Just say yes
As a mom, my vocabulary often devolves to the monosyllabic babble of my toddler based on the number of NO’s that come out of my mouth.
No sweetie pie, our baby can’t eat food yet. No standing on the dishwasher door. No crossing “the black” without holding Mommy’s hand. No scissors. No, no. No.
Considering I log more daily no’s than steps on my Fitbit, saying yes can be quite vindicating. As it turns out, after having my second baby, I have come to embrace yes almost as much as I embrace no.
For the last three months, I have found myself saying yes to things I never imagined myself ever agreeing to. With two kids under two, yes is the magic word that has allowed me to cling to my ever-waning sanity.
Yes to all of you benevolent do-gooders offering to hold my baby. Yes! to more screen time than is ideal for my two-year-old. And a resounding OH YES! to processed snacks.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I pass off my newborn to the nearest Target cashier or plop my two-year-old in front of the TV all day with a Happy Meal. But with a toddler and an infant, I do say yes a whole lot more often than I ever used to – and it has been a lifesaver. (I mean that literally. My children are literally still alive because of the occasional extra set of hands, the TV, and a few Goldfish crackers.)
So what has changed? Have I grown apathetic to germy hands touching my baby or forgotten about the alleged effects of too much screen time and artificial food coloring? Not at all. But the juggling act of meeting the unrelenting needs of my newborn and toddler – not to mention my own – has boarded me on a speed train towards yesdom. On the other side of yes is a short break from holding my linebacker baby, the peace of mind that my toddler will stay-put while I shower, or an antidote for the infamous toddler tantrum.
It’s only been a few months with two under two, but I feel wiser already about the little secret that there’s no shame in accepting help from time to time, whether it comes in the form of a human, a screen, or a little Pepperidge Farm package. Because even with help from one or all of the above, you can pretty much still guarantee that at any given moment, you, your house, or your kids will still be a mess.
To all of the moms out there with unyielding no faces, allow yourselves to accept some help. The next time your baby projectile spits up in a mall, say YES! when someone offers to mop up the puddle so you can chase your toddler who is darting towards the escalator. No one will think less of you.
Rest assured, you can –and will, I’m sure– return the favor when the time is right. And when you do, know that you may just be saving the life of a scissor-wielding, goldfish-eating, TV-watching toddler and her little brother.
-Written by Mama Tribe Blogger, Katie "Eleven years of OC living, seven years of teaching high school English, a husband named Kyle, and two babies later (Annalee and Luke), Katie Addiss is now experimenting with stay-at-home mom life. She has found that writing allows her to ponder the joys and struggles of motherhood while using vocabulary that contains more than one syllable. Katie is always open to life’s possibilities, except when those possibilities interfere with nap schedules."