Monday, 29 November 2010

Yeah, sure

I'm a yes man. I never really thought I was, but it's true. I'm a terrible yes man.

In recent weeks, I've found myself running around town, doing ridiculous things, dragging two children, who are not particularly happy about the day's events, behind me. Being a stay-at-home mum, I think people believe that I've got endless amounts of time to help them out. Don't get me wrong, I like helping people out, I really do, but it's gotten a bit ridiculous of late. I almost feel like I've become a casual PA, dropping all the things I need do to be at other people's beck and call.

Instead, of doing all the things I need to do with the kids or at home, I suddenly find myself spending my days picking up and dropping things off. Standing in department stores choosing presents for other people to give. Spending time on the internet researching prices  and information. So it would it appear I'm a yes man. Forsaking my own duties (and Christmas shopping) for others. It's hard enough to cart around two bored, whingy kids doing these chores when it's for yourself, let alone doing it for someone who could probably do it themself.

The thing is I don't even remember saying yes to these people. In fact, I don't think I was even asked, it was more ordered, "I need you to...".  I'm sure there's part of me (even though I don't remember saying yes) that feels compelled to do all these chores as I don't "work". Which I know is silly, but it definitely stops me from saying: "Well, actually, that's not going to work for me".

What actually bothers me the most is not doing the tasks, because I really do enjoy doing things for people, it's the lack of gratitude. In all cases recently, I wasn't even thanked, and in some cases I was told that I hadn't done it properly and in the exact way they wanted. Ummmmmm dragging a two-year-old and a four-year-old to the shop for milk can be a trial, let alone trying to do anything that requires a moment of thought. Believe me, a kind thank you or 'I really appreciate that' can make all the difference.

So I'm learning to say no. To say no, when it really isn't convenient. To say no, when it puts me and the kids out. To say no, even when it's completely expected. To say no, when I know it's not going to be appreciated. To stop being a 'walkover' (as Skip says I can be and he's right). To put the kids and I first.

OK, Monday morning rant over.

Do you find yourself going to the ends of the earth to help people out? Or are you good at saying no?

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