Over the years, I’ve spent a countless amount of time with moms in every season of life. And one of the most common aspects that I hear moms struggle with, is time. The belief that there’s not enough time to get everything done in a given day. But usually I take that as an opportunity to clue them into a little secret.
Your biggest asset is not time, its energy. And in order to reclaim your energy, there’s something very important that you will need to practice. It’s one word, one syllable, two letters, saying no.
I’m Dr. Charryse Johnson, founder of Jade Integrative Counseling and Wellness in Charlotte, North Carolina. And I want to talk to you about the three common mindsets that keep us from saying no, without feeling guilty.
One, somewhere along the way, we’ve confused rescuing with caring. We believe that jumping into every situation that our children, our partner, or the community is involved in is our way of showing care and concern. But it’s important for us to ask ourselves at what cost?
Two, we don’t want to disappoint the people around us. If you’ve grown up in a situation where saying no was met with significant disappointment, or even shame or guilt, that will further reinforce that it’s not okay for you to say no. But the truth is, it’s essential.
And then three, we have unrealistic expectations on ourselves as moms. This has been a huge issue over the last three years, when there’s been constant uncertainty and change, changing the context of your life. Every moment of your life will be different. What’s possible for you today is different than yesterday, and will change tomorrow. So it’s important for us to really look at our lives, moment by moment, situation by situation and pause and check in and ask ourselves, what do I need?
Here’s two ways that you can work on practicing now, if you’re still finding it difficult:
Saying no is self care. And contrary to what you believe, self care is not selfish. It’s survival.
Dr. Charryse Johnson is an experienced licensed clinical mental health therapist offering over 20 years of experience serving as a counselor, consultant, and educator. She holds a B.A. in Human Development, an M.A. in Professional Counseling, and PhD in Counseling Psychology. She is a strong community advocate and has been a contributor on local radio, social media, local news outlets, and documentaries and is passionate about reducing the stigma around mental health. She is founder and owner of Jade Integrative Counseling and Wellness.
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