No, you can't jump all over the furniture.
No, you can't climb the door facing with those filthy feet.
No, you can't eat another cookie five minutes before supper.
No, you can't carve wood inside the house.
No, you can't watch Little Bear with your younger siblings before you complete your morning chores.
No, you can't ride your brother on the back of your 4 Wheeler.
No, you can't use the stove while I am not here.
Saying no is a good thing. Telling our children, "No" to some of their requests is actually protecting them or teaching them delayed gratification or simply good character. However, I suspect that sometimes we tell our children, "No" not because their desires are harmful or selfish, but simply because they are inconvenient for us.
So, as much as I can, I try to be a Yes Mom. Even when it means that the children will make a huge mess in my freshly mopped kitchen. Even when it means that I have to use my discretionary time (sometimes I actually have that--you know time to blog, check Facebook, email, etc.) to play a game or activity with them. Even when it means I have to rearrange my schedule to accommodate a reasonable (and usually fun) request.
Yes, you can bake homemade cookies.
Yes, you can cook supper tonight.
Yes, I can help you figure out what is wrong with the sewing machine.
Yes, you can drag all of the kitchen chairs into the den, get out a million blankets and make a fort.
Yes, you can paint.
Yes, I will play Play-Doh with you.
Yes, I will play a game with you.
Yes, I will just sit down and hold you for a little while.
Saying yes to requests like the ones listed above are sometimes hard for me. I have my list, my agenda for the day. But children don't always fit into our neat little to-do lists. I can see the days flying by with my children, and I truly want to have no regrets. I want to look back and remember that although I worked really hard at running my home, I also worked equally as hard loving and nurturing my children.
So, I am going to say Yes today. I hope you will too.