Learning to say, "No".
Learning to say, "No".
Learning how to say no to people does not come easily for me until I find myself in a whirlwind of feeling overwhelmed and over-committed. There are many activities I enjoy and as I go through this journey, I am learning what can be done now and what needs to be placed on hold for another day.
Let me give you a little taste of one of my days before I decided to cut some things out of the "to do" list.
One day out of the week I was at work by 8am and I did not leave until 5pm to pick up my son from daycare, then it was off to a "yes" commitment while grabbing fast food on the way since there was no time for a sit down family dinner. I then came home about 8pm, got my son into bed and started on my school work. I typically would not lay my head on the pillow until about 1 or 2 am. I'd be up by 5:45am and ready to do another day.
Now, that was one of my busiest days but each day was full of commitment and time sucking things I'd said, "yes" to. After writing each day down, I realized that the day I outlined in particular was not caring for the needs of my son at all. My poor little boy was at daycare by 7:30 a.m., school soon after that for most of the day, then back in daycare until I picked him up at 5:30pm. He was rushed through a fairly unhealthy dinner in the car just to be placed in another classroom for 1.5 hours while I helped out in my area of commitment. Then, he was rushed home and into bed. By that time he was utterly exhausted!
When I realized this and had enough, I decided that instead of this anxious, overwhelming feeling I was having and the schedule I was allowing my son to endure, that I would take back my life and my time with my son and simply start to say "no".
It is amazing what happens when you start to set your boundaries and follow through with them. My days have begun to feel calmer and I have had time to cook dinner most days of the week and enjoy time with my son. It's great to experience the conversations and for him to know that I've set aside that time just for him. He is also resting better at night since he has the opportunity to wind down before bed.
My eyes have been opened and I feel so much better since I've lightened the schedule for him and a little for myself. I am happy to say we have down time and he is in bed at a decent time each night consistently.
What is in your life that you can say "no" to?
Are you feeling overwhelmed and unable to grasp extra time in your day for yourself and your kids?
The first step for me was making a list of all my commitments and then analyzing what was needed and what could be put on hold for another time. When you do this you might surprise yourself with how much is on your plate. I wish you luck in finding your balance.