The wonderful art of saying NO more often...

How are you at saying no? 
This is something most women are sooooo bad at! It is a fine art. I used to be a chronic yes person. Learning to say no is one of the best things you can learn. 
You see as a parent of a child with special needs our lives run with a level of intensity that is higher than others. It can be faster, more extreme.  We need to protect ourselves and a key tool to this is to become one with the word NO.
Yet so many of us continue to say yes to commitments when our hearts and mind scream no! We overcommit ourselves and fill up our time with things that aren’t aligned with our priorities. We say yes, when we should have said no, then we either cancel last minute or go begrudgingly. 
So stop it. Mums start saying no. You don’t have to provide an elaborate reason why you said no. You don’t have to provide a reason at all. No is enough.
If this is something that you struggle with, here are some tools:
Strategy 1:
If saying no doesn’t sit well with you or feels a bit harsh. Just say, “I will get back to you” that way you can check your calendar and triage it if necessary before you reply and get back to them with your answer (but be prompt with your response). 
We often feel as parents like we get pulled in so many different directions. If you are scheduled to your eyeballs and overwhelmed you are no good to anyone, you will not be the most effective parent. You also miss out on all those wonderful moments that happen when you have time, instead you spend them rushing from one thing to the next.  You put yourself and your child in prime meltdown territory.
Strategy 2:
Don’t ever say yes to something that you wouldn’t say yes to if the event was tomorrow. 
So often we say yes to events that are in the future believing that somehow our future selves will have more time or be more present. But if you don’t have the energy and capacity to attend the event tomorrow, maybe you should be saying no. Because chances are your future self is not going to magically have more time! 
Strategy 3:
Every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else.  Time with your kids, time for self care, time with your partner.  Everything sucks your energy, so please please treat your time like it is valuable and save it for the things that you actually enjoy.
It is that old saying 'If it is not a HELL YES, then it is a no'.
These days I plan my schedule so that I only have one social thing each weekend, I have learnt that multiple things on a weekend exhaust me.   I also don't tend to do things in the evenings (unless it is something amazing), because I like to get up early and the mornings are my time and I do not want to mess with that.  Have a think about your priorities and whether what you are saying yes to, is inline with your priorities and goals?
In our calming the chaos online course we address so many strategies to give you back time. I want you to treat your time like it is valuable. Because it is. All these little moments make a life. 
Power through the everyday tasks that need to be done. Leave space to breath and be idle. Stop the glorification of busy and say no to things that don’t light you up.  Because this is your life, but you must have time to live it.

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