Sometimes I find myself saying “no” to my kids even before I’ve given myself time to process what is being asked or what my kids’ ideas are. In my defense, I think this happens because moms are made to utter the word “no” so much as a way to keep our kids protected and alive that it becomes a habit.
“Can we see that movie, mom?”
“No, it’s rated PG-13.”
“Can I have ice cream?”
“No, it’s almost dinnertime.”
“Can I bring my ant collection on the road trip, Mom?”
“Are you fucking kidding me? You have an ant collection?”
We have all reached that point, or had a day (or week) where our go-to response is the big “N-O” and is our answer for almost everything. Causes include, but are certainly not limited to: mama burnout, trying to survive the day, and not remembering why you walked into the room.
I love being the boss and saying no, but even I get sick of it.
A way to resolve some of the guilt and let loose and have some fun with your kids is to do what Jennifer Garner does and have a “Yes Day.”
Our kids deserve it and so do we. There’s nothing as freeing as throwing caution to the wind and saying “yes” to all the things and taking some time away from being a fun sponge.
Garner has started a tradition with her three kids of having Yes Days, inspired by Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s book Yes Day!
Even though it leaves her exhausted, she loves it.
The name of the game is not to go off the rails and let your kiddos order everything they’ve ever wanted from Amazon or eat a gallon of cookie dough — it’s simply to have a less ordinary day and spend it doing something together that everyone loves, like going to a water park, visiting a favorite restaurant, or maybe even having dessert for dinner.
Turning an otherwise normal day into a special kids-take-charge-day-of-fun is something we could all use in our lives. And if it fits with your plans and schedule, why not do it more than once a year? It would certainly make my kids happy and I think they’d love to have a Yes Day each year on their birthday.
Garner has been so inspired by the concept, she’s going to produce and star in a Yes Day movie — and I have a feeling the tradition will spread like wildfire.
A day like that will be something the whole family looks forward to, even if it takes us a day or two to recover. I can’t wait to start incorporating it into my family traditions.
I think the moms of world should have one condition, though. We need to plan having Yes Day of our own — something planned just for us.
Should I buy the bag?
Should I take a nap?
Should I get the extra large ice cream?
You bet your ass I should.
Make sure you plan a Yes Day for yourself too, Mama. Not only do you deserve it — it sounds like you are going to need it after having a Yes Day with your kids.
Fair is fair. Am I right?