What Saying No Sometimes Looks Like

You know the kind of morning I’m talking about, the kind where it’s a total scramble.

School, work, you’re trying to get the kids and yourself all out the door at once. Everyone, you, your kids, your beloved, all of you have a ton going on. And in general, you personally just handle it all and hardly ever ask for help from anyone. You’re on top of the logistics of the house, carpool, planning and organizing the kids’ lunches and all of their activities. You handle the dog’s daily routine, and make sure the whole family is fed and clothed.

But you’re traveling for an important work trip early the next day, so have limited time for anything, let alone taking on an additional task. And in the midst of your morning scramble is exactly when it becomes clear to you that the laundry you thought had been done hadn’t, and basically every thing you need for your trip is in that dirty hamper. You are always the Laundry Professional of the home, and even though you mostly (you think) juggle with agility (if not supreme fatigue), this slipped through the cracks.

Sigh. You know what your beloved won’t say. He won’t just say he’ll do it. He will maybe even make a face. Maybe even harumph. You know this dance well, so you resign yourself to just getting even less sleep tonight to accommodate the extra task. It’s just not worth getting into it, so you don’t bother asking. Of course, then the stewing starts, resentment builds, and chances are you’re going to end up fighting about something else, probably something totally insignificant that you don’t’ even really care about.

Yikes. Are you cringing because you’ve been there? Do you wish you could spread some of the work load around but don’t want to fight about it and frankly don’t have the energy to engage? Maybe you don’t even know how to ask or bring up the subject. Or maybe you feel guilty about needing help at all. If you’re being totally honest with yourself, does more slip through the cracks of trying to getting it all done than you’d like to admit?

Pause. Take a breath. Girl, it’s time to make a shift.

Of course, there’s action to take and there are tools and tips like calendar sharing, task apps and more to support that action. BUT you have to have confidence to not only implement, but also to be clear in your communication about what you can and can’t do. IF that’s lacking or missing completely, the best plans and action steps tend to fall flat. Building that confidence–that you can ask for help and that you’re worth it– is one of the things that we’ll be talking about in my workshop…. “Learning NO Language”.

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