Saying Yes – A Poem

by ChristinaPilkington on May 26, 2012 · 16 comments

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I’ve been struggling a bit with my health this past week.

I guess I should say that my biggest struggle has been that I’ve had to say no a lot more this week to the kids than I would like. It breaks my heart not to have the energy to play most of the day with the kids or do all the things that they would like me to do, but lately it’s been too hard.

When you’re feeling sick, sometimes you do have to say no more often. But this week reminded me of many times when I said no instead of yes to my kids. Times when saying yes would have been a better choice in that moment, even if I was a bit tired or had other things I wanted to get done.

So, I was feeling inspired this week to capture how I was feeling in a poem. I want to remember how important it is to say yes as much as possible to my children because one day- when they’re not here every single day, when they’re very busy with their own lives – I won’t have the chance to say anything at all.

*I also wrote a poem titled Instead that you might like to read, too.

Saying Yes

When I’m just about to snuggle up in bed with my Kindle and my son asks me to read him a book

I will say yes.

When I’ve just cleaned up after supper and my daughter wants to set up an art or science project on the kitchen table

I will say yes.

When my son asks me to play chase and I was just able to fold some clothes

I will day yes.

When it’s hot and we’re walking to the car from a long day at the zoo and my son wants to jump on every sewer cover ten times all the way back

I will say yes.

When its 8:30 at night and my kids want to bake cookies

I will say yes.

When my son wants to play another Batman game….for the twentieth time in a row

I will say yes.

When my daughter knocks over a whole box of Cherrios onto the kitchen floor and asks me to help her pick them up

I will say yes

When I was hoping my kids would ask me to read with them and instead they ask me to watch an episode of their favorite cartoon instead

I will say yes

When it’s getting late and I’m ready to lay down and the kids are excited to talk about what we will be doing the next day

I will say yes

When I have the choice to listen to my children when they want to talk, to help them reach for their dreams, to be a great resource to them and encourage and support them as best as I can

I will say yes.


Photo Credit: ominate

What do you want to say yes to more with your kids?


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  • Tereza Crump

    My oldest daughter is always suggesting fun time consuming projects. I got 3 more little ones 7 y.o. and under. So one thing I do with my oldest since I can’t say yes as often as I would like is tell her to add the project to her WISH LIST. So on the days that are slow, or when she is bored and we are at a loss for what to do, we look at her WISH LiST and find fun time consuming projects to do. :) so far, it has worked out for us.

    ON another note, I am so sorry you have been sick. I have no clue what issues you have been dealing with BUT you should check out this website and their videos

    I have been drinking green smoothies for the past 3 months and I have noticed a boost in my health as well as my energy level. (My children drink the smoothies too! At first I added a little bit of greens at a time. Now I serve them exactly what I drink – lots of greens – in fancy glasses!) I no longer drink coffee or crave it. My headaches have been reduced to a couple around PMS time. I feel so much better and my green smoothies are so good. They are detoxifying and energizing.

    PS You don’t need a fancy and expensive blender to make one. (they help!) but any blender will do. :)

    You can read some of my experiences on my blog under the Healthy Lifestyle or My Cuisine labels.

    • christinapilkington

      That’s a great idea! We actually started something similiar a few weeks ago. I made a list for each kid and hung it on the fridge. On one side of the sheet of paper I write down things they want to do with me when I’m not busy doing something else. On the other side of the sheet is a list of things they can do by themselves without me. It’s worked out pretty well so far to remind them of things they said they wanted to do.

      Also, thanks about the smoothie suggestion. I actually started that about a month ago, too. I’ve also been taking essential oils and vitimins for about three months now. I’m doing a lot better. From October through February I had five sinus infections and was on steriods and antiobiotics almost the entire time. Then I just said I didn’t want to do medicine anymore and wanted to try mostly all natural stuff. I’ve had two more infections since then, but I’ve been able to fight them off with the oils, and now with taking in more vegetables through the smoothies. This last infection hasn’t been that bad…I’ve just had a lack of energy, but at least I didn’t get a fever.

      Hopefully I can get a little more reading time, because I definitely want to hop over and read some of the stuff you’ve written on healthy living. We’re going on a long road trip soon, so I’m really happy that I’ll get to catch up on some of my favorite blogs!

  • Jessica

    I am not a fun Mama past 8pm. I am tired and I am ready for some peace and quiet. As my girls are getting older they are not ready for bed at 8, or even 9 and there are times I say no to joining in with them, but yes if they can manage it on their own. For me it is a win/win and we both get what we need. I try to be easier on myself because of the volume of time we spend together. If they are working on Minecraft in their rooms while I read in bed, I feel that is okay, so long as I make time during the day to connect with them.

