I was inspired by Tracy's recent post, How Do You Do It, in which she hands out some very practical advice for working moms. I especially like her suggestion about learning how to say "no."
I'm getting better at being a naysayer. This year, I've agreed to arrange arts assemblies at our Fine School (lower and upper divisions), which is a fairly easy job, all things considered, and now I feel free to say "no" to absolutely everything else that's asked of me.
Write auction copy for the Annual Our Fine School auction? Nope, can't do it. Fill in for the lunchtime reader who's come down with a sudden case of the sniffles? No, no, gosh, sorry, but no. Help out with the Ellis Island recreation for the third grade? No, I don't think so.
(By the way, I have no idea how I made the Ellis Island list, given that I don't have a third grader. It makes me afraid that having volunteered to be the Arts Assembly Lady, I'm now considered an easy mark and have made lists all across the Our Fine School Universe. Well, they'll learn soon enough, won't they? Though the Ellis Island thing does actually sound interesting ...)
Saying "no" is an art. I've learned to say it immediately, the very second my presence is requested. I used to fiddle-faddle around and say I'd get back to you, could I think about that for a day or two and drop you an email? For awhile, during my transition phase from doormat to Ms. Negative, I used the Man as my excuse. "Gosh, I really need to check with my husband about that."
But now I just say "no." To soften the blow, sometimes I'll say, "No, I'm sorry, I just don't have time for that right now." As I've watched the new PTA president visibly age after just a few months of service, I feel my confidence grow. Saying yes will cause you to prematurely wrinkle. Stay away from it.
The baking continues. The big hits so far (other than cookies and pies, of course) are waffles and honeywheat bread. The pretzels and crackers were eaten, but not with any overly-great enthusiasm. Listen, if my kids want to become the sort of people who snack on bread and jam or whole grain waffles popped into the toaster (I've been making big batches and freezing them), who am I to complain? Beats Twinkies.
Okay, well, I'm off to Will's Cub Scout meeting, where they'll be racing rockets tonight. The Man was out until midnight last night helping set up the wires they'll race the rockets on. This is a new thing the Scouts are doing this year. Do I have any reason to believe it will work, that the boys won't end up spending the evening throwing their little brightly painted, balsa wood rockets at each other and then stomping all over them?
No, no I do not.