As a mom, I say “no” a lot. You know, when kids ask me for candy for breakfast or to wear shorts to school on a 40 degree day-no is the answer, hands down. Sometimes I relent and give in, if the issue isn’t really worth fighting over (still no on the candy for breakfast though). However, I’m terrible about saying no when it comes to me personally.
I am a board member on our little league board and the hockey association board that my kids play for. Both these positions require huge amounts of my free time during their respective seasons (I’m responding to emails about hockey while writing this post). For the most part, I love being a part of these organizations; I get to know the parents and the kids for the divisions that I run, and I’ve known some of these families for years now. I also just finished up a volunteer coordinator position for the soccer tournament that my son’s league hosts. It was an intense month of work leading up to the tournament, as well as 24 hours of face time on the fields during the tournament itself. I enjoyed every minute of it, despite needing almost a week to recover from the weekend.
All these positions are things that I volunteer to do of my own free will, but sometimes I wonder why I agree to do them. Yes, I enjoy seeing my hard work come to fruition. Yes, I am very organized when it comes to these kind of responsibilities (but you can’t find my countertop or my desk because I have SO.MUCH.PAPER and my kids don’t always have clean folded clothes in their rooms). Yes, I like getting to know people and yes, I like making others happy. However, these things don’t always make me happy and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s time to say no.
I’ve already decided that this is my last year on the hockey board. I only have one skater left in the organization (Drew) and after 4 years, I’m ready to pass on my knowledge to someone else. The frustration with people who don’t listen or respect me outweighs my happiness in running a good division. I’m on the fence with staying on the little league board as well; this past season was too disorganized for my liking.
With all my volunteer jobs taking up large chunks of my free time, I haven’t had much “me” time since Annie and Izzie went to kindergarten last year. The plans I put in place for myself haven’t come to fruition and that saddens me. Sometimes my “me” time is sitting staring at my phone, playing Candy Crush, because it’s all the energy I can muster. I deserve better, and quite frankly, so do my kids. I think saying no is going to make me the happiest yet.