Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blogging A to Z Challenge

Just say “NO”!

The requests start almost as soon as you get up in the morning—or maybe even before.

“Mommy, I’m hungry!”

They continue through the morning… “Can you iron this shirt for me?” “I forgot—I’m supposed to take treats today! Can you make something?” “Will you make me waffles for breakfast?”

…and then continue throughout the day… “Would you head up Vacation Bible School this summer?” “How about serving on our committee?” “Can you come over and help me?” “Will you give me a ride?” “Can you help with this project?”

…into the afternoon and evening…”Could you please help me with my homework?” “Will you drive me to practice?” “Can you help me find something?”

…and maybe even until (or after?) you’re asleep…”One more drink of water, please?” “Will you rub my back?”

It’s tempting to say “yes” to any and all requests; after all, it’s nice to feel needed and many of the requests come from people you love or want to help. But if you’re not careful, even those seemingly little requests can end up taking a big chunk of your time and energy. If you say “yes” all the time, to everyone, you’ll take time away from your own home, family, and goals…and will most likely end up feeling resentful and not doing what you do wholeheartedly.

Saying “NO” can require a change in your way of thinking. First of all, it’s OK to say “no”—even if you don’t have a “good” reason for doing so. God doesn’t hesitate to say “no” to us to things He knows are not right, and sometimes that “no” turns out to be a gift—even if we don’t realize it at the time. Likewise, your “no” can be a gift to someone else.

Obviously, you’ll “give” more to your kids and spouse. But again, saying “yes” to every request, big and small, can be overwhelming and leave you without any time for yourself. By meeting every request you also may deprive your family from learning something new, problem solving, and becoming self-sufficient.

If you feel confident in your decision to say “no” to a request, you have no reason to feel guilty about it; no one can “make” you feel guilty—it’s a feeling that you choose to take on. Instead of feeling guilty about saying “no”, choose to feel satisfaction in what you are doing instead.

Here are a few more guidelines for saying “NO”:

  • Before you say “no” prayerfully consider the request and open yourself to God’s direction. Even if it’s something out of your comfort zone, it might be something that God wants you to do.
  • Ask for all of the details before you make a decision. Find out how much time is involved, where and when it will take place, how often meetings occur, exactly what your job involves, and so on.
  • If you need to, buy some time by saying, “Before I answer I need to talk with my husband/check my calendar/see if I can find a babysitter.” Commit to giving an answer within a reasonable amount of time and then give your answer by that time.
  • You don’t have to give a reason for saying “no!”
Here are several ways for saying “NO” or compromising when asked to do something that just doesn’t fit into your life at the time.

  • “I’m sorry, I just can’t.” (You do not have to give any more of an explanation!)
  • “It doesn’t work for me and my family at this time.”
  • “We’ve decided to spend more time with our children this year and so are not taking on any additional commitments.”
  • “I know I helped last year, but this year I’m not able to.”
  • “I can’t help with the fundraiser this year, but I will next year.” (Only say this if you mean it—you will be asked!)
  • “That’s not one of my skills or interests, but I could help by…”
  • If you don’t want to be in charge of a big project, consider helping with a smaller aspect of it; “I can’t plan the class party, but I will bring snacks.” “I can’t be in charge of Vacation Bible School, but I’ll be glad to help make phone calls to find teachers.”
"For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you...the Word is very near to you. It is in your mouth and in your heart so that  you can do it!"
                                                                                        Deut. 30:11, 14

When you use these guidelines you’ll be able to make a wise decision when asked to do something!

(Adapted from the book Home is Where the Mom Is;  A Christian Mom’s Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home. To see a complete Table of Contents, click on the tab at the top of this blog. Home Is Where the Mom Is is the perfect gift for any mom! Ordering information in the sidebar.)

I’m also blogging at Nebraska Family Times
Today’s entry will tell you why and how to start a “Gratitude Journal.” 


  1. Good advice! It's nice to be helpful, but sometimes you just have to say no.

  2. How beautifully put. Just say no. I envy you your energy to get through each day. Give each of your children a secret hug from me.

  3. You're right, Kyra, it is nice to be helpful, but I try to remember that if I help *everyone* at some point I won't be able to help anyone.

    Francene--thank you! And I will be glad to give my kids hugs. :-)

    Thank you both for commenting!

  4. I appreciate the reminder to say no! :)
    Angie (one of the Faith Girls)

  5. Thanks for commenting Angie! I think we all need that reminder once in awhile.


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