We all know the adage, A mothers work is never done. In fact, this could become a modern-day mothers theme song since we all have overbooked schedules and everybody wants something done yesterday.
We teach our children from a young age that it is impolite to say the word, No, which was a lesson we learned in childhood, too. Now as adults, it is increasingly difficult to say, No, to anyone for fear of being rude or being seen as unreliable.
Mothers need to learn that saying, No, as an adult is not rude. Rather, it is a sign of someone who is in control of her life and her schedule. She knows what she is capable of accomplishing and she is aware of her other commitments.
Here are a few ways to gain back control of your life, simply by learning how to say, No:
1. Be selective when choosing to volunteer your time. Being involved in your childs school IS important but that does not mean you have to serve on every committee. Instead, choose one or two activities or committees that interest you and schedule that time on your planner.
2. Set limits on after-school activities. Sports teams or dance lessons are fun and help improve social skills but that does not mean your children have to be on a different team each season or take multiple lessons a week. Instead, teach your children how to choose activities that are most important to them and keep their focus on their studies.
3. Set boundaries with your clients. Your clients should not run your life. Instead, you should have a clear, working partnership in which each partner knows what is expected.
If you can still give your clients good customer service during set office hours, then do so. Chances are they would not want you calling during their family time so why should they interrupt during your family time?
4. Be honest about your skills. If you are not qualified to complete a particular project, whether it is a paid or volunteer project, be honest with your client and recommend someone with the right qualifications. Passing the job along to someone else who is qualified will show that you are in control of your schedule, you are honest about your skill level and you value the importance of the project by giving it to someone who can complete it properly.
5. Keep your calendar or planner up to date and use it. Schedule everything on one calendar, even exercise and family time, and keep it near the phone for easy reference when someone calls asking for a favor.
Bad habits are hard to break and saying, Yes, to too many things can be considered a bad habit. Before committing to anything, spend some quiet time with yourself and decide what things you want to be a part of and how much time you have in your days. Sometimes we must compromise so we can successfully balance our family, work and volunteer lives.