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Mama, this is a post of encouragement.
I’m a little worried that this will read as a harsh critique and leave you feeling guilty and bruised. Please don’t feel attacked.
I wrote this so you would feel loved. I want you to drip with confidence and know your value. I want your daughters to see your strength and think you’re Super Woman (because you are).
And because you are loved, confident, and valued, there are a few words you should stop saying.
Ready for some tough love? Here are 3 things all moms need to stop saying:
You’re not just a mom. You’re not just a wife. You don’t just homeschool. You don’t just have a little blog. You don’t just volunteer when you can. You’re not just trying to take extra classes when your kids sleep to advance your degree.
You, Mama, are not just.
You are a mom. Period.
You’re a blogger. Period.
You volunteer. Period.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a man say that he “just works to provide for his family,” or that he “just wants to run a business.” Why do women feel the need to sell themselves short?
Mama, you are enough. Stop trying to validate your life to others, and be proud of who you are and what you do.
If you still need more convincing to drop this toxic word, go check out The Anti Personal Word of the Year for 2019 by one of my favorite bloggers (even though I’m a fan of choosing a word of the year).
This is another thing women say more often than men. I have to think that it has something to do with our emotional intelligence and sensitivities, but whatever the case, research indicates that men find fewer infractions in need of apology than women do. Men will apologize when they consider something offensive, but they don’t find nearly as much to be offending as we do.
Saying “I’m sorry” can also be related to our desire to be liked and keep the peace, and it can be a clear indicator of our current stressors and anxieties.
When you walk into a meeting and say “Sorry I’m late,” you’re projecting your own anxieties that people will be frustrated with you or think you’re not good enough. You’re looking for validation and acceptance.
You don’t need it.
Yes, it’s important to really apologize when you’ve hurt someone or done something wrong. But saying “sorry” out of fear, stress, or social obligation is beneath you, and does nothing to improve the situation. It can even undermine the importance of your message. Be confident in who you are, and own the fact that you’re not perfect.
Instead of “I’m sorry,” here are a few easy swaps:
You can check out How to stop saying ‘I’m sorry’ all the time — and what to say instead for even more swaps.
I have a newsflash for you: we’re all busy. Everyone is trying to get as much done as they can during their time on Earth (except me – I’m over here watching as many reruns of The Office as possible and not throwing parties).
The word “busy” has always been a pet peeve of mine, and I work very hard to keep it out of my lexicon. There are two reasons it bugs me.
The first reason is that, if I ask how you are, I want a real answer.
What’s going on with you? What have you been dealing with? I want to know about what your life looks like and how your family is doing, not a list of all the places you have to go this week. We all have to get groceries, run kids around, and find time for date nights.
Now, if you really are swamped and it’s stressing you out, that’s a totally acceptable answer. Sharing that you’re a bit overwhelmed with your packed calendar is something we can talk about, and I can offer support. But no one needs a play-by-play of your to-do list.
The second reason “I’m busy” bugs me so much is that it’s often made to sound like it’s unavoidable.
“Hey, Janet, how are you?”
“Oh, you know, we’re so busy. The kids have sports 6 days a week and we have to travel on weekends for their hockey and softball games. I volunteer when I have free evenings, and I lead a small group at church, and I try to attend all of the PTA meetings, so I rarely make it home in time to cook dinner most nights. I’d love to take an overnight trip with my husband for our upcoming anniversary, but we’re way too busy for that.”
“Janet” has filled her life with too much, and is now acting like it’s all happening to her and it’s out of her control.
Mama, please stop saying “yes” to so many things.
“No” is a complete sentence, and you can say it whenever you want.
When was the last time you said “no” to something? Can you even remember?
You have the power to determine what your life looks like, and you have to protect yourself and our family. Your mental health is more important than attending every one of your child’s football games or signing up for every mission trip your church offers.
Obviously, saying “no” to things that are fun or that you want to do can be hard, but I’d encourage you to always weigh out the positives and negative before adding anything to your plate.
You love helping in the children’s area at church every Sunday, but it can be stressful to come straight home from church and try to cook lunch when everyone’s starving. Maybe you only help out twice a month, and your family eats leftovers or takeouts on Sundays.
Or maybe your daughter loves volleyball and wants to participate in a traveling program that would require a major time and financial commitment. It’s a tough decision, but your family agrees this isn’t the right year for that activity, and she joins a local community volleyball team.
Or maybe your friend hosts a neighborhood ladies night. You know it could be fun to catch up and socialize, but it’s the same night as family game night. Since you understand the importance of prioritizing family, you kindly decline the invite.
Start saying “no” to things and don’t feel bad about it.
You’re allowed to have days on your calendar that are empty. You’re allowed to miss events or turn down invites when they don’t match your family’s needs. It’s okay to skip a playdate and go to therapy instead.
Take care of yourself so you can quit saying “I’m busy.” Don’t let life happen to you – make it what you want it to be.
Leave a comment below and tell us which of these three things you say the most. Then be sure to share this on Pinterest!