Posted: Mar 05, 2014 8:00 AM
Tired of always being the mom who hosts the playdates or volunteers at your kids' school? Stop being a doormat and start standing up for yourself.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with always being the one to host the play dates or volunteer in your kids' classroom — if that's truly what you want to do. More power to you, Super Mom! But every mom has other things she needs to accomplish in her day and sometimes there is just not enough time for everything. Start by prioritizing your schedule to decide what you truly have time for and what you really want to spend your time doing.

It's OK to say "no"

Don't automatically respond to a request or commit right away to anything (even if you think you really want to do it or ultimately decide to commit).

Over-committing just because you're not comfortable asserting yourself will only make you resentful or bitter. But meek moms tend to be people pleasers that automatically respond, "Yes!" when asked for a favor. Instead try this: Don't automatically respond to a request or commit right away to anything (even if you think you really want to do it or ultimately decide to commit). Instead, get in the habit of saying something like, "That sounds great but I'll have to check my schedule before I can commit." So when you're asked on the spot if you can, say, head up the school's carnival committee or bring one of your kid's classmates home after school, you won't get caught up in an obligation that you're not fully committed to.

Take a cue from an "outspoken" mom

If you need some pointers on how to assert yourself without feeling like you're going to hurt someone's feelings, watch another mom whom you consider to be outgoing or outspoken to see how she responds when asked about a favor or commitment. Sure, she may say yes sometimes and be happy to do so. But there will likely be times when she needs to say no. And she probably doesn't feel guilty about it. (Hint: Neither should you.)

Ask for help or a return favor

bottle of nail polishMeek moms, this is a biggie. Asking for help is not something we shy ones like to do. It's much "easier" in our minds to shoulder the whole load ourselves, often to our own demise, than to reach out and ask for a hand. So start in your comfort zone first — ask someone you're really close with for a favor. Give your mom a call and ask her to watch the kids so you can get a pedicure (yes, you're allowed to take time for yourself, too!). And when you're really feeling brave, ask the parents of your kid's friend who always comes over to your house to play after school if your child can play at their house next time. In most cases, they'll be glad to return the favor and maybe didn't even realize that the play dates always seemed to end up at your house.

Bottom Line^ If you don't stand up for yourself, people will assume that you are completely fine with the situation — whatever it may be. So if you continue to host the play dates without piping up about having it at another parent's home now and then, prepare your home to be the kids' gathering place for years to come. It's not about someone taking advantage of you but about you making sure your needs are met as well.

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