A guest post my Jenny Oberhaus.
OK, let’s get real…
Y’all, I’m tired.
As a stay-at-home mom of an almost-5-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy, juggling two part-time jobs that I also do from home (can you say “multi-task”?), I am tired.
I’m tired of pretending to be interested in the intricacies of my son’s Minecraft village. I’m tired of feeling like a PR rep for the food I’m trying to convince my daughter to eat (“But Sweetheart, this type of mac and cheese is all the rage with First Graders these days!”). And I’m tired of staying up way too late just to relish in the peace and quiet that only exists after my darling children are snug in their beds.
But – truly, truly, TRULY – the thing I’m most tired of is saying “no.”
All. Of. The. Time.
I sound like a broken record of negativity and I’m over it. So I took a page from a friend’s playbook and declared a “YES! Day.” It’s meant to be an entire day when you literally say ‘yes’ to everything your kids ask to do. Being the Type-A, control-freak kinda gal that I am (and for our family budget’s sake), however, I did mentally set a few parameters:
- Activities that charge a fee or admission were OK (within fiscally responsible reason).
- Other purchases were OK as long as the kids used their own money. (I still see this as fun for them because I often say ‘no’ to the junk they want to buy… Even with their own money. Yes, I am that mom.)
- I didn’t announce YES! Day ahead of time, lest they stay up all night scheming about how to take the fullest advantage of the opportunity. Heck – I didn’t even announce it that morning. I just started saying ‘yes,’ which was a sneaky-sort-of fun for me. [Insert evil mom laugh that will later be used for when I threaten to embarrass them as punishment.]
- And, finally – and this is more of a suggestion than a guideline – I did this on a day where we had little-to-nothing planned. Otherwise, I’d inevitably find myself slinging the N-word all day long just to make the day work.
So, our YES! Day went a little something like this…
YES #1: During breakfast, my son asked me to play Gangnam Style on my phone. I obliged and, as usual, I start dancing. Then the kids asked to join me.
Why, YES, you can!
So we danced like fools in the kitchen while our Eggos waited patiently.
YES #2: I had already planned to take the kids to the movies so, after breakfast, off we went. I paused at the concessions stand, fully prepared to rack up points on my Old Navy Visa by buying popcorn, candy and even – gasp! – soda. But the craziest thing happened: Nothing. They didn’t ask for a single thing. [Mom scratches head.]
YES #2, again: After the movie, they hopped on one of those scales in the lobby that charges a quarter to give a digital weight reading. Well, both of my kids plus two of their friends hopped on simultaneously, I actually put the quarter in (this is the anomaly), and we learned their combined weight was 164.3 pounds. It was such a cute moment and 25₵ very well-spent.
YES #3: I needed to stop at the grocery store on our way home from the movie and – despite the fact that it was almost lunchtime – they each delightedly scarfed down a cookie from the deli.
YESSES #4 & #5: We topped off our day with a post-dinner trip to the splash pad (their favorite place for summer fun) and stayed up past bedtime to enjoy popsicles in the driveway.
At bedtime, I finally divulged my secret. I got a strong finger wag from my son who – with the spirit of a spunky, 75-year-old school teacher – semi-scolded me with an “I thought something was going on today, Mommy.” My daughter, on the other hand, was quicker to mentally replay the day and recall moments she really could have capitalized on. In retrospect, she was a bit miffed.
I have a feeling they’ll both catch on much quicker when the next YES! Day rolls around.
Did I have to say “no” for some things? Of course. But they either (A) had no bearing on the current day (No, you can’t have a playdate with Alex this weekend, he’s out of town.) or (B) were for their protection (No, you can’t skip through the Kroger parking lot without holding my hand). Aside from my aforementioned parameters, I really did my best to stay true to all other requests.
All in all, I mark our first-ever YES! Day a success. I’m 90% sure I confused the heck out of my kids with all those yeses. I’m 95% sure that I typically say “no” entirely too much and for things that don’t really matter. And I’m 100% sure we all had a blast.
I think I’m ready for the next YES! Day!… Well, almost.