Thursday, April 11, 2013

Saying "No" Without the Guilt

In terms of my calendar, I'm trying to reclaim some precious family time.  Who doesn't want to, right?

David's super, crazy busy season is "home show" season.  It starts in January and runs till late spring, sometimes early summer.

This is when, more often than not, I find myself being a single mom....almost every day of the week.

 He's gone before the kids get up (usually to beat rush hour traffic on the way to a customer's house) and doesn't get home until 7-ish or later.  There are a few precious hours on Sunday where we go to Mass and then have a dinner, but it's back to work for my hubs.

The Metroplex is so huge, he easily puts a 1,000 miles on his work van each week.  And need I mention the price of gas?!

We are self-employed and it is no 9-5 job with weekends off or paid vacations.

It is what it puts bread and butter on the I try really hard not to complain.

But, dang!  By the end of March, I'm running out of steam - fast.

Throw in a house full of influenza (not the stomach bug, but influenza) and an early Easter....holy toledo...just scrape me off the floor.

What bothers me the most is no quality time spent together as a family.

I am a big, big fan of family time.  He has taken off five days that I can think of - since January!

So when I get to the point of "just scrape me off the floor"...I reel him in and call for a pow wow.  Life just isn't right.  He's exhausted. I'm exhausted.  And the entire household suffers from it.

A few weeks ago we cleared two weekends in April.  Two that we would keep sacred.  No projects.  No errands.  No parties.  No anything.

And I felt good until the first invitation arrived.... the very next morning....and it was an invitation to attend the Confirmation Mass of our friends' daughter (Sally's friend) and a party afterward.

Ugh.  Double ugh.

I mustered up my courage and hit the "NO" button on the evite.  (Knowing full well that our friends would completely understand!)

Then there are moments where life happens.  Even if you planned on something, you need to retract (without guilt if possible.)

This past week we celebrated Stan's Gotcha Day anniversary.  We had plans to go out to eat at a Korean restaurant.  That is until David's cell phone....his secretary....his customer files...his calendar...his entire business world.... dropped on a customer's patio and slid across into said customer's swimming pool.

Yeah.  That put a damper on things.

We had to tell Stan "NO" to going out to eat since David would have to phone shop after his last appointment.

That was a really hard "NO" to spit out.  I didn't want to disappoint him on his special day.

But then I suggested making ice cream sundaes instead - at home!

Stan actually liked that suggestion better than eating out at a Korean restaurant.  (*wink*)

Since he is a HUGE fan of root beer floats, he chose that as his dessert - don't you love the whip cream on his face?! - while the rest of us made sundaes.

In the mean time, I'm holding steady with my calendar, and making sure David does as well!  Our next free weekend is next weekend.

The family unit is so important.  Time well spent together doesn't always happen, and time seems to just keep passing more quickly each week.  I try and focus on those factors when battling my feelings of guilt over saying "NO".

And you know what?  It does get easier to say "NO" if you can just keep Lady Reasoning within reach!

Hoping you all have a great weekend!

~  Patty  ~


  1. Patty, first off...I love the picture of your happy guy! And congrats on turning lemons into lemonade...or a root beer float! And I empathize with you on so much of this. Family time is indeed sacred, and as time passes, it seems that it becomes much more scarce, doesn't it? Good for you for pulling in the reins and hunkering down with your beautiful family. Enjoy your upcoming family time dear friend!

  2. I couldn't agree more. I feel the pressure/stress/anxiety start to fester when things are just a little off-kilter on the home front. Longer days, more working days for daddy, more evenings away from home, etc. all add up in my world. Hubby and I then look at one another, say how in the world can other people do this ALL the time? and then reassess. Right now we are hoping to say some more 'YES' for extra little courses, programs, lessons early in spring/very early summer and then relax in the 'NO' for a bit. It hits us and our family time, but also hits that good old wallet and we have to make NO okay too.

    So good to read this today as I'm making plans for the next few weeks and looking at a busy calendar.

  3. I love the idea of saying no to so many thing that we feel guilty about or don't even feel guilty, just do it, because, like we are supposed to or something. Time together is always good. (like today, here in MN, it is snowing and we have our Easter homeschool party--we are staying home)

    And I don't feel guilty.

  4. I'm actually really good at saying no! LOL! Right now we have halted a bunch of activities to sort of regroup and it feels great. But I do understand those days of a busy husband and playing single mom, it gets old quick. My hubby puts 1k miles on his car weekly too. It's too much and we're working on changing that ;) Hope you enjoyed your weekend!!

  5. I so get this!! I am with you on family time. We have more regular days off now (Sat./Sun.) than in the past, but being self-employed puts a different spin on taking time off. My husband likes to say "we are blessed with work" (a quote from a movie). So I try not to complain- too much. ;) I am so glad Stan was happy with his "make up" celebration. He smile pretty much says it all.


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