I have a problem saying no.
It doesn’t seem like a huge problem until it all bottlenecks and I can’t tell up from down. I have a problem saying no to everyone. You see, my love language does not include saying loving things or being the doting mother and partner all the time. I can actually be quite mean. My love language is in my service to others. It is very easy for me to just do something for someone if asked. You need a ride somewhere? Sure. You need me to take your child overnight so they can have a ride to school in the morning? Of course. Whatever you need, I try to do it in all areas of my life; work, family, and recreational.
This comes at a cost.
People look at me like I am always there for them, and my children think “she’s always down.” For me though, it’s tiring. I find myself doing the most, and at the end of the day I’m exhausted. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy being helpful or feeling needed. However, these last couple of months, I’ve been pulled in too many directions. I have been taking too much on my plate. I know this because I was forgetting things, I was procrastinating more than usual, and I was losing things. It became necessary to take a look around me, reevaluate all that I was doing, and make some hard decisions for myself.
It’s okay to be selfish.
For most parents, it’s really hard to put your needs before your children’s needs. It becomes second nature to put your needs on the back burner, because heaven forbid we think about ourselves first.
Listen – it’s okay to put your needs before anyone else’s sometimes. I have to be at least 75% in order to be 100% for my family. So for crying out loud, if you have the same problem as I do, give yourself a break! Every parent needs self-care, too.
I have come up with some solutions to my problem:
I am not a taxi service. My kids do not need to go to the mall or be driven around ALL the time. By reducing their mall time, I am increasing my home time because I am not being their taxi.
Ask for help when needed. I am very prideful, so asking for assistance (even from my partner) is hard for me. If I can ask for help, then I can free up my plate.
Stop working ALL the time. I am always in overdrive. Even when I’m on a break, I’m working. However, I am learning to soak up all the break time I can get, even at home.
Saying no is an option. I am slowly realizing that it is okay to say no to people from time to time. This is extremely hard for me, but I have to stop and think about how I’ll be affected.
Schedule alone time. I’ve been making mental appointments to actually spend time with myself, whether it be to watch a TV show alone, or committing to crossfit.
So parents, if you feel overworked and tired….remember that saying no to others and putting yourself first is always an option. When you take better care of yourself, you can better take care of everyone else.