‘I’m burnt out. So, I tried an experiment. I needed to relinquish control. It was amazing.’: Mom admits ‘nothing horrible happened’ when she stopped saying ‘no’

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“Lately I’ve been tired of the constant battle of wills with both of my babies. For every ‘no’ I offer, I get 20 whines in return. And they aren’t bad kids. On the contrary, they’ve been through quite a bit this year and have been troopers through it all. Three moves, mommy’s cancer diagnosis and two surgeries…all of that in one year is enough to make any adult go mad. I had almost forgotten how all of those things were impacting my kids.

The truth is, they’ve had a ton of transition this year, and it’s been pretty hard on both of them. I feel like I spend most of my time these days saying ‘no’ or ‘stop that’ or ‘put down the cat’. They need a lot of guidance and limits and supervision.

A lot of… me.

And right now, I’m a little burnt out to be honest. So, I tried a little experiment today. Today, I just needed to just relinquish a little control. I wouldn’t say it was a huge success, mostly because it’s not sustainable… but for a day?

It was kind of amazing.

Basically, I tried to limit my ‘no’ answers.

When my son got hot outside and asked if he could jump in the pool in his clothes, I said ‘yes’.

Courtesy Mary Katherine Backstrom

When my daughter asked if she could wear a hand me down dress that is WAY too big to church, I made sure it covered her body, and I said ‘yes’.

When they wanted to play with bubbles that I wanted to save for next week, I said ‘yes’.

Courtesy Mary Katherine Backstrom

When they wanted ice cream after lunch, with cherries and whipped cream, to my surprise and theirs…

I said yes.

And, you know what?

Nothing horrible happened. I have some wet clothes to dry. They had some extra wiggles to get out after the ice cream. That size 5 dress is being cleaned and by tomorrow it’ll be hanging back up in the back of my daughters’ closet. I’ll find some more bubbles for next week.

All in all, it was a pretty spectacular day, and I think there something to be learned in indulging the occasional ridiculous request.

A spontaneous fully dressed dip in the pool feels like a devilish adventure, even if you’re 35. (Yes, I joined the party.)

Ice cream, it turns out, tastes even better with brunch.

And bubbles should never be on a budget, hard stop.

The truth is, I resent being a disciplinarian, even though I know it’s good and right. So today, I gave myself the luxury of picking my battles.

I picked very, very few.

And to be honest, it was freaking amazing.

100% highly recommend.

Chill a little, mamas. The kids are alright.”

Courtesy Mary Katherine Backstrom

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mary Katherine Backstrom. The article originally appeared here. Follow Mary on Instagram here.  Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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