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Moms Talk: Learning to Say No

How do you turn down a request for help?

Thanks again for joining our weekly Moms Talk Q&A, where you can help fellow moms by responding to their parenting-related questions each Wednesday afternoon.

Here is this week's question:

You're painting kids' faces at the school carnival this weekend, are making the banner for your own childrens' soccer team, have to work overtime on Thursday, and you've just been nominated for PTA president. You're so busy, but you feel so guilty turning the position down.

How do you say no?

Do you know how to tactfully reject an opportunity to help? Tell us in the comments section below this article. If you have a question you want Patch readers to answer, send it to jenna.chandler@patch.com.

Jennifer Pointer February 24, 2011 at 04:04 AM
There is a lot of guilt in saying no. You feel that you are letting people down, that you are not pulling your weight or just feel bad. Toss that out. The best way for anyone to be an effective mom or human for that matter is to take care of yourself and your family first. Be aware of "you" and though you may hate to say no, you have to at times. I hate saying no, but I do and I have almost gotten over feeling guilty about it. I volunteer my time when I think it will benefit everyone involved, including me. If I take on too much, I am angry, depressed and ashamed that I am not spending enough time with my family and they come first. Do what feels right. It is all about you and what makes you happy. A happy person makes for a happy self, mom, wife, friend, worker and volunteer. Do not feel guilty, you do not have to do it all. Your child will remember the 3 hours of playing candyland or going to the park when they are older. Suggested reading is "When I say No, I feel guilty" by Manuel J. Smith. You can get it on Amazon. It is a good read for setting the basis that you can say no and not be guilty by it.

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