In Which I Give Us all Permission to Say No


There’s a lot to do in this Valley we call home. There’s multiple storytimes at the library, one of which is in French. There’s several different music groups for little ones. There’s a playgroup for every day of the week and each is different from each other. There’s the crunchy granola group and the homeschooling group and everything between.There’s an indoor soccer dome for when the weather gets cold and gray and kids just need to run. There’s acres of woodland trails and miles of paths beside the Bay.There’s a stroller almost always parked in the library hallway. Or outside one of the coffee shops.There’s a whole website and facebook page dedicated to Valley Family Fun. It’s fantastic.

The librarians, who become some of the first friendly faces in this new hometown, told me again and again that this is a great place to have young children. And it is.

But sometimes it’s too good.

Like when I’m rushing the girls out the door for yet another event or when I plan a playdate a week in advance because this week is full and it’s only Monday. Or when I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel and someone just turned the speed up. My children are little. They’re only going to be small for such a short time. They have a lifetime ahead of them to learn about schedules and deadlines and appointments. Their lives are simple and uncomplicated. They have a lifetime to learn about stress and adrenaline and how to balance it all.


And so I said no. No to outings every single day. No to story time where they just ignored the stories and I sat and wished I had a mum-friend to talk with. No to playgroups where it was just too busy and too overwhelming. No to feeling guilty because I wasn’t at certain events. No to obligatory get-togethers that sucked the happiness and light from life.

 But I also said yes.


Yes, to a playdate with a little friend who lives in the country, overlooking the winery. The little girls dress up princess style and I laugh with her mum. We swap stories and I leave always so refreshed.Yes, to tea with a neighbor who is  becoming a dear friend, her door is always open and her home is real. Yes,to a music class that is a highlight of our week.Yes, to stories read and play dough cookies made. Yes, to tramps in the woods and bubbles on the kitchen floor. Yes, to enjoying this season with my littles and being okay with not being understood by everyone. Yes, to being able to just sit and listen to my girls as they play in the world of their imaginations while the afternoon sunlight fills the room with warmth and light.

Yes, to mess and simplicity and wild dances and shrieks of happy girls.


I took a deep breath, told myself that just because I can doesn’t mean I should. And I tickled those little bellies and listened as they laughed. I memorized the way they hug each other and the way they pull each other down the hallway on the sled made of an empty box and some ribbon.

Sometimes I need to say no so that I can say yes.

Are you saying no to anything so you can say yes?

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6 thoughts on “In Which I Give Us all Permission to Say No

  1. Brilliant!!! I don’t know what it is about our generation but we do feel guilty if we aren’t plugging our kids into everything available to them- like we are somehow failing them… And then we also feel guilty because we haven’t spent enough alone time with them. Guilt, guilt, guilt… Good for you, for realizing this! Truthfully! Authentic living is where it’s at!

  2. I love this so much. It is exactly what I needed today, this day of rumpled spirits and anxiety-ridden thoughts. I wish we could hang out in our pjs today and drink heaps of good, hot drinks and laugh at your littles playing on the floor while we talked and sat in companionable silence then talked some more. :-) One day we will get to. Until then, know how much I love the things you’re learning and sharing. Each post is a gift. XO

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