    Feel better soon!

    • christinapilkington


      I’m kind of used to the late nights with the kids. It’s actually not that bad for me when I’m not sick. My kids have always gone to bed late. Just this past week when Steve went out of town, Alexa didn’t go to sleep until 10:30. Then as I was laying down with my Kindle, Jared jumped on the bed and wanted me to read with him so we stayed up until 11:30. That was unusual, though. Usually Alxa falls asleep by 9-9:30 and Jared between 9:30 and 10:00. We don’t get up early though. We’re usually first getting up by 7:30 or 8:00. It just gets hard when they want to constantly do things during the day. I get a little break if they watch a DVD (like now!), but they want me to play and do things with them all day long! The balance between giving them a lot of time and finding some time for me to do projects I’m interested in is really tough for me right now.

  • Diane

    I have become a recent regular reader of your blog. Just loving it. Unschooling/interest-led learning sounds so wonderful and we have tried some this past couple of months to move in that direction. Thanks for all the interesting links, articles, and posts on your blog. Looking forward to what you have for all of us in the near future.

    • christinapilkington

      Thanks so very much for letting me know you like my writing. This blog really is one of my strongest passions right now. I love sharing the things I’ve read and learned about, and the things I’ve learned from my experiences. I’m so glad you are moving down the interest-led learning path. It’s such a joyful lifestyle….I’d never want to live any other way!

  • Susan

    I’m sorry you’ve been feeling poorly :( I hope you’re on the mend!

    I agree, sometimes the “yes” can feel difficult! I have been trying hard to say yes as much as possible. I think we have to be careful to balance those yeses, though…we need to be sure that we’re getting the time we need for ourselves so that we don’t feel resentful. I am with Helena, too…I sometimes forget to follow through with the yes :)

    And, by the way, I’m not sure if I could do the cookie baking at 8:30 at night…maybe, if the circumstances were right…

    • christinapilkington

      Thanks! I have felt a lot more energy in the past few days. I’m just so thankful I’ve been able to fight this latest infection naturally without having to go back to taking any steriods or antibiotics.

      The balance part is something I’m really struggling with right now. It seems that even if I do things from morning til night with the kids, the moment I’d like to take a break and work on something for myself, they are pulling my arm and begging me to do just “one more” thing with them! I try to remind myself, though, that as they grow older they will be more independent and probably not want me to do so many things with them. I love being with them, it’s just that they have way more energy than I do!

      And, for me, the cookie baking later at night really isn’t such a big deal. I put up more of a fight when they want to play chase or hide and seek at 9:00 at night!

  • Helena

    Christina, this is a lovely poem. I hope, as your energy comes back, that you’ll be able to say all the beautiful yeses that are in your heart.

    I say yes a lot, but my daughter pointed out today, I kind of sometimes (often) forget to follow through. So when she says she’d like to do more painting, I say, “Yes—me too! We should! We should get some canvas paper, don’t you think?” But then…I forget to get the canvas paper, get distracted by something else (Like, oh! Is that a new idea? Another dream to chase?) and the painting doesn’t happen. So that’s my “note to self” : Say yes, then DO the Yes. Your poem is a reminder of how beautiful yes can be. Thank you for it :)

    • christinapilkington

      That’s a great point! I think I have the tendency to do that, too. I try to keep a page open in the notes section on my iPhone where I jot down the things I’ve told the kids that I would do with them or get for them when we’re out. Sometimes the requests come in so fast, though, that I can’t keep up with them!

    • christinapilkington

      That’s a great point! I think I have the tendency to do that, too. I try to keep a page open in the notes section on my iPhone where I jot down the things I’ve told the kids that I would do with them or get for them when we’re out. Sometimes the requests come in so fast, though, that I can’t keep up with them!

  • Theresa

    Hope you feel better soon!!

    • christinapilkington

      Thanks! It’s been so up and down, and it can get discouraging, but these past few days have been a lot better.

    • christinapilkington

      Thanks! It’s been so up and down, and it can get discouraging, but these past few days have been a lot better.

  • Brightsight2

    Love it! It can be hard to say yes sometimes, but then I remember they will not always be asking for me to snuggle with them, play a game or just want to hang out with me.

    • christinapilkington

      Yes, that does make me sad to think about. I don’t want to have that many regrets when they get older.

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