the paperwork of parenting
February 18, 2014
It begins small when your kids start preschool. A sheet of paper
comes home in their bag asking for snack donations or volunteers
for the holiday party. It's sweet, you're green and you gladly play
Fast-forward five years and one or more kids. Your island is the
place where paper goes to die. Your inbox is filled with
SignUpGenius and YouBringIt sign up sheets, teachers' notes and
afterschool activity rundowns. Add sports, musical instruments and
camp and you're ready to grab a pickaxe.
This is when you start flexing your NO
muscle. The one that helps you say 'no' so that you can say 'yes'
to the things that matter most. Like sanity, sleep and occasional
But that no isn't always easy to get to. There's guilt, good
intentions and persistent PTO moms who are vying for your
But according to
psychologist Dr. Phil (yes, that Dr. Phil), it all comes down
to one thing:'If you love your children - and I know you do -
then take care of their mother.' To accomplish this, Dr.
Phil says there's one word every mom needs to use: No. By not
saying Yes to everyone else first, Dr. Phil explains that moms will
have more time for themselves. 'Everything you delegate is
time put back in your bank,' he says. 'Your currency
Dr. Phil even put together this Four-Step Priority Plan for
Mothers that we really kind of love. I mean, we know these
things, so why does it take hearing it from an expert to sink in?
Whatever it takes, give it a read or try Advice for Overscheduled
Moms and Stay-at-Home
Moms vs. Working Moms (we're not taking sides and kudos to
every mom out there who's making it happen).
Whatever's on your plate, we always
like to come back to a piece of advice from a wise friend: Every
piece of paper that comes home - every request for volunteers,
donations and time - does not have your name it. You are not
obligated to be the one. And there is no crime in crumpling up that
paper and moving on to something that makes your heart sing. What
it is that makes your heart sing? That's a subject for another day,
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