Shannon Philpott

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching

Just Say No

just_say_noIt’s no secret that I am a chronic “yes” girl. I can’t say no even when I am buried with projects, work, and family life. Another committee? Sure. Come in on my day off? Why not? Need parent volunteers? I’m your girl.

There are times when I just want to say no, when I want to put the grading pen down, and when I just want to turn off my cell phone for the evening. I didn’t think I could until last night.

My daughter joined me at the kitchen table early in the evening and with those big blue eyes, looked at me and said, “You work a lot mom.” My heart sank and at that moment, I just wanted to shred every last paper that sat on the table before me, take back every time I said “just a minute” to my kiddos while finishing a project, and enjoy a night without even the thought of work looming in my mind. “I know that you have to – it’s okay, you know?” she continued.

“No, no it’s not okay,” I thought.

As she walked back into the living room and continued to watch a movie she started an hour before, I forced myself to say no once more by picking up all of my work, packing it into my bag, and clearing my mind of that nagging to-do list.

For the first time in a few weeks, I sat on the couch and watched a movie with my daughter. Her choice was “27 Dresses” and ironically, the main character struggled with the word “no” as I often do.

We laughed as the characters found themselves in awkward situations and we cried when their world seemed to fall apart. We talked about fashion, boys, movies, and school. It was truly a bonding moment and ironically, the most productive hour I had experienced in a long time.

It was one of those wake-up calls that as a parent, come more and more often as your babies seem to slip away and grow up. I saw that my daughter respects what I do and understands the fact that I have to work, but more importantly, I saw that she respects me much more when I achieve a balance between work and home life.

It was liberating to say no and I can’t wait to do it again. Another committee? No. Another volunteer activity? No. An evening of family time? Yes.

I’m still a “yes” girl, but only for those big blue eyes.

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– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: Oct. 14, 2009

 © Shannon Philpott, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and shannonphilpott.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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October 14, 2009 - Posted by | Blog, Parenting, Reflecting | , , , , ,

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