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Say NO #LikeAMom

Attention my fellow parents, supermoms, mom-preneurs, master jugglers, over-committers, multi-taskers, over-achievers and CHOs (Chief Household Officers)! Life as a mom can be a real circus, and mastering the art of saying “no” will not only save you stress and anxiety but is a significant act of self-respect. Think of the word NO as the feather duster used to sweep away the unnecessary dust bunnies that clutter your life. 

Imagine you’re a plate juggler at the circus, and each plate represents a part of your life—family, business, sanity, you name it! To keep those plates from crashing, you’ve got to decide which are your finest China and which are just Royal Chinette. 

Identify all of the stuff that keeps you busy. How much time are you spending on paper plates? Your fine China should be your biggest priorities, like self-care, family time, career, friends, volunteering, etc. These should be the things that bring you joy, health, wealth, and more time. Now consider all of the other monkeys at your circus. Are they paper plates, or do they deserve a fine plate at your table?

Here are three things to consider the next time someone asks you to do something:

  1. The next time someone tries to add a plate to your juggling act, if it does not serve your purpose, a simple “I’m trying to prioritize [enter your priority] right now. It would be counter-productive to that goal.” 
  2. Remember, when you say “yes” to something, you are saying “no” to something else, and it’s usually one of those dishes that are priceless heirlooms. By honestly replying with an explanation that your plate is full, most people will understand that you are declining the invitation, not your relationship.
  3. Leaders learn the art of delegation. By delegating tasks to others, you are allowing them new opportunities to grow. Find others who can perform those high-wire acts for you.

Once you start saying no, you will soon master saying “NO” like a mom.


Janet Smith is a proud single-mom of one daughter and a marketing professional who is grateful for her rural roots in the London area. She is a big believer in connecting with people through laughter and honesty.


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