What can you say NO to this week?

My midlife crisis continues.

But my MLC isn’t about doing things to reclaim my youth.

I’m not about to buy a Harley or a Ferrari. I’m not making plans to get plastic surgery and I’m not on the hunt for a twenty-something boyfriend.

My midlife crisis is more of a midlife reevaluation.

A look at what really matters. What’s important. What I want for the second half of my life.

And what I want is to enjoy my life.

I want to be present in the moment.

I want to do more things with my kids. I want to do more things with my husband. I want to have more patience. I want to remember all the conversations I have with people rather than having no recollection of them because my brain is going 10,000 miles a minute and because I am way too overscheduled.

My midlife crisis is more of a midlife wake up call.

I just cannot do all the things.

Well, maybe I can do them all.

But I can’t do them well.

And I can’t enjoy them.

I think for some reason we moms feel the need to be able to say we can do everything and we can do everything by ourselves.

I got over the doing-everything-by-myself thing a couple years ago.

I’ve become a pro at asking for help.

And accepting it.

But now, I’m ready to acknowledge that trying to do too much stuff, that feeling the need to sign the kids up for every single thing that they want to do or signing them up for all the things I wanted to do but never had the opportunity to do when I was a kid and volunteering for every single things moms are capable of volunteering for just isn’t possible.

Or healthy.

Or fun.

And it’s not setting a healthy example for the kids.

I need to set some limits for myself.

I want to slow down.

I want to be available to my kids and my husband and myself.

I want to really be able to enjoy doing one thing rather than running around like a pissed off, cranky psychopath who is trying to do twelve things simultaneously.

I would rather do one or two things really well rather than a shitty job at a dozen things.

And you know what else?

I want some rest.

I need some rest.

Rest is okay.

Rest is good.

I finally feel confident and secure enough with myself that I don’t feel the overwhelming need to prove anything to anyone (mainly myself).

And I don’t feel the need to do everything.  All the time.

It doesn’t make me particularly happy.

It makes me stressed.

A couple weeks ago Number 6 got invited to a birthday party.

It was on the same day that I had to coach a swim meet and some of the kids were swimming and there was a baseball game and my husband was working all day and there was some other stuff going on and I was killing myself trying to get six people in six different places and then I finally pulled my head out of my ass.

I needed to say no.

So I did.

And Number 6 never even knew about the party. He was fine!

This is just one example.

It seems every day is jam packed full of an insane number of (unnecessary) things to do.

It’s okay to say no to a birthday party.

Or whatever things are not imperative but that for some reason you are feeling the need to jump through hoops for.

What things do you have filling up your life and your brain that don’t need to be there?

Decluttering is a pretty hot topic these days.

And I’m realizing that I need to declutter my life. My brain.

I need to clear out some space in there in order to create some more peace and calm.

So I’m offering up that challenge to all of you as well.

The Just Say No Challenge.

What things can you say no to in the next week?

Maybe it’s that birthday party.

Maybe it’s not totally saying no, but it’s simplifying something. Maybe instead of making a time consuming appetizer from scratch for that party you are going to you just buy something store-bought and take a little pressure off yourself.

Maybe you talk to the kids and tell them you are setting a limit of one activity per season.

Maybe this year, you don’t volunteer in your kid’s classroom or you don’t sign up to be the room mom.

Maybe it’s realizing that this is not the best time for you to redecorate a room in your house.

I don’t know what that thing is for you.

But I do know that many of us moms who are feeling frazzled and resentful and out of control are often loading our plate with too much stuff. Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs.

We are doing it to ourselves.

And just as we are doing it to ourselves, we can undo it to ourselves.

What is something you are saying yes to that isn’t absolutely necessary and that also isn’t making you happy?

I know a couple things that are on my list.

And I bet you can find more than one thing on yours, too.

Perfect T-shirt For All Ice Cream Lovers. Get it here!


Please keep voting!


4 replies
  1. Anna
    Anna says:

    I stopped doing all the things years ago. It feels so good. At times I feel guilty but I am constantly reminding myself of what the kids will actually remember and Joe schmoes bday party certainly doesn’t make the cut…. mom being a (somewhat) sane, rational, happy person does.

  2. Courtney K
    Courtney K says:

    Try some mindful meditation! That has been my challenge (even though I too often find something to “do” instead of meditate-I’m a work progress too) to find more patience and quiet my mind. I’m also hopeful that it will help me be more consistent with my exercising. Sort of a way to mindfully reach my goals. I haven’t yet progressed beyond guided meditation as I find it easier to keep focus. Google it. You can find tons of free guided meditations on many subjects- patience, relationships, weight loss, etc. check it out and good luck. You will find your way through this phase. XOXO

  3. Allison
    Allison says:

    Um…amen sista’! I don’t even have kids but I fill up my social calendar so much that some months I don’t want to bother with paying bills, grocery shopping, car maintenance because I’m so damn tired. I don’t want to say “no” to an event and hurt someone’s feelings but I’m learning that self-maintenance makes my world work properly. Great post. Perfect timing #NoWorksForMe

  4. Gwyneth
    Gwyneth says:

    I feel in some ways like this is a stay at home mom issue. I work a 50-70 hour week and I’ll be damned if on my weekends when I finally have my kids to myself that I’m running around like a maniac. We have plenty of downtime just to chill as a family and never have more than one social event a day on a weekend. I didn’t enroll my 3 year old in t-ball this spring because it would have eaten into the only alone time we have as a family. I hardly think he will be scarred for life and I could care less about providing an explanation to any other mom as to why my boys aren’t doing t-ball, soccer, etc on weekends, evenings blah blah. I don’t have it in me. I only see my kids a couple of hours per day. They are only going to be this little once and for a very short time. I would rather cherish our moments together with reading and kisses and cuddles than watch them from afar on some field.
    And for the record, I have to work. I’m a lawyer and the breadwinner. My husband has a great union job that doesn’t pay well but gives us good benefits. So we are stuck where we are, like a lot of people, in a two parent working household. We are just trying to do our best like everyone else out there.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *