To Be More Joyful: Be a Yes Mom

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Unless you’ve got a nanny, a housekeeper, a chauffeur, and a chef, it’s hard to manage a home and family–and still keep a smile on your face. But, it’s worth trying. Because nobody wants a crabby mom.

Ain’t that the truth?

I don’t know about you, but for me, crabby can manifest itself in a whole lot of no’s. No, we aren’t going to the park right now. No, we aren’t going to read that story. No, we aren’t going to play a game.

No, no, no.

Hmmm…. methinks that doesn’t sound much like peace, love, and joyfulness.

I’m not saying that there aren’t instances when we should say no. NO is an appropriate response to many situations. No, you may not jump off the roof. No, you may not hit your sister. No, you may not talk to people that way.

But, too often the no’s really mean “I don’t wanna.” At least at my house they do. I may be tired or overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. But, that’s not my kids’ fault. And sometimes, a break from the tasks at hand is necessary for everyone to get a better outlook. Myself included.

A little girl jumping on a bed.

Say Yes When You Can

The Girl asked me one day if I would jump on the bed with her. At the risk of breaking the bed, I did. She was so happy. And it was actually kind of fun.

Over the last few months, three specific instances stand out in my memory as being some of my better YES-MOM moments: Magic Monkey Bananas, the DIY Smoothie Bar, and Tie-Dye Tshirts.

In each of those moments, I didn’t have a good reason to say no to a request except my own laziness or “I-don’t-wanna.” God gave me the wisdom to say, “YES,” instead and I think we were all blessed. It felt good to meet my children’s requests enthusiastically instead of skirting them with a “Maybe later,” or “Not today.”

They were pleased and I was pleased. And it makes me think what joy God must take when He blesses us.

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? — Matthew 7:8-10

God always says yes to the things that He knows are good for us. He lavishes good things on us. And while we don’t know perfectly how to do this with our children, I want to be more like Him in having an open hand with good things.

I want to be a Yes Mom.

** This is part of the series, 14 Ways To Be More Joyful.

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  1. In general, I’ve been a yes mom, but there of course are seasons of life when I’ve been a no mom, like when there is also a new baby in the house or some kind of worry (loved one’s health, plans for the future) hovering overhead. I’ve learned all kinds of silly things, like making finger puppets, having tea parties, playing video games and oh my goodness the board games!

  2. I got into the Sonography program I’ve been working so hard for and the realization hit me like a ton of bricks…school 8-5 five days a week means precious little time with my 4-year-old. I DEFINATELY NEED to be a ‘yes mom’ these are the last few months I get to stay home with my daughter. I thought it was hard with school before, but now it will be INSANE! Thanks for this reminder…now if only you could sit on my shoulder and scold me when I say ‘no’…

  3. Thanks so much for this post, and the 14 Ways series as a whole! I needed to read this today–I have a 3 week old and a 3 year old, and for the last 3 weeks, my 3 year old has been hearing a lot of “no’s.” I need to get back in the game with him!

  4. Oh how I remember the days when my son wanted to do things and I simply said “no”. I would take a lot of them back now if I could.

    One thing that stands out for me is he always wanted to play Monopoly, (gosh I didn’t like that game)… Not for the game itself but that it took forever to play it, so I always said “no”.

    Well he’s grown now, and he still likes to play it. So now when we are all together I try to break out the game and make up for lost memories. Better late than never I hope!

  5. I’m throwing myself under the lazy “no” bus… yep..that’s me… I HATE doing things outside in Texas when its 104 outside. I really do… UGH! I need to suck it up and make some memories. I mean, it’s NOT like I’m going to melt!

  6. Ok, girl, you stepped on my toes on this one! 🙂 Thanks for the post! Very Good!

  7. Just this morning while I was getting ready for the day I thought to myself how I want to go out of my way or should I say NEED to go out of my way to smile more at the kids and let them know I REALLY do enjoy having them…all of them. Then I read your blog. It was like confirmation to my heart. T’hanks : )

  8. Have you ever read “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Ted Tripp? First, it’s a great book. But your be a yes mom posts remind me of something he says. He says that when your child asks something, or makes an appeal to a decision you made, say yes unless you have a good reason to say no. Sounds like a similar principle! Granted our only child is four weeks old (today!) but I hope to practice this as he gets older.

  9. I love that you posted this today. I am definitely a no mom and want to change it. This summer (before I even read your post), I decided I was going to really work on saying yes to my son more. I have been better but definitely not as good as I want to be. There are only a few more years I have that my son is going to want me to go play catch with him, so I need to get out there and do it. It’s nice to know I am not alone in my struggles with this.

  10. ah, this hits home! And glad to hear I’m not the only one whose kneejerk reaction is often “no” because I don’t want to, it will cause a mess, I have other things I’d rather be doing. The past 2 weeks I’ve found myself not necessarily saying “yes” but actually doing things and engaging and focusing on them and not doing them begrudgingly…like the knot that was in my daughters hair that I took over 30 minutes of careful work to remove (too much swimming and throwing hair up lately for her!!) and I had her wait until all the other kids were in bed, we watched a silly show on tv while I calmly worked the knot out vs mumbling and complaining and scolding. What a difference! And instead of nagging my son over and over about reading, this past week I got him ready for bed, plopped down with him and opened up a book and read aloud – his eyes were wide as he got this gift of time, just the 2 of us – and really, what effort did it take? So, 20 or so minutes less time to myself to read, do dishes or whatever, but to him it meant the world. So along with trying to say yes or to even initiate small moments with my kids, I am also trying to lose the impatience and the begrudging way I often approach them even though I love them with all of my heart. Thanks for this series – its nice to be reminded, especially since I have so many blessings in my life to take full advantage of them!

  11. Yes! I definitely need to be more of a ‘yes’ mom. It hit me like a ton of bricks the other day how often I must say ‘no’ when I heard my 10-month old saying, “No”. Yikes! Thank you for this series. I definitely need to be a more joyful mom.

  12. This post definitely resonates with me. I’ve got a spirited and strong-willed 3 year old with increasingly difficult behavior. My husband and I were discussing the other day how it seems like 70% of our interactions with him (probably an exaggeration) is talking sternly to him and saying “No!” “Don’t!” “Stop!”. I’m making an effort to be more of a “YES” mom.

  13. Thanks for sharing this and being so open about your own struggles. I feel I get stuck in that, “No, Not now, Maybe Later, In a Minute” mode also. Recently I’ve become more aware of it as my husband works out of state and my responsibilities have increased. The Lord really convicted me of this and reminding me that my son needs me to say Yes a little more often now more than ever before. So when I fell myself getting overwhelmed and wanting to say no. I stop and ask myself, “Is what I’m wanting to do instead of saying yes to my child really going to make a difference for eternity?” I’m sure you can guess what the answer usually is! And by doing this it helps me reprioritize and asking for my son ( who is 9 BTW) to help a lot more, which means we spend more time together by doing chores which in turns leaves more time for me to say YES! God’s wisdom He so freely gives us when we ask with the right motives is amazing isn’t it?

  14. Thank you for the reminder. I’m definitely a “no” mom for most of the time and for all the wrong reasons. I’m going to try to be fun mom this week and see how it goes!