kids

"Setting boundaries and saying 'no' makes me angry, so I now have a 'yes' list."

For weeks, my Instagram, WhatsApp, podcast feed, and group texts have been filled with stories about setting boundaries and ‘no' lists. And I get it. 

Kids, careers, marriages and friends - we are all super busy and super stressed. It can feel liberating to put out into the world all the things you are no longer going to worry about or waste your time on. 

But for me, setting boundaries and saying 'no' makes me angry.

Instead of feeling light and free, I end up cranky for letting all those things get in my way. So, I’m changing my perspective and writing a 'yes' list. 

Yes to all the things I am embracing in my mid-forties. Yes to what makes me happy. 

Watch: What you're like as a new mum, according to your star sign. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia.

So, here's what is currently on my 'yes' list…

1. Yes to kids’ weekend sport.

We used to have a rule that the kids could only play one sport each so we didn’t spend all weekend standing on the side of a rugby field or netball court. I’ve quickly realised that if the kids aren’t playing sport, they are bugging us to play X-box or watch television. I know what I’d rather. 

2. Yes to a messy house.

I am not a tidy person. I really wish I was because a clean house really is much nicer to live in. But I'd rather hang out with the kids than constantly put stuff away. For years I kept it tidy ‘just in case’ someone rang the doorbell. Now, well, I just blame the kids and dogs for the mess. 

I'm saying yes to a messy house. Image: Supplied. 

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3. Yes to being there for my friends.

I am #blessed with some incredible friends who have had my back through some tough days. 

Even when I’m overwhelmed with work or kids, I will drop everything to be there when they need to talk, have forgotten to pick their kids up, or are in desperate need of a home-cooked meal. 

4. Yes to early morning exercise.

When it's dark and cold outside the idea of pulling on my activewear for a 5:30am bootcamp at the local park has zero appeal. But knowing I’ve booked in and paid is enough motivation to get out the door, especially when I know I always feel better, and am a much nicer person, afterward.

Knowing I've booked in and paid is enough motivation to get out the door. Image: Supplied.  

5. Yes to driving to bootcamp.

I often (AKA always) drive to bootcamp. This seems perfectly reasonable except the park is 500 metres from home #nojudgementplease. I don’t feel good about this decision but if it's what gets me there, I’m owning it.  

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6. Yes to colourful clothes.

Black may be classic and ageless, but it makes me feel invisible and dull. So while tulle skirts and clashing patterns may not be in fashion they make me happy, and that’s all that matters.

"Black may be classic and ageless, but it makes me feel invisible and dull." Image: Supplied.  

7. Yes to playdates.

I get that other people say no to playdates mid-week and last-minute playdate requests at the school gate. And that’s cool. But if our afternoon is free, what’s not to love about the kids hanging out on the trampoline, at the park, or shooting hoops with their buddies?

8. Yes to weekend naps.

I used to squeeze as many activities into the weekend as humanly possible. Cooking, cleaning, gardening, craft, bush walks, catching up with friends, and on and on. Now there is nothing I like more than a Saturday afternoon nap. When my youngest comes in to read me a book or snuggle in there is nowhere I’d rather be.

Yes to weekend naps. Image: Supplied. 

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9. Yes to being sober curious.

As a regular drinker from the day I turned 18, I was curious to see how it felt to give up alcohol. Is it forever? Who knows. But for now, it feels great to drive home from a night out and wake up hangover-free.

10. Yes to changing what I say yes to.

The only thing certain about my 'yes' list is that it rarely stays the same for long. As life constantly changes, so does my list. Not so long ago, my 'yes' list included getting the kids to bed by 7pm, enjoying wine after 5pm, and only having homemade snacks for the kids in the house.  

Is a 'yes' list, rather than a 'no' list, just semantics? Probably. But I also think it's about perspective. And I want my perspective to be open and accepting, rather than focused on shutting things out.

Feature image: Supplied.

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