Thursday, May 20, 2010

Saying No

***Warning, this post contains the views and opinions of a very tired mum of three who does not have pms - despite how it appears ****

I have read a few posts lately on different blogs about learning to say no, about regrouping as a family and prioritising what is important to you. One spoke about juggling balls, and how to keep all your different balls (committments) in the air.

I have heard this analogy before, and it is one that really sticks with me. At the end of the day if you are juggling too many balls, which ones can you drop?  I certainly know which ones I dont want to drop, especially that FAMILY ball. Sure, some of the others can drop and maybe people might get mad at you and heaven forbid, even not like you anymore, but at the end of the day - Family wins out.

I have a difficult time saying no, in fact Im much more likely to put my hand up and say yes, when inside Im screaming no.. Im not sure if this comes about from my own insecurities of not being 'liked' if I say no or whether its just learnt behaviour from my Mum (who is a very lovely and generous person - more often than not, at her own expense).

At the moment I feel overwhelmed by all my comittments. I say I am doing it for my children (kindy committee, school class rep... etc). But the reality is, the more of those behind the scenes things I do, the less I have to give to them on a day to day basis. And its not just all the stuff I do for school and kindy, its the things I do to keep other people happy too, my kids miss out on me, because of that too.

A lot of the things you do on committees, your children might reap the benefits in what their school or kindy had to offer, but really, arent just a few people doing it for the masses?  My children are probably directly benefiting from it very little. But my tiredness, distractedness, irritability and always rushing them is not benefiting them at all! Im sure from a childs perspective it might mean they feel like Mum hasnt got time for them.. they wont see the bigger picture and they dont have to -they are just children.

The more I take on the more resentful I feel to those parents who seem to be able to always avoid doing anything. Maybe I am also a bit jealous that they can say no, walk away and not think about it again. My mum always told me there would be people who helped and those who dont, and if you want to contribute you just have to accept that a few people do all the work. And then, if you dont like it, dont help out.

But that doesnt help people who are, by their nature, generous, in all aspects of their life.  I am trying to be a bit more selfish but Im not very good at it and always feel guilty -which defeats the purpose.

I find it interesting that those Mum's (and Dad's) who do help out often are the busiest people but are less inclined to make excuses about why they cant fit it in.  A mum from our kindy committee said she got tired of people saying they couldnt help, coming up with a myriad of excuses, because she also has a hundred and one other things she could be doing, but she was putting her life on hold to pick up the slack where these other people wouldnt do a little bit to ease the load.

And then there are those people who take advantage of your generosity, they freely take your time and abuse your heart. Those are the ones that really make me mad.

Anway, thats my little rant over. I'll now get back to cleaning the house for our inspection, typing up fliers for the kindy fundraiser, a letter for my son's class, a letter that needs to go to the whole school for the project I am helping set up, I'll finish putting together our new bed that has a piece that doesnt want to fit right (because thats where we need to sleep tonight!), I might get time to feed my darling children, pester them about their homework, do the dishes, and then I'll probably collapse into bed (if we have one!) and fall asleep. Yep, another day over and not a minute for me... again.  Then because life isnt busy enough, my inlaws arrive here on Friday at 8.30am - 'nuff said about that!

Feel free to leave a supportive comment, Id love to hear how you keep all your balls in the air!


Jacqui said...

Time to put that IGG (inner good girl) back in her box and let Wild Free Range Leonie out! I am in awe of how much you manage to do and get done..... you more than deserve some you time.

I don't juggle too much (apart from anything, I am REALLY unco lol... it never works) it is the only way I cope. If I take on too much I crash and burn (thank you thyroid gland....) and we all suffer for it. Learning to say no is hard in the begining, but it does get easier.... promise.

When it all gets too much I turn off the computer and the phone... I got rid of the mobile phone quite a while ago. It has made thigs *feel* a lot calmer and less hectic. No random husband calls, no scrambing for the ringing phone wherever we are. No having to actually FIND the phone to go out lol. It is really nice... at least now when I go out I am just me and no one can demand anything of me for just a little while :)


Leonie said...

Thanks Jacqui. I certainly think the thyroid thing has a huge impact on how much I can cope with.
I often turn off our home phone but feel nervous going without my mobile, just in case school phones or whatever... sad that I've become so dependent on it.
Had a lovely time this afternoon doing some sewing - nice to start and finish a project :)
The hugs are just what I need!!

Jacqui said...

Def hear you on the school thing... contemplating getting another mobile next year when Laura starts. Most Kindy days I am just at home anyway, so it isn't such an issue. But 5 days a week, I will probably need one.

Sounds like a great afternoon! I love those arvo's... feels like soul food doesn't it? :)

((((((extra hugs)))))) <3