Dear Future Self,
It’s that time of year! School starts back soon, and this year – this year – Emmeric goes off to school. You really need to prepare yourself, heart and mind, for what that means, mama. And this letter is to tell you something very important about this busy time of the year.
You can say no, mama.
Simply put but hard to put into action, I know. You need to know that it’s totally okay to say no this year. And just so you remember it well, consider this permission from your past self to say no.Click To Tweet
It’s going to be a crazy time, mama. You’re going to need to collect all the school supplies and double check the school lists before he goes off to classes that first day. You want to get all those important dates for things like parent-teacher conferences scheduled into your calendar. The school will send you lists of extras they need, like those tissues that seem to be on every list! You shop all the sales to make sure he’s got dress code approved clothes to wear and plenty of them. Growing boys don’t slow down for school, you know.
You’ll buy him a special outfit to wear for school picture day and tell him to be very careful not to spill something on it.
You’ll visit him in class and check out what he’s learning to make sure you understand what the classroom atmosphere is like.
You’ll go to lunch and bring him his favorite meal to eat so you can see what the cafeteria food looks like.
And you’ll get to know the teachers, coaches, and other parents who are all a part of your son’s life.
Mama, this is the time when things will get very busy if you let them. Perhaps he’ll join a sport and have extra practices during the weeknights. He might bring home tests with poor grades and a request for you to sign papers. The teacher might call you about something that happened in class that day. Or you might get called to the office to pick him up for being sick or having gotten hurt in a fight.
The back to school rush is a busy time, mama. You can prepare yourself as much as you want, but you need to give yourself permission to say no. Otherwise, you’ll be on every committee, at every practice and game, in every classroom event, and at all the birthday parties.
Don’t get me wrong, mama. I’m not saying to deny all these things. But your health and your son’s health are important. You wouldn’t let him go to a friend’s house if he was sick, so why would you take him somewhere when you are? I know it’s hard to say no to his beautiful little face and those pleading eyes. I know you want to give him the world. But he needs to understand disappointment, to know that just because he doesn’t get what he wants doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate what he already has.
Give Yourself Permission To Say No
You can say no to all the excess. There will be things you won’t see the point of, things that will aggravate you, things that you question. You do not have to just sit back and let it all happen. That would make you a pushover, and you can’t parent as a pushover.
And let’s just be real right now, mama. You don’t have to say no to your son. That’s not what this is about. It’s about saying no to the excess events, people, and things that would keep you and your family from being productive, happy, and fulfilled. If that means saying no to other adults, do it!
Saying no is never easy. But you have permission now from your past self to simply sit back and say no when you need to so that you can really enjoy this time.
Back to school time is a whirlwind of crazy. You shop, organize, plan, clean, prep, and do so much for him. You should be able to enjoy all the little things that go along with it.
You should enjoy taking pictures on the first day of classes and hearing about his first day experiences.
You should enjoy watching him enter the building and listening to his adventures with new friends.
You should enjoy going to ball games and sports practices, seeing him learn these skills, and letting him explore his individuality.
Don’t let yourself get bogged down by all the rest, mama. Give yourself permission to take on only what you can handle. It’s for your benefit and for your family’s benefit, too. You know what they say: if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! And it’s really true.Give yourself permission to take on only what you can handle this school year. Click To Tweet
So as I wind up this letter to you, my future self, I want you to think long and hard about what things you might need to say no to this year. And then commit to being the person who’s willing to say no when you need to. You can assert yourself, mama, and you’ll feel better for doing it!
Learning to say no isn’t going to be easy, but as he gets older and participates in more and more things, you’ll have to learn how to do it. Because sometimes “No” is the only answer. Give yourself some grace, mama, and make sure to give yourself permission to say no this school year.
With love from,