January 30, 2013 by Melissa
I am the queen of buzzkill in these parts. I say no a lot, unfortunately, to my kids. This is not my personality. I’m a Yes girl by nature. If there’s a way to make something work, I’ll help you to do it or do it with you. But my children find ways to ask for inconvenient things/activities at really inconvenient times: when I’m cooking dinner, dealing with their sick sibling, getting us ready to go out the door, trying to have a conversation with their dad, get dressed. It’s inevitable.
I read quite a few parenting blogs, websites, books and they all have that “advice” to say yes more. And I do agree. I sometimes say no just because I’m holding a grudge against my three year old and the backtalk she just engaged in two minutes prior. I’m working on that every day. However, more times than not they are asking for something that I can’t provide or accomodate for or that isn’t safe at that particular moment in time so I have to say no, not now. Buzzkill has wrecked the day (or the next 3 minutes), again, for the preschooler and toddler in the house.
It’s defeating and demoralizing work. I’m supposed to be a happy, patient stay at home mom saying, “Sure we can paint the play-do on the white carpet in our new dresses while drinking juice and having chocolate. Yes!” “Yes let’s go outside in the -10 degree weather! I’m excited!” “Yes, let’s stand on the coffee table and spin really fast!”
More often than not it’s the three year old asking to do or play with something that’s unsafe for the toddler so I have to say no. I know that Lucy is trying to figure out how best to have my undivided attention when her sister is around and she’s learning, reluctantly so, that that’s hard to do anymore. And a third baby will be here within four months so I’m learning how to divide my attention in a way that’s good for everyone, including myself. Does that state exist? I fear not.
There’s also the house to care for and clean and myself to keep sane and more days than not, it’s myself that suffers the neglect as I feel too guilty to say no, again, despite my needing a few minutes to drink my coffee or flip through a magazine.
On top of all that, I’m forever saying “No yelling in the house, please,” or “No, don’t take that away from her, she was playing with that,” or “No, Alice, don’t stand on the couch,” or “No, that’s your sister’s water bottle.” No, no, no.
I really try to make light of it by talking about Captain Buzzkill striking again, but it really is hard on my spirit. Will it get better or will I just form a callus on my soul and a permanent furrow in my brow?