If you follow our little fam on instagram, you probably couldn’t miss the fact that we took our first little vacation as a family of four. We had so. much. fun.
One the way down to the beach on Mother’s Day afternoon, I told Matt that I wanted this to be a week of YES. I wanted to say yes as much as possible. We are pretty disciplined people on the reg and that means a lot of no-nonsense parenting. Being strict isn’t a bad thing but I was beginning to feel that maybe we were using an iron fist where a gentle nudge could have worked just fine.
I always feel like the beach helps me to regain a sense of balance. It’s like I find my center there. If I feel like I’ve been swaying too far from one extreme to another, it just seems like everything evens out.
This week was no exception. We said YES so much that we started recognizing things that really were necessary to say NO to. Funny how it happened. We relaxed but we didn’t feel like we were being permissive.
We also found we started to enjoy this parenting thing a lot more. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always liked being parents. Though goodness knows it has it’s moments. But we didn’t take ourselves so seriously. We just enjoyed Reese for who she was. She wanted to play on the wooden train longer? Well, we didn’t have anywhere to be that night. What could it hurt? So many times we are in such a hurry to get to the next destination, we miss out on the journey with our kids. Sounds very Hallmark channel, I know, but it’s true. Lingering a little longer was so sweet. We slowed ourselves down and let ourselves operate on her time frame for a few minutes.
I know what you’re thinking… “give kids an inch and they’ll turn into little dictators bossing their parents around and ruling the roost!” But the craziest thing was that saying YES actually made our NO carry even more weight to her little ears. Once we said it was time to go, she was much more willing to GO. And as we allowed her to have a little more freedom to just be two years old in all it’s craziness, we saw that it didn’t hurt anything.
I read once that you have to recognize the difference between childish irresponsibility and willful disobedience. Striving to set an environment where she has more freedom to be who she is kept us from having unrealistic expectations for her. For instance, if she wants to walk up the back steps by herself every day instead of walking up the front steps with us, she can do it. When she first asked, my initial response was “No, you need to walk with mommy” but then I thought about it further and realized “OH! Another opportunity for YES!” So up the back stairs she went. Maybe that was our biggest takeaway. Keep your eyes open for chances to just say YES.
Since we’ve gotten home we’ve returned to a lot of our daily disciplines but the difference now is that we are looking for opportunities to say yes. And it’s been so fun. I highly recommend it! After all, like every grandma tells me in Target, “These little years go by in a blink! Enjoy it!”
So let’s enjoy this, Mommas. Let’s say YES as much as we can. Let’s be YES Moms. Let’s look for opportunities to say YES to our kids so that our NO carries more weight.
Happy Weekend to YOU!!!!