The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en Silly Reasons Why Mom’s Say No…

January 20th, 2010 · 33 Comments

I have to ask “Why is it that mothers feel like they say NO all day long?” We are well into our summer holidays and doing a whole lot of nothing and I am finding it so easy to be a “Yes Mom.” Yes to spontaneous science experiments, yes to another story, yes to more dressing up and face paints, yes to friends coming over anytime, just a whole lot of “yeses.” But I tell you the truth a month ago, as I finished up our last week or two of school at the end of what felt like a long year, I was anything but a “Yes Mom.”


Here are Se7en excuses we all use for saying No:

  1. We don’t want a mess: Honestly I don’t mind the mess, I even have spots designed into our home that are perfect for messes. So if someone needs to paint then they must. If they want to concoct a delicious mixture then there is no reasonable reason not to.
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  3. We can do the job a whole lot easier and quicker: This is true, but I love enabling my kids and teaching them new skills, it takes a bit longer at first but then they generally fly with it and enjoy it. Hood #1 has just mastered the bread machine and I can leave lunch to him – everyday!
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  5. We don’t want to make the effort: Actually I love making the effort, I am good at efforts… I can build a fort before breakfast, I can play that board game again and again… and again! I can take my kids for a walk on the beach whatever the weather…
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  7. We are just too tired: I am a master napper, if a child is too tired to carry on then I send them for a nap… I expect the same from me!!! So “I am just too tired” is not a very good excuse around here.
  8. We worry about what other people think: I have never bothered too much about what other people think… I really don’t mind if they think my children are too noisy when they are launching themselves across the park field, and I really couldn’t worry if the people in the next checkout hear what my kids think about large retail marketing tactics. Really if I was too concerned about what other people thought I probably wouldn’t have had eight kids!!!
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  10. We don’t want to share: I really don’t mind my kids going trough the stationary drawers. Really does it matter if I need to grab some more selo-tape or another ball of string next time we are at the store. My markers have become their markers, really saying “I don’t want to share” is quite ridiculous.
  11. We haven’t got time: Actually, I have got time and lots of it to spend with my kids. I like my kids, I want to spend time with them. And really how long does one more story take? And a bubble bath at bed-time doesn’t take that much longer than a shower.

Obviously these are all poor excuses for saying no… I think the ultimate reason for not always being a “Yes Mom” is that I have one bad habit: “I just say no, because I say so.” Awful isn’t it!!! I have got just one bad habit that I would really like to change permanently. Not just when we are relaxed and on summer vacation, but when we are in the depths of the school term as well!!!

This Post is part of The Thirty Minute Mom’s Challenge at Steady Mom.

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Tags: Home Truths

33 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alishia // Jan 20, 2010 at 2:04 am

    I know you didn’t write this to make me feel bad, but it automatically makes me think of the legitimate reasons I say no. I have three kids four and under. I have to say no because they ask to do things like: watch TV all day, eat candy, have me take them all to the store every day, or they start something and five minutes later they want to do something else (like go to the store!). I feel like I’m saying no a lot–because I do. I do say yes to messy crafts and the like, just not five minutes before nap time. Then it’s “later.” Ho hum. I’m boring.

  • 2 se7en // Jan 20, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Hi A, You are so right… I should follow up this post with “Se7en Sneaky Ways to Say Yes to their Silly Requests!!!… You have a good week, and don’t feel bad about the “No’s” We all do it ALL the time!!!

  • 3 Susan // Jan 20, 2010 at 2:35 am

    I think I sometimes say no just because I’m cranky. How’s that for immature!

    Often during the school year I am actually better about saying yes because I’m more focused on the kids during school.

  • 4 Daniela // Jan 20, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Thank you! A great reminder about saying YES more often!!

  • 5 Sharon // Jan 20, 2010 at 5:45 am

    you are so right. I want to be a better YES mom too!

    (and how did you write all that good stuff in 30 minutes? you go girl)

  • 6 se7en // Jan 20, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Hi Susan, Oh Don’t tell me – Often when things fall apart I need to stop and ask myself: “So who is the grown-up here?” !!! Life can be so tricky!!! On that merry note, You have a good week…

  • 7 se7en // Jan 20, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Hi D, Thanks for stopping by!!! I think I should print out the photos and post-it note them around the house for daily reminding!!! Have a good day!!!

  • 8 se7en // Jan 20, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Hi Sharon… Yup! I never set out to write about why I say no… I am all about the positive… but by the time I got to the how to say yes more often I had clearly run out of time!!! Lots of photos and very few words is my 30 minute trick this week!!!

  • 9 S // Jan 20, 2010 at 8:02 am

    I’ve read that instead of feeling guilty about saying ‘NO’ all the time, we should rather say things like, ‘there’s no time to paint before bed time but tomorrow we can do it’, or ‘it’s too hot to swim now but what about later when it’s cooler’. But then I remind myself that sometimes parents are allowed to say NO fullstop – without giving a reason and without the guilt!

  • 10 se7en // Jan 20, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Hi S, You are so right somethings are just no… I was just thinking of positive redirecting. should we roll out some biscuits for tea rather than flinging breakfast cereal across the room – you know positive alternatives!!! All in a days work!!! You have a great day!

  • 11 S // Jan 20, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Oh I love your answer! Why am I laughing so much about your comment about breakfast cereal being thrown across the room??!! Probably because we’ve all been there before!

  • 12 se7en // Jan 20, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Yup S, For the sake of our limited dignity I will say no more!!!

