I am not very good at saying no to people. If someone invites me to do something or asks if I can help my usual response is a resounding yes. Then I go away, check my schedule, realise that I am already completely hectic (three kids, blog, home, the usual) and panic. Then I try to fit it in regardless and end up stressed and unwell, not a good pattern.

I am suffering from a fear of missing out. Perhaps, I imagine, this experience is going to be life changing or at the very least one of those moments you look back on and smile. This in combination with easily induced guilt at saying no works against me every time. So I keep saying yes and signing up myself and my family to an insane level of commitments.


For example last week I attended a pre-school meeting. Prior to this meeting rumour went around that they would be looking for people for the committee. I explained to anyone who would listen that I do not have time for that level of commitment right now. I have three children under six and mental health problems, everyone was understanding, no-one put any pressure on me. The meeting came, I attended and oops I became the social secretary, I really should have sat on my hands.

Today I looked at my current schedule of school runs, kids activities, work commitments, home commitments and exercise plan. It looked full. I resolved not to commit to anything else for the time being, I do not have time.

I headed on the school run. In the playground I started chatting to a couple of other mums. One mum was suggesting we form a mums football team, for fun and exercise. Now I must be suffering from a severe case of fear of missing out syndrome because I found myself nodding and saying “yes that sounds like a great idea, I’m in”.

Seriously , I have no desire whatsoever to play football, as far as I’m concerned team sports, mud, running, and kicking balls are not fun activities. All that and my earlier resolve not to commit to anything more, yet I still said yes.

I need help people. I need foolproof strategies for saying no. Please leave me your ideas for saying no and help keep me and my family sane.