What a week it’s been! Are you sure it is only Wednesday?? Well, I wanted to take a break from the virus news- the sample schedules for your days, the ideas of activities to do with your children, all the how-to make time pass suggestions, and so much more (but REALLY, if you do need ideas follow us on Instagram and Facebook- we’ve got you covered!). And I wanted to change the conversation for a moment to something we can relate to beyond just right now.

In this day and age, I hear people talking all the time about how they are going to say “no” more often. There are SO MANY things that we are asked to be involved in: volunteering here and there, running this and that event, running errands, giving, giving, giving…oh and try to make time for yourself, but where does that fit in? Don’t get me wrong, there is beauty in all of those things listed above, and they are so necessary! But why is saying “no” so important? Well, often when we say “no” to one thing, we are then able to say “yes“ to the people right within our homes. When we say “no” to others, we can then say “yes” more often to our little one who wants to play play dough with us, or wants to go outside to water the plants, or go for a walk in the wagon. Your “yes” moments will look differently depending on the ages of your children, but for now, those are my “yes” moments.

At this time in our country we have all but been forced to say “no” to events, people, and the business of our normal lives. It is the perfect opportunity to try to add this one little word to our vocabulary.

I have found that when my three year old asks me to do something, often my initial response in my head is “no”. Why is that? Honestly, it’s probably because I’m tired. Or what he is asking me to do is just not very convenient. But the word that goes along with intentionality when it comes to my boys- is the word “yes”. Obviously not saying “yes“ to everything, because they need to learn what “no” means and that there is a time for everything. But, my three year old LOVES to eat lunch on our back porch. Is this convenient? No, because I have to drag out not just one high chair- but two, and then when my nine month old is finished eating, I need to nurse him so that he will nap on time so that I can put my three year old down. Yes, everything has a system in our household in order for me to be able to stay sane. Anyway, I need to drag both highchairs back inside, along with the plates, cups, bowls, and whatever else that finds its way out there. Convenient? No! But, are memories made? Absolutely. Me saying “yes” to this has created a love for listening to the birds, watching birds fly over our house, listening for turtles plopping into the water of the nearby stream, watching the squirrels jump from branch to branch…and so much more. To think that I almost missed out on this! Now, I will say he gets very excited when eating out there, because it is not an everyday experience. But, I am really trying to say “yes”, even when it’s not convenient for me and for what I want. My goal is to create memories and experiences for my little boys- and sometimes it comes at the cost of my comfort.

These last few days we have been outside much more often, we are finding more ways to have fun and entertain ourselves in our homes than ever before. This can be exhausting- and monotonous. It may have you wanting to say “no” to building that fort in your family room, or no to the walk around your neighborhood (when it’s already almost 90 degrees outside…how did that happen so fast?!), or no to having your little ones cook with you because, let’s be honest- you can do it much faster if they don’t help, or no to- well you can fill in the blank. But I challenge you to say “yes.” Not for everything, because you do not want to burn yourself out (you need to take care of yourself too). But make a goal for yourself whether it’s one “yes” a week or one “yes” a day, your children will be forever thankful to you.

My hope is that when things get back to normal, whenever that will be- hopefully sooner rather than later, but when it does happen, I hope that you will still be able to say “no” to the outside noise at times. I am confident that one day, your children will stand before you, and thank you for saying “no” to so many other things so that you can say “yes” to them.

You’ve got this! Remember, it’s the little things that matter. Yes, the big things too, but it is those little things that they will remember when they are thirty years old, raising their own little ones. They will remember the weeks that they spent with you- when you couldn’t go anywhere and it wasn’t because of a hurricane! They will remember the spring days and that it was just you and them. You are creating memories, no matter how messy, unorganized, or somewhat inconvenient they are. They will remember the effort that you put forth; maybe not now, but when they get older they will realize. Trust me, I remember making a phone call to my mom after I had my first little boy and telling her thank you. I had no idea the work and effort it took to be a mom, but my eyes were opened and one day the same will be true of your little ones. You’ve got this! Be present, be intentional- say “no”, so you can “yes.”