Life / Motherhood / Real Talk

No is the New Yes


No is the New Yes Photos c/o Ashley Kelemen

No is the New Yes

I suffer from a severe case of people pleasing. If I make a choice that hurts myself, I find a way to chalk it up to “life just being tough.” But if I do something that disappoints someone else, though, I tend to think, “Oh my gosh! I’m the worst! Why do you love me at all!”

So my whole life, I’ve been saying yes.

Yes when I don’t want to.
Yes when it makes no sense.
Yes when it makes my schedule miserable and overcrowded, and I start losing sleep and feel stressed out of my mind.

Then I became a mom. And it changed everything in my world.

Now, every yes becomes a no to something else. My capacity to just do it all has diminished to nothing. And quickly I realized that a yes to someone else means no to my family.
No to my daughter.
No to myself.

The Refined Woman

When Charlotte was born, my newfound need to say no to things felt like a weakness. No to hangouts at nap time. No to photo shoots. No to lunch dates. No to work events at bedtime.

As I’ve been living through these new limitations, I’ve started to realize they are actually freeing. This space to say no has become a true blessing. I never allowed myself time to rest until I needed it so much my life depended on it.

While I still struggle to say no when I’m overcommitted, I am growing. I’m learning. When I must say no I just remind myself that I am saying yes to balance.
Yes to rest.
Yes to my own health.

I may suffer from an acute case of people pleasing forever — prioritizing relationships with others can do that. But now I also realize that I am unable to be a good friend, a good wife, a good mom, if I don’t create boundaries to take care of myself first. Anyone who is in a relationship with me will have to understand that, and I’m finding that the best friends in my life actually encourage me to take care of myself.

At this point I gladly accept all the help I can get.



3 comments on “No is the New Yes”

  1. So much truth to this! I struggle with all of the above and love what you’ve written. I definitely find with number two I’m easing up on myself, guilting myself less for not being able to ‘do it all’, but it’s a slow growth, that’s for sure. Keep doing what you’re doing girl!

  2. Love this Em! Way to go girlfriend! It’s so hard to say “no”, but even harder when you see your family suffering from it. I am exactly where you are on this topic right now. Some weeks I do so well and then the next I over commit… Overly try to people please.. Etc, there is a learning curve I think. Xo thanks for sharing

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