Diary of a Mom in College: The Power of NO

I have read articles based on the power of saying no but it hasn’t been until recent that the idea of saying no has become real and necessary. As a mom, college or not, I often find myself saying yes to everything. Maybe that isn’t even a mom thing, maybe it’s a woman thing? I feel like we are caregivers, most of us, and we will do what needs to be done so that others around us are happy/content. However, I have learned that there will come  a point when you will have to learn to say no. I think this is even more important as a mom in college because you are putting a lot of responsibilities on your already-full plate. But what can you say no to? It seems like there aren’t many places in your life where it’s possible. But there are possibilities. Here are four that come to mind…

1. Say no to negative people. You don’t need to literally say no to them, but rather you need to say no to believing that you have to listen to them. Being a mom in college comes with it’s own set of critics who think you should be home with your kids 24/7 instead of earning a college degree. If you have not already, it is likely that you might encounter this at some point. Even if they don’t think they are being negative, the fact is that you are pursuing a goal and they might not see it like that. When I have this encounter I usually explain that my kids are in good hands, are fed, bathed, loved, and so on. And while this is true, why do I need to explain anything to these people? I don’t.

2. Say no to joining a lot of extracurricular activities. Yes, I believe you should participate in some, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. My advice is to join no more than 2 clubs. Joining 2 clubs allows you to be active on campus without overwhelming yourself. And if you feel like becoming an officer for one, make sure the meeting times are scheduled at times you can attend. You don’t want to commit to something you cannot follow through with. So, by all means, join! Just don’t over-join!

3. Say no to living on social media. I don’t know about you, but I become attached to social media to the point where I put off all my work. This is unhealthy. While I am a fan of social media I think it’s a good idea to “ration” your time in such a way that allows you to be free to get your work done — school work, mom work, etc. I know this is easier said than done because at times I feel obligated to post on various sites simply so people don’t start wondering where I am. But it becomes overwhelming when you sign on to a social media site and have 4 messages from friends questioning your whereabouts, often assuming you are ignoring them. You don’t need that.

4. Say no to skipping sleep. You. Need. Sleep. Please make sure to get sleep at night. I know as a mom you might have become accustomed to very little sleep, but if your children allow it — please sleep. Instead of skipping sleep, try to find other times to do your school work like when your children are in school. Or you can schedule time while on campus to study. Whatever you do, don’t skip sleeping because it will not be conducive to paying attention in class.

What do you say no to? What do you have trouble saying no to? 

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