The Art of Saying No

Post to Twitter

saying_no_frenchbydesign_jobs_wmYou learn a lot of things as a new mom. I mean a lot (these I will continue to elaborate on). But when you are a new mom and a working mom, one thing you have to learn quickly is the art of saying no. This is something I have NEVER been good at nor ever thought I would need to be good at saying. I was just always the person who kept all the balls in the air and came through in a pinch. And then, H came along. All of a sudden, I was doing well to just figure out this whole mom thing. Forget trying to manage everything else. I had a tiny newborn who relied on me for literally everything. So over the past almost 10 months, I have learned how to say no gracefully. It’s still a slow work in progress, but here are my few thoughts on maintaining balance with a new baby.

It starts with laser focus. If what you are asking me to do is not related to my family or helping me pursue my dreams, right now I just cannot help out.  Before I came back to work, I spent some time praying and thinking about what I wanted with my life. I also attended a weekend workshop to help refine career goals. I know what I want to do and I know my time with H is precious. So I am very careful about what I commit to, especially if it means any after work or weekend time.

Realize this is a phase. H won’t always need me like he does right now. At some point, I will stop being his primary food source and he will become enamored with all the cool stuff dad lets him do. I am pretty sure he will always be a mama’s boy, but I know there will come a time when an after work meeting won’t be a huge deal. When rushing home at 5:00 won’t be necessary. But right now it is. Right now an after work meeting means less time I have before he goes to bed and missing out on the joys of dinner time and evening laughs.

Life is not about you. This is something I am slowly learning. If I say no, it won’t be the end of the world. The event will still happen, the meeting will go on, someone else will step up. By saying no, I am allowing other people to step in and I am giving myself a chance to step back. Honestly, it’s also a little bit of a relief. Carrying the burdens of keeping things going on your shoulders is a lot. Spread the wealth of things to do and realize if something does slip up, it’s ok.

Relish the moments, not the to-do list. I love to make lists and say “yes” so learning to say no has been a journey. Along the way, I have realized the moments matter. Sure, I can go to one more event or accomplish one more task, but then I risk missing out on H learning to crawl or finally saying “mama” (we are still working on that one!). The more I do, the more I realize it is not about what you do. It is about the relationships and the people you accomplish things with and helping them to succeed.  As I enjoy the moments, I find my yes becoming more about saying yes to coffee or yes to a friend who asks for help and less about yes for the sake of appearing busy.

Saying no is an art and takes practice. If you are anything like me, it won’t come easy and 10 months later, you will find yourself still struggling to say no even when you know you should. In those moments, I stop and breathe and remind myself of H and of the laser focused dream I am pursuing. If the potential yes does not apply to either of those areas, my answer is no.

What do you need to say no to? How have you found it easier to say no? Let me know in the comments!

Family..

Post to Twitter

My daddy came to see me last night and took me out to dinner. I have to say it has been the highlight of my week. I love my family. That is one thing I am truely blessed with. God gave me an amazing family with whom I have amazing relationships. My dad is my hero–I respect him more then anyone else in my life. He is my first source of advice and I don’t know what I do without him. I do feel sorry for any guy that tries to date me..he is very protective of his little girl. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. And my mom is my best friend. Since coming to college, she is the one person that I know I can count on. I miss her so much..it is hard to be so far from home. I have realized how much I love home..and how much I miss it. I miss not being around. And even though sometimes they drive me crazy, at the end of the day they are still my family. And my little brother is my sunshine. No matter what happens-he is always there to try to cheer me up and tell me everything will be ok.

I am going home in two weeks and they aren’t going fast enough!! don’t get me wrong, I love college..but I miss home so much.

back to studying..

My Brother

Post to Twitter

He is seriously one of the coolest guys I know..

