Just Say Yes!

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It’s rare that I have time to read a book cover to cover, but last year I managed to read the best-selling book The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey’s Anatomy. It changed my perspective on life and taking risks. Rhimes chronicles a year where she let go of the norm and decided to say yes to the many opportunities life presented her. Things like media interviews, going to the party, and taking on additional work opportunities were an automatic no in the past, but during this year, she said yes. She grew as an individual, in her relationships, and with her career in ways she couldn’t imagine because she said yes. Can you imagine how good that must have felt? She dropped the fear and actually began living life to the fullest. After reading the book, I thought about how this might apply to us mamas.

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Let's do the dishes
Play in the dirt

I’m not talking about jumping in your car and driving across the country with your kiddo. I’m talking about saying yes to the things you don’t normally do. Yes to the things that take extra effort, time, and might be messy.  Change it up, take some risks, and see what happens. Time, inconvenience, and sometimes just because we don’t like an activity we say no. But what if we said yes? Yes to glitter projects, yes to staying up 30 minutes later on occasion, yes to doing dishes with mommy, and yes to playing in the rain. If you’re wondering how because you’re pressed for time, it’s messy, and you already have a crazy to-do list? I get it. I’m not telling you to abandon your responsibilities. I’m challenging you to downsize your list and live life being fully present and engaged with your little one. 

Letting go of “the plan” can be tough whether your a SAHM, or you’re a working mom. I’m tired when I get home, there’s things to do around the house, and bedtime comes quickly. In spite of these things, one of my top priorities is connecting with my little guy daily and making memories. I’m gradually letting go of my desire to control everything. It’s liberating to say yes and let go of the fear. The dishes don’t have to be completely cleared every night. Work can get done after bedtime. I’m making progress, but I still have a ways to go. When you let go and dive into what your little people want to do, the joy in their eyes is priceless.

Getting Started

  1. Let go of the schedule. The time crunch is tough. Whether it’s bedtime or getting out the door. we usually have a plan in place. Try approaching your plan with more room for play. One Saturday morning we were getting ready to go to Grammy’s house when my son wanted to play trains. My first thought was the car is packed, we’re ready to go, and we’re supposed to be there at 1 p.m. Why now? Can’t we play when we get there? I decided to let go and play trains. We had 20 minutes of intense train play with crashes, loud sounds, and exciting stops on our train adventure. My self-imposed schedule was dumped, and we had a blast! We made it to Grammy’s by 1:30 and with a great memory
  2. Let go of your expectations. They’re not looking for perfection. You don’t have to be super crafty or crazy adventurous. Although I will say trying something new is always fun. They just want your undivided attention. It’s faster and easier to do chores by yourself, but even chores can be fun for your kiddo. They just want to hang out with you. Wash dishes together, teach them how to vacuum, or take turns dusting a table. They won’t be perfect, but that’s OK. It’s a great time for talking and teaching responsibility. Just remember your kiddo is looking for your undivided attention. Lay the phone down, turn the television off, and make it fun! Get them a bowl, add the bubbles, bring some toys, and wash away.
  3. Ask what they want to do and do it. Don’t just come up with things to do; instead, ask them what they want to do and join in. Laugh, make crazy voices, play in the dirt, and get involved. A lot of my mom friends hate glitter and Play-Doh. Obviously it can be a mess. But every once in a whil,e just say yes to it. Get out the glitter and glue, play with the Play-Doh, or better yet, make some and watch your kid’s excitement level shoot up to 10!

Saying yes can be life-changing for us and our relationships. Life isn’t perfect, and neither are the people we do life with, but you can take the life you’re given and live it to the fullest by being present and enjoying the people you love. Say yes to your little one!

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