confess I zoned out. Though I shook my head feigning sympathy for her plight, in all honesty I could not relate.

you see...

I am one of those people who doesn't have trouble saying *NO*.
In fact, I say *NO* to almost everything I am asked to do above and beyond the little world in which I spin.

Not because I think I'm above doing it.
Or that I don't think people and organizations need help.

I say *NO* because most of the time saying *YES* would take away some of the precious little time I have with my family, and it would make me feel like I said *YES* in vain. I would not be saying *YES* with a happy heart. And it would eventually make me resent doing whatever it is I committed to doing, and resent the organization or people I am doing it for. Which is exactly the opposite of how I want to feel - and how they want me to feel.

Because I work upwards of 50-55 hours a week (including a long commute twice a day), I belong to exactly zero organizations/groups. Our two oldest kids do one non-school activity per season if they want, or sometimes they don't do any. Our preschooler does none. We are not running various and sundry places every night of the week with a spreadsheet formula for who-picks-up-who-when.

The other reason I usually say *NO* is that I have grown to realize that my personal stars just don't align very well for being a joiner, a committee member, a rah-rah or go-to-meetings kind of person. I don't do well trying to navigate various and sundry personalities all trying to meld toward one common cause.

Now, I'm not a total loss. There are times I say *YES* - usually when there is something I can do at home after the kids are in bed. Paper-y things like printing fliers and addressing invitations are good. Paper is not a minefield to me. We get along very well. And if I do say *YES*, you can bet your bippy I will come through. I make very few commitments, but I keep all of the commitments I make.

And, I'll always gladly donate money since I choose not to donate my time. Cash is king in a lot of instances, right? Right? (And do not get me started on children + fund raising. Help me Rhonda...That is another post for another day.)

So, then...
all that to say...

For all of you who say *YES*, I salute you. God bless you for the time, the effort, the energy, and the support you give to many, many groups and organizations. I am sure that most of you reading this say *YES* much more often than I.

And, even though I say *NO*, please don't think I don't realize that because of that, someone else has to say *YES*.

For all of you who drive, write, call, and attend. THANK YOU!

For all the PTA-ers, the Girl/Boy Scout leaders, the Sunday School teachers and the team Moms/Dads - THANK YOU!

For all of you who go early, stay late, work an extra shift and sell when you think you can't sell any more - THANK YOU!

My season right now is a season of raising teens/tweens/ and toddlers. Of working much more than I really want to, and often feeling like I am swimming up stream. Of trying to carve out some semblance of time with my husband (mac n' cheese and red wine anyone?) and maybe even a few snippets of time alone to recharge.

This, too, shall pass and change and I am sure there will be a season where I am much more ready, willing and inclined to say *YES* more often.

But until that time comes, I am forever grateful for all the *YES* women and men out there.

From the bottom of my heart- thank you!


Heidi :

Great post...and you TOTALLY don't have to justify why you say no!

I just joined JL and I am praying that it doesn't take too much time from being with my son on the weekends.

I still have awhile before multiple children/multiple activities, etc.

I think it is FINE to say no! Do the best you can and that's all that matters.

Jennifer (mom of four) :

Amen Sistah!!!

I have learned to say No now that my littlest is in Kindergarten. I am no longer the room mom organizing the parties etc. I will send in napkins or plates or what have you. I am too busy with my kids one extra curricular activity that we allow them to do. With a husband that commutes to another state every morning and back home to Missouri. I feel like a single mom. haha

Thanks for the post Jillian!

Susan :

Great post, Jill. When I was much younger I had trouble saying "no" and spent some miserable time in things I had committed to but should not have. I am a very busy person, and involved in things, but the things I say "yes" to bring me great joy because I say "yes" out of love and interest and not out of obligation. That, I think, is the difference. Also, as you say, there are different seasons in our lives. You are wise to know yours.

Molly Lou Gifts :

AMEN Jillian! Bravo to you...what a fantastic post. I agree with you in so many ways...I, however, am one of those people that says yes too often and am working on the balance.

These times with our minis is too precious and I don't want to miss a second.

adrienne :

Amen Sister!

My littlest is in kindergarten now and I have said yes to a few things in an effort to not spend my entire day doing stuff just for me and being selfish with my time. I am realizing that maybe I should have taken my time and been a little more selective with my yeses. Live and learn. And may I just say that volunteer run school organizations are not organized enough for me. it makes me crazy!!!

Mrs. Newlywed :

I often say no as well. Not because I am being selfish, but because if I don't get some rest I am no good to anyone.

I TOTALLY don't think you have to explain yourself.

MissJody :

Yay-er! What a great post :)
I'm in agreeance with you!
I always felt like I had to explain why...
I really like this :)

Kelly :

Oh, how I want to be a person who can say, "NO!" It is currently on my list of "character flaws that I want to fix", right after "not being so tightly wound that I have no patience with other people". Sigh. So many things to fix...

Lipstick :

Applause...thunderous applause! I, too, say no and feel quite empowered when I do say no. I do wish I didn't feel some guilt about it later though.

I *want* to do everything...but, my goodness, that is just impossible since I am not currently the master of time and space.

Just Mom :

I have absolutely no trouble saying, "No." I used to be a "Yes" person, but now I'm much more selective -- and happier.

Tickled Pink And Green :

Oh I am a "no" girl. In fact I have trouble saying it, so I sorta "hide out" so no one even gets a chance to ask me. Hee hee.


Love this post. I recently said, "no" - I am a "yes" girl and it felt good.

Pink Martini :

I am a 'yes' gal but I tell you organizations need the benefactors and the persons willing to say 'yes' to the check. Sometimes it makes the job of the traditional 'yes' people much easier so I would still say you are a wonderful 'yes' person but just in a different way. And bless you for your generosities! Know it makes a difference. :)

Optimistic Pessimist :

i used to always say yes, but have been working hard on it for awhile and found it's not that hard to say no anymore.

great post!

Suburban Princess :

Great post!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Maureen :

Well stated! I need to work on this as I plan a preschool Halloween party, host a brunch, and babysit for a friend.

Nadine :

Great post. It's important to learn how to say No. It's healthy. I agree and I'm one who has no trouble saying no when I need to.

The 5 Bickies :

I love this post and so does my best friend in California. She doesn't comment but wants you to know you are terrific!

Well done!

Constant Frivolity :

Love this post!

I just said "no" at lunch time today for a neighborhood dinner. I just flat out said "no" and didn't even offer an excuse. I was proud of myself :)

Angi :

Totally agree! While it does take "Yes" people to get things done - we can't all be "Yes" people!

Poolside with the Girls :

I love this post. I have a friend who is a *yes* girl and she does so at the expense of her family. I think it's a sickness at times.

Have you ever seen the "SUV" drink cozy that say "stop unnecessary voluntering"?...I want to buy one for her. She's such a do gooder that her family never sees her and it's taking a toll on them.

There has to be a happy medium, I realize that not all people who say yes are like my friend, but I'm with you. Sometimes life just doesn't afford you the extra time to say yes. I would rather write a check than get all wrapped up in some scheme to raise money selling junk or whatever the school is pawning off on the parents these days. Here's my check now leave me alone!

Bravo to the *no* and God bless the *yes*.

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