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My challenge in being a more frugal mother is to be more frugal in choosing between saying no and saying yes. And for me, this is a learned thing, an art if you will.
I so easily say no, because quite frankly, it is almost always easier when children are involved. Saying yes usually means more time, more expense, more mess, more effort, and just more of someone else – and less of me.
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Learning the art of saying yes means first and foremost listening. It is so easy for me to dismiss a question with a no without even listening, really listening to the request. Listening to me means looking that person in the eye while letting go of all other distractions, and keeping my mouth shut until the full request has been made.
Once I have listened I continue to keep my mouth closed. At times this means I do nothing more than counting to 20, but at least I have avoided that knee-jerk reaction that usually results in a no.
Most times, instead of just counting to 20, I ask myself for a good reason for saying no. If I cannot come up with a valid reason, a truly valid reason to say no, I have determined that I will say yes. I will say yes no matter what that entails on my part.
I have made it a personal mission that I will say yes at least twice as much as I say no. At least. This means that on really busy days, I actually keep a record – I actually write down how many times I have said yes and how many times I have said no and to whom.
And do you know what I have found?
Saying yes really does get easier. It may even border on becoming a habit.
There are so many times that the world around our kids screams no…you can’t do that, you’re not old enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not fast enough, you’re not popular enough, you’re not…you’re not…you’re not.