Just Say No…Well, Maybe.

katie6monthsThis post has two parts to it. First part, I thought I’d give you a little update on Henrik. He turned the big six months this past week and I just can’t believe it! We have his well-child visit this week, so I don’t have official stats for you, but my unofficial stats put him around 28.5” and 17-ish pounds. Tall and skinny to say the least! He is more and more fun as each day passes and is such an incredibly happy baby. I keep telling my husband that our next baby is bound to be a nightmare because I think we used up all our luck in that department with this little boy.

Anyway, onto the subject that has been weighing heavily on me this week – saying no to things. Pre-baby, I rarely said no to a social engagement and scoffed at those with kids when they turned down invitations because it had been a busy week. One of the many things I am eating my words on now.

While on maternity leave, and for the first couple of months that I was back to work, I still rarely said no to any sort of invitation and happily drug Henrik along if needed, no matter how disruptive to his schedule it was. In fact, I didn’t really have him on a schedule. I’ve never really been a set schedule type of person, and I guess I didn’t realize how much harder it made our lives.

The weeks went on with me still trying to do it all – getting home later than I intended from work, going out to eat with the baby on the weekends, dragging him to the mall all day on Sunday. Then Henrik, who had been a champion sleeper, stopped sleeping as well around 4.5 months. I think there were several things at play here – the four-month sleep regression as well as a double ear infection were the tip of the iceberg. A few weeks later, the holidays hit and we were getting up with him four to five times a night and my sanity was wearing very, very thin.

Finally, something clicked in my head and I realized I did not HAVE to continue to try to do it all. Telling people no because I want to have time with my baby during the week or because it is not the best time to mess with his schedule  is not only OK, it’s my job as a parent to do so.

However, I’m struggling with the guilt of saying no – on both a personal and professional level. I am still not completely comfortable saying no when I know we need to. But it’s been a few weeks since I implemented my self-imposed scale back of time commitments and I am starting to get more comfortable.  I think I am still too apologetic and second guess myself a little too much, but keeping Henrik happy and healthy – and making sure I stay sane – is a pretty good motivator to find a little more balance.

How do you find balance between work, home and social life? Do you ever feel guilty for saying no?

Katie Ripke
Katie is a mama of two rambunctious, sweet, cuddly and highly energetic boys. Growing up in Mount Vernon, Iowa, she briefly left the area to attend college at the University of Northern Iowa, had a brief stint living in Chicago before settling down in Lisbon with her husband Bryan. Katie has been in the marketing field for over 10 years and is currently a marketing manager for an area health care organization. When she is not balancing life as a working mom, Katie enjoys binging on Netflix/Hulu, learning about all things boy and squeezing in a workout from time to time. Her current addictions include coffee, LaCroix, and cookies.



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