Have You Said No Yet?

The new school year is here. Now is the time we parents get hit up on to join PTAs or committees or sign up to be room parent. Kids want to join scouts and sports and dance and gymnastics. We want to do all these things, but do we have time? Are you heading for the dreaded September meltdown?

STOP!

Say no!

No one expects you do be able to do everything. People understand when you have to say no. Kids will understand. You need to take care of you and have time to decompress and prep for the following day or following week. Self care is so important.

I’ve kinda gotten away from talking about self care. But it is always there. Prepping for the next week is a form of self care. Sometimes we do it only so we don’t spend the next week running around like a chicken with our head cut off. Seriously. Find a system that works for you. September is the perfect time to try it out. Before you commit to everything. Find a planner system, whether it is a paper planner like mine or an electronic one you can share with your spouse and teenage children. Find it. Use it. Get used to using it every day. Become obsessed with it. If it doesn’t work, find another. But get good and comfortable with it.

Look at your schedule from a weekly basis. Then a monthly basis. Then, on a daily basis. Why that order?

A week is a good chunk of time to plan around. A full week of activity and work and chores (like grocery shopping). A month is good for future planning – appointments and the such. And being able to move flexible chores around (grocery shopping and laundry). Finally, fine tune your schedule on a daily basis.

If you are doing laundry at 9 at night because it is the only time all week you have, you’re over booked. 9 pm is the time you either need to be in bed, or thinking about bed, or looking at tomorrow’s schedule and prepping. Not for chores. You need to sleep. You need to eat. You need to decompress.

Just say no! The president of the PTA is not going to stop being your friend just because you happened to have Suzie’s dance practice every week at the same time of the PTA meeting.

Story time. When I was younger and all gung-ho about being a dance mom, I joined the dance booster club. And joined the board. Meetings once a month with the club members. More meetings with the board members to plan fundraisers. On top of having a business. And working full time. And being a single parent. I had craft shows set up during the time of the booster club’s busiest fundraiser. Meaning I wasn’t making product and I was stressing.

I had not learned to say no. I have since learned and every time they ask me to join the board again, I tell them I don’t have the time during the busiest part of the year. I have too much going on.

I learned to say no. It’s fun. You should try it and not feel guilty. Because you are important. Your health is important. You are going to be no good to anyone if you try to do everything while you’re sick and exhausted in the middle of flu season.

Trust me. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and bumper sticker.

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