Is anyone else like me? Does anyone else say ‘yes’ to things that you don’t want to say ‘yes’ to because you feel guilty or obligated… or even just because you don’t want to be the person who says no?
Sometimes I wonder if I even know how to say ‘no.’
Why do I do this to myself? I honestly don’t think I qualify as a ‘people pleaser’ because I’ve never put myself in that category before. Am I a push over? I don’t know that I am. I guess it just boils down to the fact that I don’t want to let anyone down or leave them hanging by saying I can’t do something. Surely I can find a way to do it, right? I am always up for a challenge. Or so I tell myself…
But sometimes, I actually, quite literally, can’t do the thing.
Ready for a laugh? So, as many of you know, I have three kids. My oldest is 7, my middle man is 5, and my little guy is 3. My middle man, Merit, is playing spring ball. Now, I realize that in most places in this world baseball at the age of 5 is not that big of a deal, but here in Summetown… it’s life. And because my husband is also a ‘doer,’ he is coaching the team. This will be the second year in a row, and if you happened to catch our losing streak last year, we’re really hopping for a better season this time around.
So Merit and Tom are committed to two games and two practices a week. Add in small group once a week and the fact that I teach Refit once a week and we don’t have a whole lot of days left over.
This spring, we’ve decided to put Gage and Cadence in soccer as well. This was our first mistake, I see that now, but I just felt like it was only ‘fair’ that they all get to play a sport. This is a whole other blog entirely- this topic of keeping things ‘fair’ between siblings, and my OCD compulsions to make sure it’s all even- but let’s just leave it at that for the moment. So before we got all the practice schedules and game dates popped into our calendar, the coordinator of the soccer teams asked me if I would coach…
Readers, I’ve never coached a day in my life. I’ve also never played a day of soccer in my life. Or… like any sports. I’m not just talking about in an organized way, I’m also including all backyard soccer playing- no experience over here.
After trying to kindly decline several times, I wound up saying YES! Can you even believe that? What on earth am I even thinking? It’s not just the fact that I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, it’s the fact that now that I have all the practices and games for all three kids in all three sports… yea, you can imagine there is some cross over. And it’s crippling me.
So the way I see it, I have two choices…
- Miss every single one of my other kid’s games all season, including the very serious spring ball games, and try to figure out how to get my daughter, who is the only one who doesn’t have a parent coaching, to and from her games and practices… OR
- Quit. Pull out. Let everyone down, because I over committed.
Honestly, both options are terrible and impossible. And I wish I could say that I’m ready to type out a whole wonderful paragraph right now about how I’ve figured it out and solved all my problems. But alas, I am right in the middle of too much yes. I’m just sitting in the thick of it.
Can anyone relate? In an effort to be the perfect mom and the most available parent, I’ve managed to peg myself no where NEAR those two goals. As a matter of fact, I might be the most unavailable parent I know right now. What’s it all for? Why do we do this? And how do we say no, when it feels like it’s the only way to selfishly protect yourself?
You say no, even when it feels selfish, because guess what I’ve learned… I’m the only one who can protect myself. And here’s the ironic thing: I preach all day long that time is our most valuable currency. It’s the one thing we are given a set amount of, we can’t earn more, and we don’t know when it’s up. You’d think we’d be more careful with it, right?
Today, a friend shared a Mel Robbins quote with me, and if there is one thing Mel is good at… it’s a kick in the dang pants. It said, “You need to hear this loud and clear: No one is coming. It is up to you.”
Oh my gosh, that came right out of the clear blue sky from God addressed directly to me. It smacked me in the face so hard. It was like God said, “Wendy, you’ve done this to yourself and no one can undo it but you.”
So I did a hard thing… something I view as even harder than option 1 or option 2 listed above… I asked for help (**cringe**), and I attended my first ever soccer practice as a coach… to eight 3 year olds. Yes, as I write these words it is proof that I did survive it. And yes, three brave souls stepped up to co-coach and help me with games so that I don’t have to be at every single one. Praise Jesus in Heaven! But I’m not sure it’s going to be any less crazy. Actually, now that I’ve actually attempted to get eight 3 year olds to play soccer… I may have finally signed up for something that may legit kill me. But you know what they say… if it doesn’t kill me… blah blah blah.
Readers, I’m in the thick of it. I’m learning hard lessons and gaining perspective on hard issues. I’m failing right in front of your very eyes, but that’s all a lesson too, right? Send up a prayer for me and by all means, send me your best three year old practice drills, but if you get nothing else out of this blog I hope you see that there absolutely is such a thing as ‘too much yes.’