Since becoming a parent life has changed, obviously. But what I have been feeling lately is the guilt of saying “no”. No I can’t because it will interfer with nap time, I would have to bring the kids, they don’t have food my kids will eat, it would interfer with my kids sleep schedule. That to just list a few, basically I feel like I am putting people in an awkward position either way whether I say yes or say no. Its awkward in that arrangements will have to be made regardless. I can’t just go last minute, spur of the moment, its impossible.
I have kids, so life is different and as much as I would like to say yes to pretty much every offer, the answer usually has to be no. I find that its hard to balance friendships, work, church, family. No matter if they have kids, had kids, or don’t have kids, it is impossible to do anything without first figuring out a game plan for the kids, compromise will have to be made somehow.
Sure if some life circumstances were different saying yes might be easier. If I had money for a nanny, my kids were older, the kids were in school and fun times could be had during daytime hours. So there is promise for more “yes” answers in the future.
Currently, however, I have to make sacrifices for the best interest of my kids. It may mean I personally miss out on fun with adults, but ultimately my priorities have changed because I chose to have kids. I love my time with my kids, and at times I feel guilty for letting others down by my inability to say “yes”. So if you are on the receiving end of one of my “no’s” please don’t take it as a personal attack. In a few years if you stick with me my answer might change, and I hope you are still my friend. I really want you to keep asking, because one day my answer will be “yes” I promise.
All this to say, I am also trying to exhibit grace to others out there that for reasons of their own say “no”. Sometimes in life we need to be able to say no and not feel guilty for disappointing others. I also put out a challenge to you to give yourself the ability to also say “yes” every once in awhile. Even if it means more work for you or uncomfortableness for your kids. It’s important to have a balance, helps with the guilt, resentment, jealousy and other negative effects of being a hermit. Let the people pleaser in you take a break and do something that benefits you whether it means saying “yes” or saying “no”.