Does saying no mean you are lazy?
I get asked a lot of questions around here but one question I’m proud to rarely get asked is “how do you do it all?”. I never want to come across on this blog like I’m superwoman because I can assure you I’m most definitely not. What I am though is very careful with my time and I guard it like there’s no tomorrow.
I don’t have a lot of commitments to outside activities in my life. Once a week my daughter has piano after school for two hours and twice a month I attend the parent meetings at my children’s schools. One of them is during the day. I do volunteer as Treasurer of the parent group at one of the schools and I only agreed to that as it’s something I can do from home. I’m a work from home mom but I try and schedule my work while the kids are at school or in the evenings after they’ve gone to bed.
I like having our weeknights and weekends free. I love hanging out with my family and having us all home together under one roof. I like that we eat dinner together every night, have time to play Wii and board games, watch old episodes of Full House, read and go on walks. I like having time to organize. I like having time to be still with God. I like that our stress is kept to a minimum. It’s intentional. Right now, in this season of my life, my family is my priority.
Does having so few scheduled activities and so much free time make me lazy though? Some have told me it does. They see that I have a lot of down time and it’s a foreign concept to many. Unnatural at best. Quiet time feels unproductive and carries with it a load of guilt if we let it. However there really is no right or wrong answer here. This is what works for my family. I don’t judge others who make different choices for their families.
Yet for those of us who do desire to slow down it can be a constant battle to make it happen. Have you ever noticed that when you ask someone how they are, they answer with busy. It seems to be the most popular catch phrase these days that many wear like a badge of honor. Now imagine what happens when someone asks me if I’m busy and I answer with no not at all. Right away I get a look like what the heck is wrong with you or well let’s see if I can change that for you. And boy do they try. Requests for help come in from all over the place.
I’ve gotten very good at saying no over the years but it’s taken a lot of work to let go of the guilt of using this two letter word. Nobody wants to hear it. I’ve also found that if you give an inch, they’ll only take more. Harder still is sometimes having to say no to the many good opportunities that come along. It’s a constant struggle to protect this sanctuary of home but the rewards are so worth it.
Saying no is hard.
Draw your boundaries and stick to your limits.
Lose the guilt.
It’s incredibly rewarding to make this happen for my family. I know I hurt others along the way that don’t understand my reasons for saying no especially when I don’t have a ton of other appointments and commitments to “justify” it.
Does this make me lazy?
Nope not at all, I think it makes me smart. This season of life with young kids in my care only lasts for so long. Saying no and being intentional about my time means my kids get a mom that is less stressed and flustered. I’m not trying to juggle a million balls at one time. It’s not about how to better juggle all the balls in the air but rather being okay about dropping some balls all together.
For practical tips on saying no please refer to this great post called How and Why To Say No over at Passionate Homemaking.
How crowded is your calendar? Do you have a desire to slow down yet have a hard time saying no?
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.