The Power of Yes


Such a small, simple word. Yet so powerful. We haven’t been using “yes” around here enough lately. Too often, when I have heard the words “Mummy, can you play with me?” my response has been “I can’t right now honey” or “I will later, but right now I need to do the vacumming / ironing / get the dinner started / unstack the dishwasher….” The playtime does eventually happen, but always “later”, never “yes, right now”. Of course hubby and I both spend a lot of time with R(3), playing, reading, painting, discovering, but lately it has always been on our terms. We decide when all that fun time can be slotted in between work, cleaning, cooking and all the other million things that it takes to run a household. That’s life, and sometimes it has to be that way, but it had reached the point where R was never hearing “yes”, but always “later”. So I am being mindful to slow down and to say yes more often, and today, we had a “yes” day. A day where the housework, errands, and emails could wait. An entire day of taking things at a child’s pace. No rushing, no schedules, no pre-planned activities, just ambling in whichever direction R’s imagination would take us and just being in the moment with him.

Yes, I will get down on the floor and play trains with you.

Yes, I will dress up in our superhero capes, fly around the living room and save the world with you.

Yes, I will snuggle with you on the couch and watch Toy Story, again, and yes I will sit there for the entire length of the movie, and I will not sneak a peek at my iPhone or turn on the lap top.

Yes, I will stand outside and watch the clouds with you, and yes, you’re right, they really do look like robots!

Yes, let’s sit together and make up silly stories.

Yes, I will sing “Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush”   –  for the eleventh time straight.

Yes, let’s chase each other around the house, pretending that the wooden spoons we are holding are lasers and you have just turned me purple.

Yes, you are more important to me than the basket of ironing, or the lap top, or the pile of mail that has been sittng on the counter since yesterday.

And do you know what happened?  The ironing is still there, and it will still be there tomorrow. Exactly the same as it was today. It will keep. But R? Tomorrow he will be just that little bit different. It happens that fast at this age. Today I got to just be with him. Taking in every second of him. Hearing him. Hugging him. Giggling with him. Committing to memory as much as I could about who he is, right here, right now.  He told me his favourite colour was black (go figure!).  I heard him say “No more Mr Night Sky” when he meant “No more Mr Nice Guy”. He told me a story (“Once there was a man who was not afraid of frogs or chickens. Cluck, cluck, cluck. The End.”)  And best of all, I got to see his eyes light up every time I said, “Yes”.

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30 thoughts on “The Power of Yes”

      1. It started out by letting my daughter make me a mix of oatmeal, goldfish, chocolate syrup, crackers for breakfast. It was a lovely day. Maybe I’ll try a “Yes” lifestyle… within reason.

    1. I haven’t heard of that one before, thanks Emmy! I’ve just aded it to my wish list at my book store. It looks like a very fun book and I think R will enjoy it. I wonder what sort of crazy ideas he will come up with for our next yes day after reading it!

    1. Hi Shawn, thank you so much for visiting my blog. I discovered your blog just a few days ago via the Parent Water Cooler board on Pinterest and have found it to be so inspiring. I LOVE the memory jar and will be starting one this weekend!

  1. made me cry. I need to have a yes day very soon! Wow. Makes you feel guilty for always saying No or Later — but it is SO true. My boys are wayyy more important to me than anything on that stupid never ending to do list of mine!!!

    1. The Mamma guilt is inescapable sometimes isn’t it? It comes with the territory. We have to say no and later sometimes – if we always said yes then there’d be no food on the table and we’d be walking around in stinky clothes! It’s all about balance and that’s such a difficult thing to achieve sometimes.

  2. Love this! Everyone should say yes to their kiddos more often. Not only does it make them feel so special and loved- but it also helps them explore the world on their own terms which helps to build critical thinking skills and independence.

  3. Well, I can certainly relate to this. I was feeling the same way recently and my kids were shocked when I said “yes” to an invitation to drop everything and dance with them. As for Toy Story without doing anything else – I’m lucky that I’m an avid knitter. I hear, “Will you watch X with me and bring your knitting?”

  4. Hi. I am trying to follow you via email because I don’t use Facebook, but when I fill out the form on your page with my email address it doesn’t work. It says “Are you sure you want to do this? Try Again”

  5. This is a fantastic post, I’d pin it to our Sunday Parenting Party board but I’m hoping you’ve already done it yourself – its definitely one that everyone should read.

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