How a “Yes Day” Can Help You Feel Like a Great Parent
Last week I read about the concept of a “Yes Day” on Stroller Savvy.
I thought it was a wonderful concept! Sometimes I get too wrapped up in all the small busy things I want to do each day, so I thought a “Yes Day” would help remind me to slow down. I’ve had so many projects on my plate lately, that it became too easy for me to say “Not right now” and force the kids to follow my schedule. I wanted a gentle reminder to stop my busywork and oblige the kids’ requests during the day.
On Friday night I told my husband about the idea and said that Saturday would be my “Yes Day.”
We talked about some boundaries to follow, which included not letting the kids do dangerous or mean things. Obviously hitting would still get a “No” response. I figured that this one day wouldn’t turn them into greedy, snobby monsters. I assured him that I was excited to do things on their schedule for a day. Since our three kids are so young, I didn’t think things could go horribly wrong.
Early Saturday morning, I had a chance to follow through with my plan. Simon came into our room while we were discussing what to cook for breakfast. Johnny and I were craving some muffins or pancakes, but Simon asked for a bowl of cereal. Instead of saying, “No, we’re going to make something else for breakfast,” I simply got to say “Ok!” So, Simon ate cereal while I started making pancakes.
The rest of our day also went smoothly. We did some yard work, we went swimming, and we ate lunch. Each time the kids asked for something, their requests were granted right away. I noticed that their requests were all very simple and easy to fulfill. We didn’t do anything we wouldn’t normally do, but it was on their time schedule, not mine.
Nap time happened just like normal, probably because they were super tired from swimming, and then we went to the grocery store. I assumed they’d ask for all kinds of foods, but they asked for the same things they normally do. As we were getting ready for bedtime, we granted requests for which parent brushed their teeth and which would read the bedtime story. Simple requests.
Our “Yes Day” was a success.
Lucky for us, our kids are so young they didn’t catch on to the game and send us all over town with requests. But I noticed that I was a more calm parent. Even though the majority of us were starting to catch a cold, that day seemed pretty peaceful. By taking the time to stop my “oh so important” tasks and oblige a request for a book or a snack right then, I had the best day out of my week. More family time meant more cuddles and smiles and tickles and kisses.
What else could a parent ask for?
Rachel Jankovic wrote, “Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.”
Saying “yes” more often, instead of “hang on,” “not right now,” or “that won’t work today,” helped me feel like a better parent. Obliviously, every day cannot be a “Yes Day” because parents do have to get things done. But I found that having a day where the kids determine the schedule was very refreshing. It was nice to slow down. I enjoyed spending more time concerned with them versus checking everything off my list.
I hope you can schedule a “Yes Day” into your busy week!