7 Ways Busy Moms Can Just Say 'No'

7 Ways Busy Moms Can Just Say 'No'

Several busy moms tell their personal stories about just saying ‘no.’


By Judy Koutsky

Can you pick up Billy after school? Can you host the next PTA potluck? What about being the coach for the kids’ soccer team? If “no” is not in your vocabulary, then you’re exhausted, like most moms, from constantly saying “yes” to everyone’s requests. The problem is, you’re run down, internally angry, and you’re up all night doing all the things you didn’t get done during day because you’ve taken on too much. Here, let’s get inspired, as real moms explain how they just say “no”:

1. “I was the PTA president for three years. The PTA is a wonderful thing. But I work full time, have three kids, and was spread too thin. Now, I say ‘no’ to the president position, and ‘yes’ to one or two events throughout the year. My family is glad to have their less-stressed-out mom back.”

2. “Truth be told, my neighbor’s son is a handful. I used to say ‘yes’ to playdates because I didn’t want to hurt the mom’s feelings, but her child was a bad influence on my son. I finally, just said, ‘Sorry, maybe another time.’ After the third time I said it, she got the picture.”

3. “I wanted to be more involved with my son’s class, so I became the class mom. Collecting money for holiday gifts was a nightmare and that’s a big part of the job! This year, I said ‘no’ to class mom, but I’ll be sure to give my gift money on time.”

4. “I hate carpooling. I choose to be a stay-at-home mom to be with my kids, not chauffeuring other kids around. I now just tell other moms, ‘I wish I could, but there’s no room in the car.’ What are they going to do, check?”

5. “For last year’s bake sale, the theme was healthy, homemade treats. As a working mom with four kids, of course I said ‘yes’ to bringing something, but I bought organic cookies from Whole Foods (which took all of five minutes). Maybe it’s passive-aggressive, but sometimes you can say ‘yes’ but still do it the way that works for you.”

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6. “Girl Scout cookies are the bane of my existence. There are about a dozen kids in my neighborhood selling them, plus, all my coworkers’ kids. I’d spend a fortune if I bought from each one (not to mention that I try to give my kids healthy snacks like fruit, not cookies). So I simply say, ‘I’m sorry, I’ve already given to my charity.’ Then I give a donation for Toys for Tots at Christmas. I get the kids involved, too, so it’s a family affair for a good cause. Plus, I don’t feel guilty.”

7. “My daughter is in kindergarten soccer. I pay for the league, the uniform, the cleats, the whole bit. Then I was asked to be the coach. I said ‘no’ but then provided snacks for the whole team for the first game. I hope it softened the blow.”

When was the last time you said “no” to one of the many requests of parents?



Judy Koutsky is the former Editorial Director of KIWI magazine, a green parenting publication. She was also Executive Editor of Parenting.com, AOL Parent and BabyTalk.com. Follow her on Twitter @JudyKoutsky.

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