Post written by contributing writer, Kat.
We live in an age of constant communication and abounding options. Stay at home moms are not isolated anymore. We have countless opportunities to get involved in church, the community and online.
While there are many benefits to our connectedness, there is also a greater need for us to become adept at knowing when and how to say no.
Today, instead of hearing about a friend’s need thought the occasional phone call, we get every forwarded email, we read every blog post about everyone we have ever (or never) met who needs our help.
For our own well being and for the sake of our families, we must learn the fine art of gracious decision making. Here are a few tips:
Never Give An Immediate Yes
Consider making no your default. If something particularly strikes you, tell them you’ll pray and talk to your husband about it, but do not take on a new responsibility without stepping away from it first.
Have a Plan
Knowing what you want makes it a lot easier to decide when and how to say no. This is why having a mission statement is so vital, because it is a constant reminder of our priorities and acts as a bouncer toward all uninvited opportunity that could distract us from our most important responsibilities.
Decide and Be Done With It
We can neither live with the burden of extra responsibilities nor the weight of guilt from turning them down. We must be able to decide and be done with it. Don’t wonder, worry or whither.
Being able to say no is absolutely essential to living a balanced and well organized life.
If you’ve measured it against your mission statement and goals, evaluated whether it fits in your schedule, if you’ve discussed it with your husband and if you’ve prayed about it, your direction should feel pretty clear. Be confident in your choice.
Practice: Repeat After Me
“Thank you so much for asking me but I’m trying to honor my family with my time and I don’t think this is something I can commit to right now.”
You might need to practice it one or five hundred and sixty two times before it feels comfortable enough to actually say. That’s alright. Keep practicing.
Make An Exit Plan
Maybe you’re reading this post and kicking yourself (please stop, that hurts) because just the other day you said yes to something you shouldn’t have.
Don’t worry, you’re not stuck. You just need to make an exit plan.
While often even harder than saying no, others understand and are even inspired when someone is brave enough to say, “I overcommitted and need to step back for the sake of my family.”
Conclusion: It’s Really OK to Say No
As women, we often want to help wherever we see a need and especially if asked, well of course, we can’t let them down. But God has a plan for you and just because someone asked for your help doesn’t make them part of that plan.
We need to remember that it is ok to say no. We are not letting anyone down, we are doing the best thing for our families and giving someone else an opportunity to serve.
Is it easy or hard for you to say no? Is there anything you need to say no to today?