Most people make New Year’s resolutions to do things. This year, not unlike last year, I made a resolution to not do things.
Like many women, somewhere along the line I became a “yes-man.” Whether it was career related, volunteerism or social obligations, I found myself in recent years saying “yes” to everything and then complaining about how busy I was. The result was that I was not giving anything my all because I was too busy giving a little bit in too many areas.
I think mothers are especially vulnerable to this complex because we have so much “mommy-guilt” that we try to be all things to all people. Instead of triaging our chaotic lives, we make everything a priority — from work to our children’s activities. In reality, we would be much more attentive and engaged in what we did if we weren’t trying to do too many things at one time.
OK, so I’m not making any promises, but I have said “no” to a few things already in 2010, and it felt good. The most important thing is that when you say “no,” don’t make excuses. It simply doesn’t fit into your life at the moment, end of story, period.
The best part of saying “no” is that it frees you up to say “yes” to other things—things like an impromptu game of checkers with your daughter, a few moments with a good book, or a last-minute dinner with friends. We’ll see how it goes. Check back with me in December.
Amanda Lamb is a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including one on motherhood called Smotherhood. Look for Amanda every Monday on Go Ask Mom.