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02/22/2010

Saying No

Callout2I can't say no.  I try.

“Nnnnnnn...”

It just won't come out.

“Mom, I know you're allergic to all things with fur, but can we take in this SECOND stray cat?”

“Nnnnnnn... Nnnnnnaaaaa...”

Or, “I know I already have a pet rat, but we were just at the pet store, and they have a dumbo rat. A DUMMMBO rat!!! Mommmmmm, pleeeeeeease?”

“Nuh... Nnnnnnrrrr...”

And then there's, “Sharon, I know you're already a member of a gazillion organizations, but you should really join this one too because it only involves one thousand pounds of more work!”

“Nahwahhhhh!”

So I sneeze, go without sleep, stress (as a verb), cry, and drink (sometimes before noon).

As working mothers, we are in constant giving mode.  We strive to make our families happy, giving them what they need AND want (no matter how ridiculous), and we also strive to “take it to the next level” in our professional lives, giving our employers and associations MORE than what they ask for.  We can't help it.  It's as if once the uterus has served it's purpose it magically transforms into a doormat upon which we allow everyone to walk on to drop off their dirty laundry and projects that they need done by tomorrow morning.

I just swept the upstairs hall carpet today.  With a broom.   Who has that much chunky stuff on their CARPETED floor that they can sweep it with a broom?  By not being able to say no, I've created a situation that leaves me surrounded by chaos and in a constant state of frustration.  And filth.  No one should should feel this helpless.  I want to say:

“No, I CAN'T participate in your art show because my kids would like ME to make them a grilled cheese for once!”

“No, I CAN'T take on an additional project because my toilet is surrounded by a gigantic yellow ring with plastic toys stuck in it, and I think I would like to tackle that before taking on more work!”

“No, you CAN'T have a bunny because you won't take care of it, and I will have to use half an inhaler hauling its waste out to the dumpster!”

“No, you CAN'T go out drinking with your “boys” because I would like you to stay home and just snuggle. I said JUST snuggle!”

Sigh... I should start practicing.

“Nuh... Nuhhhhhh... NO!”

"Mom, can we get a snake?"

"NOOOOOOOOOO!!!" 

Well, maybe a small one.

When Sharon is not saying “YES!” she sometimes posts stuff at Sharon H. Bell's House of Vice and Virtue.

Original post to the Ohio Moms Blog

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