My birthday was hijacked nine years ago when my son was born. I joke about it to this day, but am only partially kidding, as I now spend the majority of my birthday doing what he wants to do. It's not that I actually mind, but I do have to put my foot down at times, like when he wants McDonald's for every meal.
This year, however, I decided to be a yes-mom. I wanted to say yes to as much as possible and watch a day play out uninhibited by my restrictions. It's a trickier endeavor than you would think! I like structure, organization and plans, but being a yes-mom required me to be at my son's whim.
How did it go, you ask? The highlights were as follows:
- We had birthday cake for breakfast.
- We stayed in our jammies until noon, took showers and put on clean jammies.
- We went to my husband's work to have lunch ... in our jammies.
- We had Happy Meals for lunch.
- We had more birthday cake at lunch.
- We watched SpongeBob Square Pants.
- We had noodles for dinner, even though we had noodles the night before, too.
It doesn't sound too bad, right? It really wasn't, and we ended up having an amazing day. My children (especially my son) were excited about the happenings, and it actually didn't send me into an anxiety-ridden tailspin.
Often as a mother, I hold too tightly to my control and forget to have fun. I focus on the to-do list and forget to be flexible. Being a yes-mom pulled me from my comfort zone and forced me to live more in the moment.
Being a yes-mom forced me to embrace the silly, to enjoy the moment and to focus less on what others might think.
On my birthday, I received the beautiful gift of joy from my children. Being a yes-mom brought me joy.
It sounds almost impossible that letting go of the reigns could result in such fun, but it did. I don't think God intended our lives to be detailed by to-do lists—He intended our lives to be full of joy. Being a yes-mom revitalized my joy.
Being a yes-mom doesn't have to be an extravagant makeover. We can start small by saying yes for an hour of the day and watch what happens. Of course it's not always possible to be a yes-mom, as there are times we must stand firm, but what I found on my birthday was that those times were much fewer than I tended to think.
I'm not suggesting we step away from parenting and let the children rule the home. I'm simply suggesting we embrace the joy of childhood and allow ourselves to experience it once again.
Be a yes-mom and watch your children beam with excitement. Be a yes-mom and revitalize your joy. Be a yes-mom and embrace the craziness of this ride called parenting.
Angela Jamison is a mother of four and also the director of a Christian preschool. Angela enjoys connecting with other mothers and parents, reiterating God's design for this toughest job on earth. She spends much of her day in semi-organized chaos and is always grateful for God's unending grace for her crazy life. To learn more about Angela, visit her webpage at angelajamison.com or follow her on Twitter (@AngJamison04), Instagram (@AngJam731) or on Facebook (@barrenbutblessed).
This article originally appeared at just18summers.com.
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