I take him for granted a lot, but of all the people in the world, he sticks up for me the most. He’s always talking about me and defending me to my parents. And he’s a hard worker..the little guy has ran more miles in the past few months then I have my whole life. He switched schools and public schools take cross country a whole lot more serious. He was running like 40 miles a week-no complaints either. And he’s had to put his social life on hold for a little while because he committed to CC. I have a lot of respect for him. I love my little bro..and I’m sad this is my last year at home..he always seems to have a kind word to say..even after I yell at him and tell him to get out of my room. I also never realized how much I enjoyed being at the same school as him..he would always say hi to me in the halls and I love his friends-they are really cool too. He came in 2nd his cross country meet tonight and I got to see it..I was so proud of him. My little bro out there in front..how cool is that?!

Love you buddy-keep running..girls love runners:)

I’m out..

Amanda

I’m out..

Amanda

Love Others

Post to Twitter

Love Others

Ever since I can remember, my mother has instilled in me a love for people. She has shown me to love everyone..not just those I would naturally want to love. Until I hit highschool, I just kinda accepted everyone, and thought I loved everyone. I sadly realized I loved the people who loved me, or who were lovely people. But God has placed me in several unique situations where my mom’s lessons of loving others have come shining through. I have worked in day camp the past two summers, and let me tell you..that is the best place to learn how to love others. Some of those kids are so bad, all you want to do is put them in time-out the whole day. But sometimes, you get a glimpse into their lives..either they tell you or you see it. I have listened to so many kids talk about their home lives, and it is so sad..I have grown to love those kids, even when I had to tell them for the 80th time to line up. All they wanted was someone to notice them. I help out with the kindergarteners at school..and several of them can be quite the little stinkers. But then someone tells you a little about their home life, or they tell you that their dad lives in an apartment and their mom has a boyfriend..and you realize, all these kids want is someone who will love them. And I just read mr.harmless’ blog..chosen..you should read it.. It struck me..I may not still be in pe, and I am usually not in a place where I have to pick teams..but what about on a daily basis. Are their people in my life who I’m not loving like I should..well, of course there are. I think of how easy it is for me to love those indergarteners and my day camp kids..but then I go back to highschool and all of a sudden, I forget to look for that person who may be having a bad day. I forget to reach out to that person who may be lonely..I get caught up in my friends.. God has called us to love our neighbor as ourself..and so often, I forget the love your neighbor part, and focus on the loving me part. I think back over the years and I can see face after face of people that I should have reached out to, and should have loved..but thankfully God gives us 2nd chances, and I can start new today.

My Dad

Post to Twitter

I love my dad so much..He has always been there for me. I can’t ever remember a time when he turned his back, or walked out, even if I had failed him. He’s been my biggest fan and supporter since day one. And also been there to dry my tears. When I was little, we had our little rituals that are etched in my mind. I can remember countless Christmas’ sitting around the tree reading stories, watching the lights flicker around the room. I can remember every spring the flowers he would bring me before my ballet recitals. He never failed. And although he was gone a lot, he always made sure he was home that night. I remember the excitement of him coming home after a three week business trip..I love yous’ said over the phone just aren’t the same. I remember all the times he told my mom how much he loved her, and all the times I caught them in each others’ arms. He promised me he would never leave her, and I have trusted him with my whole heart. I can remember so many times crawling into his arms after a bad day, a break-up, or just to say I love you. He’s always been there. He cheered me on in basketball, even though I never played that great. He supported me in cross country, and always wanted to see me to my best. I remember falling into his arms after a horrible meet and just crying. He told me, “Amanda, your a fighter, and you’ll do better next time” He was never disappointed in me, no matter how good or bad I did. He was there when I got my driver’s license. I remember all the movies we went to see, the ones mom thought were too bloody. We have always had the same movie tastes, which has brought many memories. He has always pushed me to succeed in everything, and to do my best. He has always had faith in me and knows I will fulfill all my dreams if I put my mind to it. I have a ring on my finger as a constant reminder of his love, and 6 journals that all begin with letters from him.

He’s always been there..and I will always love him no matter what.

I love you daddy!