  • 13 jacki // Jan 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    For me there are two categories of ‘no’: the first kind is because I know it will serve everybody better ( and I am often lazy to say this ‘no’); the second kind is pretty much because it serves my own convenience of the moment better, and tumbles out of my mouth so much more easily than the first kind! And I think you are right, if I think about it I realise it boils down to a pretty bad habit!

  • 14 Christine // Jan 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm


    My mother told me that Mom’s were given a “no-bag” with the birth of each child.

    She said, it was such a large bag of all those little, teeny, tiny words, that it put Santa and his whole operation to shame.

    And the rule that was given when you accepted that child (and the bag of no’s that came with) was that the no’s had to disappear before the child left home.

    So, it was a mother’s duty to dole out those no’s (with the added benefit that “it helped declutter the house”.)

    My mom said she never finished her bag, but man I sure felt she did!

    My kids love that story, and it always distracts them when I have to say no.

    But you are right, sometimes, it is just excuses.

  • 15 se7en // Jan 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Hi J, Thanks for stopping by!!! Hope you have found a cool spot to rest up in!!! Lots of love.

  • 16 se7en // Jan 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Hi C, I love that story…I am so about decluttering!!! I am going to tell it at suppertime tonight… I have a feeling you may have begun a legend!!! Thank-you, that’s lovely!!! Have a great day!!!

  • 17 Mliss // Jan 20, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Hey Se7en! WEll, I am still waiting for my boy to arrive … seems to be extremely happy in the womb and not too anxious to meet the siblings!
    Just wanted to ask some dreaded homeschooling questions again!!!
    First off — when do you start in the year, and how do you (or do you?) set up a schedule/term thing?
    also, I am using Sonlight – loving it – but they dont do the Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons …. do you rate it that highly that I should add it to my K curriculum??
    sorry for all the q’s 😉 just starting out on this exciting journey!
    love mliss

  • 18 Susan@improvamama // Jan 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I’m looking forward to your Sneaky Ways to say “yes” post….Great breakdown of reasons we say “No.” When I’m in the midst of a no-fest, I at least try to get honest with myself about why I’m saying “no.” Even if it is for my sanity, knowing that helps me find something to say “yes” to (even if it isn’t the little person’s exact desire)

  • 19 se7en // Jan 20, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Mliss, Oh shame!!! Talk to your little one…tell him: time to come out already!!! Quick answers for you: We do 40 weeks of school time, nine weeks on and one week off through Sonlights schedule. Then we take 12 weeks off and we are about half way through our long break. I order our books at the beginning of January and they take about ten weeks to ship, two weeks to sort and organize and then we just go… But most of our friends follow the standard term schedule… whatever works! Otherwise, your child will learn to read whatever you do (trust me on this) we use the 100 lessons because I have found that it works and I really want my kids to be reading by grade 1!!! They can do it and I like them to!!! I hope you have lots of fun with your school and tell that baby to hurry up and meet us all!!!

  • 20 se7en // Jan 20, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Hi S – Oh the pressure!!! I was never intending a follow up but I see this one needs one!!! I hope you have a great week while I sit and rearrange my thinking cap!!!

  • 21 Chili Pepper // Jan 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Just stopping by to check out your blog. I am the homeschool mom of seven myself and like to meet other moms in the same happy boat.


  • 22 se7en // Jan 21, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Hi K, Thanks for stopping by… always nice to meet a homeschool mum of se7en!!! Hope to see you again on the 30 minute challenge!!! Have a good day!!!

  • 23 Meeks // Jan 21, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I’ve got one to add:
    I say no, because

    We want to be equal: Giving it to one child, will mean fights and complaints will follow shortly from the other children.

    This has been my way for a while, but I have slowly turned the corner, and accepted that it is ok *breathe* if the kids aren’t always equal.

    Also saying “yes” means that we have an opportunity to teach the children that in our house we are not going to complain and pout if some else seems to be getting a better deal.

    For my role, I need to make sure that everyone gets a turn to shine (maybe not in their time, but in due time).

    Any other tips??!!!

  • 24 katherinemarie // Jan 21, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    YES we CAN!!!!! Lovely list to remind us all that we are full YES and JOY! The biggest one I hear from folks is the MESS excuse… I say the more messy the MORE FUN~!

    Being tired is a hard one for me… but we have all of our old age to sleep.

    THANKS for your YES list!

  • 25 se7en // Jan 22, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Hi K-M, Tell me about the mess!!! Sometimes it is hard to start something thats going to be a bit um (messy!!!) but just taking the first small step is enough to get rolling!!! I often think it takes longer to say: no you may not paint, glue, snip, mud… than it takes to clean-up!!! Yes WE can!!! Lots of love!!!

  • 26 se7en // Jan 22, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Hi M, You are so right about the balance between equality and fairness!!! Here are my se7en sibling tips and #2 is the one you are after… And as for giving al our kids a chance to shine… I have se7en quick ideas at the bottom of this post on being “your brothers keeper”.

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  • 28 Victoria // Jan 29, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Hi Se7en.
    Great post. I’m taking these words to heart.
    Can you believe I’m just getting around to last week’s 30 minute posts!? I had a crazy hectic past couple of weeks and enjoying going back and catching up.
    By the way, I love your “yes” pictures!!!
    Please tell me they are yours taken with your new camera! It gives me ideas, my friend. Love it.

  • 29 se7en // Jan 29, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Hi V, Oh I am loving my new camera… I went on a course and I may have forgotten everything they taught but I did get comfortable taking photographs and I have hardly looked back!!! I can so see the difference when I grab old photos to use compared with the new!!! Have a great weekend!!!

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