Thursday, April 8, 2010

Interesting Thought--Saying Yes

Yesterday at Mom's Group, the speaker had something interesting to say, and I'm curious to hear your thoughts. She was encouraging us to be intentional about living in the moment, and appreciating the little moments with our family--especially our children.

She said that if she has any regrets in life, it's that she was involved in so many activities--lots of church groups, play dates, lots of activities for the kids, fundraisers, charities, etc. She said that looking back, she feels like she was always rushing through life, and that she wished that she would have taken more quiet time with her family.

She said that now, she lives by the motto that anytime she says yes to something, she is saying no to something else. And she just encouraged us to think about when we commit to something, what we are giving up instead. If we're giving up our TV watching time, that's one thing. But if we're giving up precious family time, that may be another. Like a good diet, our plates should be balanced with family time, time for ourselves, and time for others...but the key is to keep it balanced. Are we spending so much time organizing a Bible study or a bake sale that we're not paying as much attention to our kids or our spouse as we should?

Personally, I struggle with this a lot right now. Because Justin's work has laid off so many people, he often works 50 or more hours a week--leaving by about 6:30am and getting home at 5 or 6 (or later). It is a blessing that he's working so many hours, but it's also hard sometimes.

I also sometimes feel like our family is over-committed and over-stretched....between Justin's band, playing for church, Bible Studies, doing things with our family, making time for me to work out, and doing things with friends, there are weeks where the only day that all three of us are home before 8pm is Friday. And that can be stressful. But we enjoy everything, so it's hard to identify something to cut out. But sometimes, I just want to "call in sick" as a family, lol!

What about y'all? How do you keep your lives balanced between work, personal time, family time, and other commitments? Do you feel like you're able to say "no" when life gets too busy?


  1. Last summer I had a small break-down (it was paired with some not so great things going on with B's family that I just needed a break from) and I told B that once a month we needed a weekend where we said no to everything - family, friends, extracurriculurs - and just spent time as our own little family. It lasted for three months, which was all I needed to feel a little more in control of my schedule and life. I'm a big proponent of saying no, now, though.

  2. I've never commented before, but enjoy your blog.

    This post definitely hit home with me. We (as a family) say no a lot of things. Sometimes maybe even too much. We enjoy the slower pace...and our kids are happier and less tired because we do keep a good routine and early bedtime. If we go out Friday night, we stay in Saturday night. Also, we aren't doing a million extra curricular activities. Many people do so much with their kids because I think they think they HAVE to. You know, to "socialize" them. I'm not opposed to EC activties...just they need to be balanced with what we feel is most important for our family.

    It's all about priorities. God, Marriage, Family, Work, Friendships - for us at least. With lots of fun things sprinkled in! And when we DO go all out - we go ALL out with the fun!

    They will be gone before I know it, and I don't want to regret rushing through life.

    My husband and I have had to give up things we love to do - but just for a season! One day, when our kids are gone, we will still be young enough to do SO MANY fun things!

    Sounds like that was a great speaker to hear!

  3. I couldn't agree with you more. I have tried to stay committed to balance for a few years now (easier now I guess without kids). However, I completely realize that I'm making a career limiting decision. I don't work weekends and I leave my work at the office (with a few exceptions). I don't feel obligated to attend events and if I'm not interested, I just say no. I feel like if I make these decisions now, I can be in better control later. Because, like you...I raced around for years - one activity to the next. When I finally had a chance to pause, I was a little bit depressed. Looking back, I prefer the balance I have now.

  4. Hi! I'm new to your blog. :) I totally agree with your post. I think that there is a "stigma" about saying no. I feel like people want your excuse why you cannot attend something. My husband's family lives very close to us and they are often wanting to do dinner, events, and things often. When we seldomly say no my MIL would get upset. I explained that it was not because we didn't want to be around, but every once in awhile we need time for just the two of us. I don't know if she understands where I am coming from, but to us "couple" time is important to get in every now and then.

  5. NO! I mean YES!, I mean YES I can say NO! Except when I want to say YES, then I sometimes say NO....

  6. Oh my goodness- I am sorry that Justin has been working so much! Chris had to do that a few months ago and let me tell you- it was ROUGH! and we don't even have a new baby! I hope things get better for you guys.

    I have been reading about this idea a lot lately. It is an interesting concept. Balance is hard to find though.

  7. No kids here but I feel like we ALWAYS say yes and then when we say no or cancel, I feel guilty even though people do it to us! Good luck adjusting your schedule.

  8. After baby #1 we learned to say no a lot. It is still working for us.

  9. although we don't have kids, we have a dog and a business. We're constantly on the go, constantly on the phone or constantly on the computer.

    We started making a notion that every single night we eat dinner together and we stop all business stuff ( unless it's super important) Then we take "our"time, or our personal time.

    We also made it a point to have a date night every single week, so we can build our relationship. We stopped doing this last year, which resulted in us disconnecting. We got to wrapped up in our own thing, and the business that we forgot who we were as people and what we both wanted at the end of the road.

    We certainly say yes and no to events. Sometimes I'm not willing to give up my 1 and only relaxing day with C and our pup.

    It's definitely about balancing, I feel like if I'm starting to get upset or frustrated at our time situation, I step back, look at what I need to cut out, and do it.

  10. I am acutely aware of this at grad school. I don't know how people do this stuff with kids and what not. I mean, I know coming from me that might not mean much, since I regularly make clear my general distaste for juvenile humans, but you know.

    Puppies are cool, though. I don't hate all young things. Hehe.

  11. I used to spread myself thin--saying yes to EVERYTHING that came my way. Before I knew it, I was 10lbs underweight, stressed to the max, had no energy and was impatient & frazzled.

    I learned to say no. Now, I say no far more often than I say yes. This has rubbed off on hubby, too. With his work schedule as a firefighter, we really have to plan things carefully, or we could easily go 3 days without seeing one another.

    My friends & family who know me and understand my reasons for saying no don't mind. And, through it all, I've found out who my true friends are, and what my priorities in life are.

  12. Sometimes I feel like I am going to explode. We have completely over committed ourselves and sometimes feel like we have to be a part of everything. I know that we will need to cut something out because now our wednesday night family night at home is going to be lost and that was our only day as a family. It can't happen. Sometimes I also realize that when having kids, your dreams and hopes have to be put on hold for the more precious things in life like your children. I know that when we don't spend the right amount of time with them, they let us know by their behavior and mood. Poor babies, they have no idea though. It also makes me feel like a horrible mom. Think I am doing a great job by involving them and I in so many things, volunteering, bible studies, playdates, yada yada yada, but I really am not when they suffer for it. All they want is time. Anyway, you get my drift. Hope you guys can have a good balance too. Love you!

  13. I am horrible at balance. I actually have to pray for it. I tend to go-go-go, and then shut down like I did last week, going completely out of touch. I have to work on it still.

    P.S.Answering your Workout Wednesday question next week...don't worry!

  14. I really like this idea. I have a massive problem with over-committing myself to everything, and having no personal/family/down time. I've gotten a LOT better with it, but it's something I struggle with! Great post!


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