You are taught your whole life that quitters never win. So, we’re programmed to think we must go, go, go until we make it.
I want to talk about finding some peace and joy in saying no. In slowing down. Being content.
I wanted to write about this topic long before our pandemic hit. Of course, now it has taken on a new meaning. We were forced to say no and some of us were a bit lost.
Is that because we are too busy? Are we taking on too much?
I mentor some students at Drake University and teach first-year students. There is an epidemic of young people struggling with depression and anxiety. The only way I know to connect with them about this is to share my personal experiences. Many people struggle with mental illnesses. I do and I treat them, and since then my life has changed.
I see parallels in those students and in us as mothers. We are navigating a new part of our lives. Both are thrust into a new life, with a new sense of independence and we are expected to excel. We want to do well so we keep piling it on. Breastfeeding, birthday parties, PTO, church, exercise, arts and crafts, sports, dance, happy hours. All. The. Things.
It’s time to say no. Take a break, and relish in just being together.
Find joy in the simple things. I think this pandemic has pushed us to try life this way.
But I also want to talk about saying no to big things. Specifically, my husband and I have wondered if we would have a third child. There is no timeline or playbook for a decision like that, but it’s something we both wanted… But. We’ve both been feeling the pull to stop at two kids.
I tell you, I am going through a strange sort of grief. It’s likely similar to the grief you are experiencing by missing out on life in this pandemic. I haven’t lost anything… I’ve just let go of a dream. And that’s something foreign to navigate. I am having to find joy and peace with saying no.
But, we’re doing well. We love this family. We are happy. Adding a child wouldn’t hurt that, but we are taking this time to soak up what we have.
We are both fortunate to have kept our jobs through this pandemic. We have a healthy family, a shelter, and food to feed the constant snacking. And right now – that is the dream.