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say yes to you saying no Self-Care

When and How to Say “No”

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Self-care is crucial, especially for moms. Without it, you’re setting yourself up for a breakdown.

What do self-care and saying no have to do with each other? Everything! Picture this:

Your boss assigns you tasks with tight deadlines, then you coworker asks you to cover for her the next day, your friend asks you to drive her to the airport at midnight, and your neighbor asks you to babysit her kids. You say yes to all these things. Plus you have your usual daily obligations. You’re “Super Mom,” so chances are you’ll manage to get everything done, BUT the tasks your boss assigned you are probably going to be sub-par because you didn’t get any sleep since you had your kids plus the neighbor’s kids and you had to drive your friend to the airport at midnight, probably got home after 1am, and had to wake up at 5am, then you had cover for your coworker when you got to work… Sound familiar?

Extended periods of this overextension of your amazing self will not only leave you mentally and physically drained, but your work and relationships will suffer as a result. Isn’t it better to do less and enjoy better quality work and relationships? Thankfully you can avoid all the stress with just one word: “no.” Here’s how to do it right.

How to Say “No” Tactfully and Not Feel Bad About it

We’ve all been there. You want to say no but you also don’t want to be mean, so you say yes to everything (even kids’ play dates you don’t have the energy for!). Here are a few suggestions for how to say no without sounding rude.

1. Remember Who You’re Talking To

The way you say no to your boss will definitely be different from how you say no to your peers. Consider your situation to help determine the approach you’ll take. You might be blunt with close family and friends—“I don’t want to go”—and know they can take it, but you’ll probably have to be more considerate with everyone else: “I would love to take this on, but my plate is really full right now. I hope you understand.”

2. Be Firm but Courteous

When declining a request for your help, don’t raise the tone of your voice at the end to imply a question—“no?” Otherwise, you’re leaving room for someone to convince you to say yes. And if you’re just plain bad at saying no, you’re going to end up giving in. Even if you feel guilty, don’t show it. “Fake it ‘til you make it” if need be—just stay strong!

Say you’re asked to bake a cake for your kid’s school fundraiser, but you know you won’t have time. Simply say, “I appreciate you thinking of me. I’m sorry I won’t be able to help this time, but I’ll let you know which of the upcoming events I’ll be able to volunteer for.” This gives you the upper hand without appearing mean, and it leaves the ball in your court. Be careful, though—don’t commit to a future activity if you know you won’t be able to do it.

3. The Less You Say, The Better

Don’t feel obligated to accompany your “no” with an excuse. If you feel you must give an explanation, keep it short, don’t give details, and stick as close to the truth as possible. Lies will only catch up with you later. If you’re invited to a party you have no interest in attending, a simple, “Thanks for the invite but I won’t be able to make it,” will do. No need to hurt the host/ess’s feelings.

4. Ask Them a Question

Asking a question to clarify how busy you are or help free you up for this new task might serve you well in certain situations—especially when it comes to work relationships. For example, if your supervisor asks you to take on more tasks than you can handle, you could say, “I’m happy to do A, B, and C, but I would need two weeks instead of one in order to do the job well. How would you like me to prioritize these tasks?”

And just like that, you’ll likely get the two weeks you need—or they just might reassign one of the tasks to someone else.

Saying “No”: It’s Okay to Be Selfish

As moms, we tend to put everyone else’s needs before our own. But if you continue this pattern, your productivity in all areas of life will suffer. Since most of us are already operating on minimal hours of sleep (unless your kids are champion sleepers!), it’s important not to stretch oneself too thin.

It might be hard at first—old habits die hard after all—but you’ll get used to saying no. It might actually feel liberating. Eventually those around you will get the point. Say yes to YOU!

Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.” – Richie Norton

Self-Care Working Mom

“I’m Just Too Busy!” – Self-Care Tips for Working Moms

Is “me time” a foreign concept to you?

It seems like at every turn, the responsibilities of being a working mom take up all your time. Obligations at home and at the kids’ schools and meetings, projects, and deadlines at work. Somewhere along the line, “me time” stopped being a priority. You’ve drifted away from your interests and passions—and essentially, yourself—without realizing that it’s even happening.

You’re not alone. Lots of moms—myself included—are in the same boat. But just because many moms experience this lack of “me time” doesn’t make it okay. As a mom, you are loving, giving, kind, and nurturing to your little ones, but why can’t you be like that with yourself also?

I’m a total supporter of moms making time to care for themselves, because all moms deserve it! Here are a few self-care tips for working moms that will go a long way for your own well-being.

Stop Feeling Guilty

Mommy guilt is real! We may want to take some time for ourselves, but we tend to feel bad about it. So instead we keep going, constantly self-sacrificing, and as a result, we’re forever exhausted. But the truth is, when your energy is depleted, everyone—your kids included—suffers.

So really, taking care of yourself is for everyone’s benefit, not just yours.

Wake Up Earlier

Sleep is a precious thing, even more so when you’re a working mom. You have a tight schedule that probably already leaves you minimal time to sleep—and even that can get interrupted (those middle-of-the-night wake-up calls from a screaming kid, for example).

Despite all this, I suggest waking up earlier than usual—just setting your alarm for 15 minutes earlier each morning will do. It’s the time of day when everyone else is still asleep and you have some much needed quiet moments to yourself.

Use this time to drink a fresh cup of hot coffee or tea in peace (instead of the forgotten cup of lukewarm caffeine you usually end up chugging as you rush out the door). Read a book, write in your journal, exercise, stay in bed and take deep breaths… whatever it is that will keep you in touch with yourself, do it! The house is probably at its quietest in the morning, which is why it’s the best opportunity to squeeze in some “me time.” Resist all urges to do the laundry!

Pay Attention to Other Relationships

On top of being a mom, you are a myriad of other things: a friend, daughter, wife, sister, cousin. Kill two birds with one stone and go out for breakfast or lunch with some of the other people in your life—without the kids. You have to eat, don’t you?!

Although being a mom is a beautiful and amazing thing, there is more to you. Spending time on the other relationships in your life could be that breath of fresh air you need to feel rejuvenated and ready to take on your hectic schedule. And it’s a nice break from all the baby talk at home!

Ask for and Accept Help

Self-care sometimes includes learning to accept help. Letting go of control can be difficult, but despite your Super Mom qualities, you are only human and accepting help doesn’t make you a bad mom.

If your spouse or partner can take care of something, let them. If your mother-in-law offers to come babysit once a week, say yes. You don’t have to do everything all the time. Take a shower, go for a walk. Let someone else handle things for a bit. It takes a village, after all.

Take Time to Focus on Your Goals

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget about your goals. This might leave you feeling unfulfilled. Make time everyday or every week to work towards your goals.

For example, if you want to find a way to earn a supplemental income, take the time to research your options to achieve that goal. Working towards your goals will give you confidence and motivation—plus it has the added benefit of allowing you to escape from your everyday routine.

Self-Care Tips for Working Moms: Make Yourself a Priority

Every working mom gets 24 hours in a day, but how is it that some are able to fit in that trip to the gym and you’re not? It’s about making yourself a priority. When you give and give—to your family and your career—without taking time out for yourself, your bucket becomes empty. And a mom with an empty bucket isn’t much help to herself or her family!