Learning to love “No”
I’ve always been a yes girl.
Yes to everyone but myself.
My anxiety simply couldn’t tolerate No’s.
I feared it intensely.
‘No’ provoked a guilt in me that I wished to avoid so It always seemed easier to say yes then to face the consequence of decisiveness head on.
Even if that ‘ yes’ led me into situations I also wished to avoid.
And I now wish I did.
It’s something that I carried through into my parenting.
Always giving in, always saying yes when it wasn’t deserved and sometimes at times when it wasn’t even requested.
I always said yes.
I always worried my kids would hate me for ‘No’s’ the same as I worried people would hate me for them before my children.
I was happier to accept looking like a walk over then a monster.
Recently I took a long hard look at this world we live in.
I watched my children playing in it
totally innocent and unaware of all that’s to come for them.
Oblivious to this sphere of fear we reside in, I realise the kindest thing I can do for these children is to teach them to love ‘No’.
Saying ” No” is not about denying them something, but it’s gifting them with the reassurance that saying ‘No’ is Ok.
When I say ‘No’ to my child it’s not because I am a mean mother, it’s BECAUSE I am THEE mother.
‘ No’ is not just the bad cop.
It is so much more then that .
It’s telling my small son who will one day be a man, that NO means NO.
A man who I hope will go on dates, or a have relationships or marriage.
He needs to know that No means No and there are not any exceptions to that.
As his mother it is MY JOB to drill that into his head from day dot.
It’s teaching my daughter also, that NO means NO and that she needs to feel ok with that decision.
She’s ENTITLED to say ‘No’.
I want them to know that ‘No’ doesn’t always mean failure, but that sometimes it’s confirmation that winning is coming.
Just not yet.
‘No’ is not a guilt provoker.
It is not a sign of weakness or fear but quite the opposite.
‘No’ is power.
‘No’ is brave.
‘No’ is protection.
‘No’is knowing your own mind and being aware of its boundaries.
It’s respect. It’s the cruel to be kind.
It may be the bad cop.
But ‘No’ is never bad.
Now I say ‘No’.
Not because I don’t love my children, but because I love them TOO much to always say yes.
This post originally appeared on Emma Lou Harris Blog