Why moms should sometimes say yes to things they don’t want to do

Ruthie Rearing 8 Comments

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One evening last week after banging my soul out on my computer for five straight hours (on my upcoming book), I suggested the family take a ride out to the local fishing hole.

The exclaims from my girls and husband made me giggle, and then gave me pause,

Daughter #1:  “Hey!  Mom said let’s go to the lake, dad!”

Daughter #2:  “MOM said that?!”

Hubby:  “Mom wants to go to the lake???  Alright, let’s go!”

They nearly tripped over each other dashing the door to the vehicle.

“I can’t believe mom wanted to go!”

By now you’re probably thinking, “Man, she must be a fun-sucker.”

Actually, I’m not.  I love to have fun–laughing’s my favorite–my  kids know that.

But certain things are not my favorite – like the lake.



Why moms should sometimes say yes to things they don't want to do; balancing work and family and why it's important to stop and connect.


I don’t know.  I just don’t need it in my life.  It’s  not one of those things I’m dying to do – drive out a narrow country road and look at a lake.  It’s a lake.  In the backwoods of West Virginia.  And there are mosquitoes.  And maybe snakes.

If it were a beach down south, now that would be different.  I’m all into baking on some sand.

As the Tiny Tornado would say,  “Gimmie some dat”.

A mother asked for advice the other day because she hated playing Legos with her kid:

 “Do I have to play Legos with him?  I don’t especially like playing with Legos.  Plus, he likes to throw them, and they hurt!”


She worried that she wouldn’t be a good mother if she didn’t get in the floor and play Legos with her son.

I gave her this piece of advice,

“You don’t have to play Legos with him every time.  He can play Legos by himself most of the time, and you can play other things with him that you like better.  It’s good for kids to learn to entertain themselves.”


Did you know that this goes for adult children also (as in ages 20 and 22)?  You don’t always have to play with them either.

Before you think I’m completely nuts, let me assure you of something.

Your kids won’t always want you playing with them.  Someday, they’ll go through that awkward, pimply stage where they’re embarrassed to be seen getting out of the car with you and will try to walk 10 feet behind you at the mall.

But if you’ve spent time with them; listened to their chatter about bugs and boys, if you’ve made up silly songs while doing dishes, and basically included them in your life, they’ll come back around.

And they’ll want you to go to the backwoods lake with them.

You won’t have to say yes.  But sometimes you should.

And sometimes, you should even suggest it (even though it’s not your favorite thing).

Know why?

Because maybe you’ll miss out on that inside joke they shared with their father.  Or you might miss climbing atop a giant rock and watching your daughter take pictures of lily pads.

But the best thing you might miss?

The unexpected rainbow that splayed itself across the misty sky, just past the fir-lined lake.

It’s ok to say no–the very nature of our mothering demands it.

But, if you’re a task-oriented person such as myself (and also in a world that necessitates a myriad of mothering “no’s”), it’s good to say yes sometimes too (and shock the pants right off them).

I did not miss that rainbow.

Moms, just say “yes” sometimes, even when you don’t want to.


Moms, just say yes sometimes, even when you don't want to. Click To Tweet


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Comments 8

  1. Love this GiGi and I agree with what you said. I love playing with the grandsons on the floor with legos, but I love even more how their dad and mother include us in fishing trips, hunting trips and trips to the zoo and shopping with them now because they love playing with their Dad and me even now in their 30s.

    1. Post

      I love that! It’s true, if we’ve invested the time, we get it back in dividends and more! It’s such a blessing when they grow up and still want to come hang out! Thanks for your sweet comment!

  2. Great encouragement to be a “Yes” parent here, Ruthie! My son loves to play cards, and luckily I do too, but I don’t always want to say ,”yes.” Having him here for a short time this summer reminds me of how fleeting our time together is. Makes me much more likely to say, “yes.” I don’t always say yes to time with my family, but I try to. My daughter and I walk together, which means I’ve sacrificed what used to be a prayer time for me. But walking is one thing she enjoys that we can do together every day. I look for other times/ways to pray now1

    1. Post

      I know what you mean – seasons and transitions mean we have to readjust our schedules and routines in order to let them know that they are still priority in our lives! It’s all about the eternal investment, yes? You will get your walking/prayer time back soon enough – and then you’ll be missing chef girl so good for you! We were very much on the same page today with our blog posts! Great minds, eh? 🙂

  3. You and Betsy are on the same wavelength today! So Abby just got her license. And off she goes doing her thang. Time with her (alone) in the car will be hard to come by now. That trip to the mall? She’s ready to go with her friends–not Mom. I know there will be more times with her. But we have moved into different territory. Enjoying those moments with them … Saying yes, because one day… They will be in short supply, or gone altogether!

    1. Post

      Yes, we are, girlfriend! I saw Abby driving off in her car on Instagram! Ah, those transitions into independence are bittersweet, aren’t they? It helps you out so much, yet at the same time, you’re losing them slowly but surely. I’m sorry, I’m not being much help there, am I? All the transitions are good, if we look at them with the right perspective. It just takes our hearts a while to catch up sometimes, and that’s ok too. Love you, friend!!

  4. Hi, Ruthie, I found you through Tuesday Talk. Like you, I am in that adult children season of life. My daughter got married last october, and though she lives only a half hour away, the adjustment to her being out of our house was not an easy one for me. I have a son, too, and though he lives with us right now, he is looking to buy a house this summer. Soon, my nest will be completely empty.

    Even when our kids are adults, what you’ve said here is true—we need to say “yes” sometimes…often even. My daughter will call me up and ask me to meet her for lunch. While it may not be on that day’s schedule, I say “yes,” because I want her to know that I’m always there for her. Same with my son…on a day off from work, he asks me to hang out with him. Sure I want to clean the house, but even more, I want my son to know I’m still there for him, so I do lunch and some antique store browsing with him.

    This has been my practice since they were born. I basically put my own life on hold for my kids, and as a result, we are incredibly close. Since I want that closeness to continue, I continue to be there when they want/need me.

    We reap what we sow…so I want to sow time together.

    Patti @ Embracing Home

    1. Post

      Patti, thanks for stopping by to introduce yourself, I’m so glad to meet you! I have four children so these are the last two still in the next. Actually the older of the two was out, but has returned home post-college graduation and pre-wedding sometime next year. So yay! And yes, I still have to work in time with my oldest who is a little mama, time with her two babies, and time with my son who lives a couple states away. It’s so much harder now that everyone’s spread apart, yet still priority.

      Thank you for sharing some of the things you’ve done to create closeness with your kids. They will not forget it!

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