Wednesday, March 7, 2012
IS YOUR HAIR ON FIRE?
My son Dean has Down Syndrome and he's very bright (a mom can brag, can't she?) But at age 2 he wasn't talking much yet, in fact he was still using sign language quite a bit. But he had some words, and one of them was "yes". Actually it was "yea".
So one lazy morning Dean, his dad and I were sitting on the bed talking. We wanted to engage Dean in the conversation, so I started with the typical
"Do you love Mommy?"
Dean smiles, "yea"
"Do you love Daddy?"
"How about (brother) Ryan?"
Still smiling "yea"
"Do you want some milk?"
Dean's dad winks at me and asks Dean
"Is your hair on fire?"
Without missing a beat he chirps "yea"
We've laughed about that many times over the years. Sweet boy, just being agreeable with his parents.
So I was thinking about the mindless "yea" so many moms say as they are raising their kids
When we are asked about volunteering for something, "yea"
Or we say at work where we want to look good, "yea"
We want to be good, caring women. I know I DON'T want to be one of those moms who says "no" mindlessly. But saying "yes" isn't always the best answer, either.
If life seems crazy, maybe it's time to try saying "no". Agreeing to do everything that comes your way doesn't make you a great mom or woman. Attending every practice may not be truly necessary. Doing your kid's friend's mom another favor by bringing her kid home again may not be in your best interest. Taking on another task at work may be another straw that's verging on breaking the camel's back.
I knew a woman who did everything that came up so her kids would see her as a hero. Nice idea but the problem was, not only was she not thinking about her own interests but she was setting an unreal example for her kids. She was afraid to let them think she couldn't handle something, or even fail. When we talked about it, I told her I thought her kids needed to see her put a priority on herself. And her kids didn't need unreasonable expectations of her, they needed an example of a loving mom who could say "no" to something and STILL be that loving, caring woman. She could show them that taking care of herself was important, too. We get tired, burned-out, frazzled...and we need to say "No, I need to rest".
Even better, how about recognizing that point of fatigue before the frazzle happens. Taking a moment for yourself at that point is even better! A moment when you're not too tired to appreciate it...a moment that will prevent the frazzle. Now that will teach the kids something!
Do you need a break? Oh "yea"!