Yes Mom Syndrome


Yes Mom SyndromeHave you ever seen the movie Yes Man? In case you haven’t, it’s about a man saying yes to anything he is asked to do. Need a ride? No problem! Want all the money in the wallet? It’s yours. The premise of the movie is that the main character, Carl Allen, gets more experiences and opportunities by saying yes to everything and learns to step outside of his comfort zone. By the end of the movie, Carl learns he doesn’t have to say yes to absolutely everything because doing so can be too much.

Sometimes, I catch myself trying to be a “yes mom.”

I want my kids to have all these experiences and opportunities, but I lose track of the fact that I’m only human and I get overwhelmed, and that sometimes, completing the mountain of tasks I have made promises to complete seems impossible. The worst part is that I do this to myself. I pack my schedule so full that downtime is almost unheard of.

I think I have what I have dubbed “Yes Mom Syndrome.”

I say yes to so many requests not just from my kids, but also from organizations and activities my kids are signed up with friends, business, and church. I am the epitome of a people-pleaser. I love to make other people happy so I volunteer to the point I am overwhelmed and hardly have enough time to breathe, let alone finish all the things I have signed up to do.

While I want my kids to have all the experiences, and I want to make everyone else happy, I am also learning that sometimes I have to think of how all the tasks I’ve taken on will affect my mental health. Sometimes, it needs to be okay to say no, and I have to learn that saying no is an acceptable answer because saying yes to everything is impossible.

I find myself so caught up in the idea of how life should be that sometimes I forget that real life has limits to what one can accomplish in a 24 hour time period. As parents, sometimes we underestimate what it will take to complete our daily or weekly to-do list. I recently read this super-relatable statement: “One day, I hope my kids see how much extroverting this introvert momma had to do for them.” I laughed reading this because it really described how I felt. I am pretty introverted and I have a small circle of people around whom I can talk. If someone starts a conversation with me on something I am knowledgeable about or interested in, I can carry on a conversation, but otherwise, I struggle to see where I fit in.

For example, being a “dance mom” is new to me. Getting involved in party committees is new to me. Being more involved in co-op is new to me…but I do all of these things so my kids can have new experiences and learn to do what they love. I have started saying “yes” even when everything in me is screaming “no,” so I guess becoming what I have dubbed a “yes mom” has helped in some ways, but boy, does it keep me busy.

Hopefully we will find a happy medium soon, somewhere between saying yes to so much that I am overwhelmed and saying no to everything. This parenting thing isn’t for the weak, that’s for sure.