Sarah asked on Facebook:
"... what do you say no to? For example, I've heard you say that you hire out the house cleaning, at least in different seasons. So one thing you say no to is cleaning the house yourself. Obviously, homeschooling is a huge commitment ... and you can't do it all ..."
Cakes in the shape of the state of California are done on field trips, not at home.
YES! I have learned to say no to a lot, and no to certain things in certain seasons. I used to scrapbook, but I no longer do. For one thing, it was time-consuming and I didn't adore it. Scrapbooking felt more like a duty than a joy. For another thing, in order to do the job right, I had to spread a bunch of craft stuff all over a table. Little kiddos plus stuff all over the table plus my Type A personality were a terrible combination. Now I make folders on my laptop and dump everyone's photos into them. They'll get a jump drive when they leave home, which is many more photos than I got from my non-photographing parents.
I have not canned jam in two summers. I like to can; I do not like to can when I finally get little people into bed, which is when I usually would get to work on the whole big project. I know lots of moms who can with little ones underfoot, but that made me nervous and I just couldn't do it.
When I turned 40, I decided that I was grown up enough to say no to pretty nearly anything I wanted to. I have lived a duty-filled life, and I am a faithful, responsible girl who has a hard time leaving the house to go play if the laundry isn't done (Type A, remember?) Here are the things I no longer do:
-Camp. This is kind of funny because I long ago gave up camping "until the kids are older". That day never came. I really, really, really hate camping. I would rather stay home and explore the backyard. And so, at 40, I decided camping wouldn't be in my future, either.
-Go to the park. I hate taking my kids to the park. Know what happens when I do? All of the kids whose parents dropped them off or are not paying attention to their children find ME. So then I have to watch my own children (usually at least 4 of them) PLUS someone else's child who is calling, "Watch me!" or "Swing me!" to ME. No thanks.
-Make breakfast. Except for vacations my husband and I have taken away from the kids, I haven't had a morning where someone isn't crying, screaming, yelling, arguing, or stinking in over 19 years. Getting myself ready for the day plus making breakfast plus dealing with the above? No thanks. There are plenty of other capable people in this house who can see that everyone is fed first thing in the morning.
What's on your not-going-to-do-it list? What can you save for another season, or toss all together? Of course I know you'll think of those you love -- if any of the items on my list were terribly important to my husband or children, I would do them out of my love for them, and I know you'll do the same. But everything else is totally negotiable!