I Just Want People to Be Happy
If you’re overworked due to constant people
-pleasing, I have some suggestions. First of all,
when you’re invited to participate in that all
-day butterfly farm outing, tell them you must check with your husband first. No husband? Then say you have to check with your calendar.
It doesn’t matter what you check—just check something. Buy yourself some time. Don’t
allow yourself to be pressured.
You may, in fact, decide that butterfly farming is just what you’d like your family to do
together, or you may need t
o pass up this opportunity. Impulsive ―yes making‖ leads to an
over-scheduled family, grouchy children, and a sad mommy. Likewise, if you need to
politely decline, it’s easier to do so some time after the invitation has been made. Saying ―no‖ too quickly c
an be tactless and abrupt.
• Identify some family policies.
For example, our family does not participate in outside activities on Sundays or Wednesday evenings because we are in church during those times.
That’s our policy.
• Post a central family calend
If someone calls to invite us to do something, I glance at
the family calendar to see what’s scheduled.
• Just say, “No” (but say it nicely).
There are some folks in the world who just won’t take ―no‖ for an answer, especially when they are so used to
your saying ―yes.‖ If you can honestly say, ―Our family policy won’t allow that trip,‖ then say it. But what if you’re tired
and you just need a day off? What if you really just want to clean out your kitchen cabinets?
Those aren’t good reasons to say no
. . . are they? Yes, they are.
If you need a break, you can say ―no‖ without guilt. Your family, your home, and your
sanity are far more important than the trip to the planetarium, the zoo, or that butterfly
farm. You can just say: ―I’m so sorry, we won’
t be able to go on this trip. Thank you for
inviting us.‖ If they pry, you can just say, ―We already have plans made for that day,‖ and that’s the truth. You planned to rest. You planned to clean your cabinets. Perhaps you
planned to do nothing. It all counts. As a wife and mother, I make a thousand decisions a day. I have to decide everything from
how to explain ―metamorphosis‖ to an 11
-year-old to which peanut butter to buy
everything in between. By the end of the day, I’m often frazzled. Sometimes,
by simply having a plan, I save myself the embarrassment of losing my meek and quiet spirit in front of my children and others. Making plans is one way I can make my life better, as well as use this precious thing called
―time‖ more wisely. To some, ―time is money,‖ but to me, ―time is life,‖ and I have only
Valerie Basham has been married for fourteen years to her much better half, who is a true man of God. She is in her ninth year of homeschooling four of her five children. Most people believe homeschooling is when the parents teach the children at home. However, Valerie is
often learning more than her students. God’s lesson plan for her often includes lessons about patience, humility, mercy, forgiveness, and perseverance, to name a few. Valerie’s
hobby during this busy season of life is writing.