The One Piece of Mom Advice That Has Saved My Time & Sanity

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The other night was “wine night” for a few moms in my neighborhood. We do this every couple of months when we get together for our “PTO meeting” where we stay out too late, pour one too many, and hit the alarm clock more than we should the next morning. The most recent one was last week. I desperately needed a glass of wine and some girl talk, but having a five-week old baby meant that I also desperately need sleep.

Wine or sleep? Wine or sleep? (The struggle is real!)

Then the voice of a good friend came through with some words of wisdom that I always refer back to when I’m stuck in a situation where I really want to do something, but question whether I can fit it all in.

Let me tell you this is one of the best pieces of parenting advice that I ever received. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s a no-brainer. But for some reason, it’s something that I always had a hard time implementing until recently. Ready for it?!

Say no to things that you may really want to do if it will make your life easier.

Sounds easy, right? Who doesn’t want to make their life easier? I mean we’re told in the workforce to say no all the time. It’ll help advance your career path. It’ll lighten your load. Heck, we say no to our kids all the time! Recently I have even seen books on why it is healthy to say no. But for my type A personality I always feel like I can figure out a way to make it all happen all the while stressing myself in the process – its just my personality. For better or worse I am a people pleaser which makes exercising this “rule” pretty hard at times. It’s hard to turn down things that you – or someone in your family- really want to do (like go drink some wine down the street).

Truth be told, putting it into action has literally saved me time and sanity. Let me give you some examples…

That birthday party for your kid’s classmate that starts at 7:30 pm when your kid goes to bed at 8 pm. Say no. When you’re invited to somebody’s house for a weekend get-together and you already have two other things to do right before then, say no. When school asks for you to help with volunteering for the next event but you’re not sure you can pick up your other kids and make it there in time, say no. When you get invited to Adele’s concert but you’re not feeling well and coming off a work trip, say no. When you want to catch some zzz’s even though you want some gal time, go for the sleep!

I found that there is always another time for these events, invitations, volunteering, etc. There will always be more birthday parties, get togethers, school fundraisers and even concerts to attend. Your sanity, health, and time are more important! So do as we teach our kids when it comes to drugs – JUST SAY NO! You’ll thank me for it.

Erin is a working mom of two exploring ways to embrace change and find new hobbies in her search for life outside of Corporate America. She lives in Bucks County Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and Boston Terrier. She also loves ice cream and chocolate. A lot.

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