Do you feel guilty when saying no? It’s an age-old question and with good reason. Maybe you’re struggling with it and you don’t realize it.
This is typically the case with moms. Ya know the typical excuses…things pop up or…that’s just life.
First let’s address this by making it clear that as working mothers we’re expected to take on whatever is thrown at us with grace and strength.
Ummm, yeah that’s impossible and just not fair.
Studies show that proper time management and planning gives you more free time. However, being able to relieve your mental load of unnecessary tasks is part of the process.
The thing is, if you keep doing something even when you don’t want to because it’s what you’ve always done then you have trouble saying no.
In the same vein, if you keep taking on tasks knowing good and well you don’t have the time then you also have trouble saying no.
Let’s talk about boundaries
One more thing, how are you allowing people to treat you? You have to teach people how to treat you. It’s your responsibility.
This is important as a woman, a mother and a working mother. It affects everything from your self esteem to productivity to time with your family.
This is where boundaries really step up to the plate for you. Boundaries are the guidelines you create and communicate to others so that they know to interact with you.
This is probably my favorite post so far. Can you feel the giddiness?
These tips have helped me to free up time in multiple areas of my life and I hope they relieve stress in your life too.
With practice you will become so skilled at saying no and setting boundaries that it becomes second nature. Without guilt!
Being able to say no sets you up for properly setting boundaries and enforces rewarding self care. You deserve it.
We will also take a look at what life can feel like when you need to create boundaries.
Setting boundaries and saying no when necessary will free up mental space, reduce stress and give you more time to spend and focus on the things that serve you.
Boundaries with change
Things change when you become a parent. You quickly learned that they change again when work is thrown in and takes up your day.
We’ve been working hard and making positive strides on these time management posts together.
If you’ve taken the 10 minutes per week to complete your mental unloader worksheet and prioritize your week to create spare time then you truly know just how precious that time is. Especially because you took the time to plan it.
We’re going to take it a step further in this post and free up even more time by taking things off your plate.
Saying no and setting boundaries go together like chocolate and peanut butter.
Bookmark this post or save it to Pinterest so you can reference it later. Grab a cozy beverage, get comfy and let’s dive in.
Ask yourself these questions when saying no and setting boundaries
Here are some thought points to consider when something is asked of you. Work through these questions so you can answer with guilt free confidence!
1. Is it in line with your values?
Your values are things in your life that you consider important. For example, you’re reading this post and hanging out with me on this time saving tips blog.
Two of your values could be personal growth and time balance. Knowing your values and making decisions that honor them will help you to say no when you need to the most.
2. How does it make you feel?
Pressured, obligated, sad, uncomfortable, anxious, angry, violated. Sounds obvious, but this question is super necessary.
People, especially guilty working moms, will continue to do something that makes them feel bad.
Sometimes it’s for approval and acceptance, but often times to keep the peace. We will elaborate on these feelings soon.
3. What’s the impact on your time?
This is a relative question so let’s do some digging to get clarity on how it may truly impact your lifestyle.
Can you easily add it to your schedule without compromising current tasks?
Do you anticipate an efficient week where you finish things early?
Was something canceled which freed up time?
This is another reason why putting tasks on the schedule works. You get a clear visual of where your time is being spent so you can evaluate the impact.
You shouldn’t feel guilty, I mean one mama can only do so much. But seeing it all mapped out will help take that guilt away if you need to say no.
4. Is it worth it?
Sometimes the juice is worth the squeeze. Remember, you have the time it’s just how you decide to spend it is what gives you the outcome.
It’s inevitable; when you add something to your plate, something else gets less room.
Adding on to question two here about how the task makes you feel.
Sometimes you have to just adult your way through it and do things that make you uncomfortable when it’s worth it.
Just know that you are free to make that choice. For you, that juice may be worth the squeeze and that’s okay.
Or it may be deeper.
You may be stuck working a 12 hour shift and you have to to say yes until you have the means to say no.
How to say no
There is nothing wrong with taking a moment to say “I’ll get back with you on that.” Or the infamous “I’ll check my calendar and let you know.”
If someone is not giving you the space to think about it or check your current obligations, then that may be a red flag.
How to set a boundary
Remember when I said you teach people how to treat you and to communicate your boundaries?
I know it can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. You need to advocate for yourself.
Simply let the person know what makes you uncomfortable and request that they don’t do it. That’s it!
For example, “It makes me uncomfortable when you tell political jokes around my kids. Will you please stop doing that?”
There! You’ve made the statement and now it’s a requirement that they can either comply or deny.
If they deny, then you need to look into what the next steps are to protect your boundaries. This is self care.
Let your no mean no
Stop saying yes when you need to say no. It’s wasting your time and pulling you away from precious, hard earned quality time with your family. You deserve better.
What do you need to say no to?
Pull out your 10 minute mental unloader (download it for free here) and complete a good ‘ol brain dump.
Afterwards look at everything on your mind and see how they make you feel.
If you get a cringe worthy feeling then answer the questions in this post. Which ones are “no’s”?
Reclaim your time and just say no
In the words of Mrs. Maxine Waters, you will be shouting “reclaiming my time” any day now.
Now, when you feel guilty about saying no I want you to honestly work through the questions.
If your gut is telling you it’s a no then say to yourself “reclaiming my time.” After do like Mrs. Nancy Reagan and “just say no!”
Knowledge is power
Having a true understanding of your values is going to put setting boundaries into perspective and it will just make good sense.
You teach people how to treat you, so set a good example by treating yourself well.
You don’t want to be the woman full of regrets because you failed to advocate for yourself.
Setting boundaries is going to save you time, drastically reduce stress, and help you set clear priorities. Get back to spending your time wisely.
Do you have any other tips for saying no without the guilt? Give these are try and let me know how it works for you.
If you found value in this post, I would love it if you would share it so we can help others.
Thanks for hanging out with me!