By now we have all read The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, or at least have heard of it. Shonda Rhimes, New York Times bestseller from the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder shares in her book, how she spent a year saying YES to everything. Facing your fears head on can be freeing but, you have got to admit there is power in the word no. When we say NO, we are setting boundaries and limits which opens the door to self-care on the road to self-love. When we say NO, what we are really saying is YES! to ourselves. This year mamas, is the year of NO!
Here are the top five things we are saying NO to in 2018:
Not everyone can live a life worthy of Pinterest. Props to any mama who can keep up, but I simply cannot. We will no longer hold ourselves accountable to standards that were never meant for us. Raising children is hard enough but, to compete in today’s mommy pissing contests is just too much work. First of all, it’s not real. Social media gives you a jaded view of someone’s reality, at specific moment in time, in the form of a picture. What you see is what they want you to see. Pinterest boards should not be the standard of motherhood, especially black motherhood. Brown mamas are multifaceted and come in many shapes, sizes, and households. I don't know any mother who lives in a toy free, clutterless, dishless, monochromatic home. I mean seriously, “Is everything in their house white?” In case you forget, remember the following: It is perfectly okay to order everything online from Amazon because you don't have time to shop. There is no need for elaborate children's parties because cake and ice cream are just fine. Wearing your gym clothes all day is perfectly acceptable, especially while holding it down for your family. So, let your twist out shine, lipstick pop, turn up with your girls and enjoy yourself without the guilt. You deserve it!
Stop Asking for "Help"
TI remember complaining to a friend about how overwhelmed I was and told her how I wish my husband would help me more. My unapologetically honest friend quickly reminded me, "Housework is not just your responsibility so stop asking for help." I was speechless, then confused. It took some time, but eventually my thought process shifted. I saw house duties as my responsibility and so did my husband. I didn't recall agreeing to that but that somehow was at the top of my “To Do” list. The condition of our house is our responsibility. Instead of asking for help, I should have been reminding my partner to do his part. This shift allowed us to have open dialogue about our responsibilities. Prior to this I was asking my husband to do me a favor and help me clean our house. Last time I checked having a clean house was not a personal need. Mamas, we don't need help, we need our partners to step up.
If It's Not What's Best for Your Family-Don't Do it
It is 2018, so it is perfectly okay to breastfeed, babywear, cloth diaper, and be anti-vaccines. You don’t owe anyone an explanation about how you choose to live your life. Whatever your beliefs are- do you! Stop trying to fit yourself in a box and making decisions that you don't wholeheartedly agree with. Take a second to think about the "Why?" behind your decisions. Challenge old traditions to be sure they feel right. Just because your mama’s mama used to do XYZ, doesn’t mean you have to. There may be some hurt feelings along the way but trust me, they will get over it. You sleep much better at night knowing you made the best decision for you and your family.
As mothers we know what it takes to get out of the house on time, so when you show up to your kidless best friend's party late-hold the sorry. You do not have to apologize for being a mother and you certainly don’t have to apologize for showing up late when you have kids (a kid). The fact that you are in attendance should be enough. Getting an entire family ready is an Olympic Sport! Having children is not an excuse, but the reason. Life’s ultimate sacrifice comes in the form of motherhood and there is nothing to ever be sorry about. With so many things requiring our attention, we are not always present and that’s okay. Sometimes being a mom is all we can manage, and that’s okay too.
Put Your Feelings First
Too often we hold our tongues in order not to offend or make people feel bad. It takes way too much energy to worry about everyone else's feelings all the time. Sometimes you have to say what's on your mind. Replaying a situation over and over thinking about what you should have said, is super frustrating. So, the next time someone touches your baby without your permission- tell them "Keep your hands to yourself." The next time your in-laws give you parenting advice you didn't ask to for-tell them "I got this." The next time someone tells you it's time to stop breastfeeding and you aren't ready to stop- tell them "My breast are none of your concern." Speaking your mind is not rude or perpetuating the angry black girl narrative. Someone's response to your honesty is a reflection of them and not you. Speak and live in your truth.
Mamas, we cannot pour from an empty cup, so it is time to put ourselves first! Saying NO can be hard especially when we become accustomed to always doing for others. This year let’s stay committed to saying- No!
Thomishia Booker but you can call her "Mishi", is an outgoing, outspoken mama from California. You can find her on the dance floor with her girls, being silly with her son, at the Warrior's game with her husband, or volunteering as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Mishi works full time in Healthcare Administration, holding a Masters in Social Work and a Doctorate in Education Counseling Psychology. At 33, she feels "Everyday is an opportunity to challenge stereotypes as a young black female leader." After the birth of her son, her passion for writing was reignited and she published her first children's book called "My Brown Skin". Mishi believes "As Brown Girls we live by our own rules!" ,"As brown mothers we must make the best decisions for our family and not anyone else.", "Brown Girls Rock!"