Difficulty level-HARD for me to do but that's because I am a control freak!
How Maya “Helped”-She had some fun ideas of things just begging for a "yes":)
With a daughter edging closer to two every day, I find myself saying "no" CONSTANTLY. No cupcakes for breakfast, no eating the crayons, no spitting, no biting, no poking out your brothers eyes... I feel like a human "no" machine. Little by little I could tell my Maya-Bean was beginning to view me as the one who always shot down her ideas. The free-spirit hippie chick in me HATED that she viewed me that way. Had I tried so hard to be a perfect mom that I had forgotten how to be a fun mom? I thought of my own mom, guiltily, she had always encouraged my ideas, let me learn from my own mistakes, and empowered me. Where had I gone wrong? I seemed to be missing the balance. Yes, she needed boundaries, structure, and consistency- those things were important. But, I wasn't so sure that they were any more important than having a mommy who was fun.
My plan was simple, say "yes" more. This was tough at the beginning. It seemed saying no had become a habit. It was easier to disregard her ideas and replace them with my own. So in order to make it simpler to stick to, I made a rule for myself. If it doesn't hurt her or anyone else, teach her a bad habit, or destroy anything, I would say yes. I know to people reading this it probably sounds trivial and silly. But, for me, it was not. I had become a dictator and I needed to change.
I am happy to say-simply saying yes has worked smashingly! I have said yes to loads of things that would have been automatic "no"s a week ago! The most amazing part is that she's great at finding new things to do that are entertaining and fun! I no longer have to rack my brain for ideas. This week I have "yessed" the following ideas:
Washing her doll in the sink with a washcloth and soap-yes my kitchen got soaked...so what?
Washing dishes-I only gave her spoons but she stayed busy for HOURS
Turning the crank on the apple peeler-it took longer but she LOVED it!
Taking a bath, in the kitchen, in a washtub WITH her baby
Wearing sandals over her socks
Putting on her own shoes-(on the wrong feet of course)
Brushing her baby brothers hair
Putting lotion on her baby doll
Using a pen
Sweeping with the broom
Folding the laundry-(more like unfolding)
There are tons more. Let me just say some of these things were messy but the whole mood of our house has changed. She is a much happier girl knowing her ideas are being heard and considered. I am a much happier mom, not spending my whole day saying no. Keep in mind there are still plenty of no's. I don't let her poke her brother's eyes out, eat cookies for breakfast, or stand on the table. But now days there seems to be more balance. I feel like I have finally escaped my role as the dream-crusher. "Yes"-saying yes is definitely helping me to become a better mommy.
As for the second objective -being a better wife- well I'll let you decipher how "saying yes more"can help your marriage LOL