When “Yes” means “No”

As a rule, housewives aren’t allowed to say “no” very often, and even on the rare occasion that we do say “no” it’s usually taken to mean “yes” anyway.

So as a matter of practice, most housewives just don’t ever bother saying “no” to anything.  It’s just how we’re programmed.  It’s much easier  at the time to just go along with things even if it’s not really the best choice for us.  It goes with the role of being selfless and self-sacrificing for the greater good, whatever that happens to be at the time.

Here are a few of my personal favourite times when “Yes” actually means “No”:

Yes  – of course I’ll watch all of your kids for you

Every housewife has done a favour for a friend.  It starts off as a generous measure of goodwill and fellow housewife camaraderie and generally ends up a massive fail.  Your good friend will drop off all 3 kids to join you for the morning while she goes off to “run a few urgent errands”.  It starts off pretty well until you realise that all 3 kids hate your kids and they start a full-blown Ben 1o war in your living room lobbing bits of food and sharp-edged Lego bits at each other.  Not to mention that the friends’ kids are all coughing and sneezing all over your healthy kids and asking for their bums to wiped every 15 minutes.  Before you know it morning has turned into late afternoon and your friend’s mobile phone has been magically uncontactable all afternoon.  Your friend arrives to collect her little darlings just after you’ve served up the third meal of the day to all the kids with a fresh manicure and pedicure and sporting a salon-fresh blowdry.  “No – they were no trouble at all” you catch yourself saying as you politely usher the 3 kids out the door. 

Yes – of course I’ll come into work early and stay late

Working moms make massive sacrifices.  It’s clichéd but it’s so true.  We feel we have to overcompensate because we’re just lucky to have a job. So, we find it so hard to say “no” to our bosses and we genuinely believe that we don’t have much choice anyway.  But the reality is when we say “yes” to our bosses we have to factor in extra work at home from the front end and back-end just to make it all work.  My absolute worst is when I kill myself to get the kids off to school to be at an 8.30am meeting all to find out that by the time I get to work the meeting was cancelled. Not to mention the fact that my suit is on backwards, I’ve forgotten to put my makeup on and the kids’ lunch is in my briefcase and I’ve dropped my computer at the school instead.  Epic disaster of for the sake of saying “yes” when I should’ve said “no”.

Yes –  we can ‘do it’ tonight

Probably one of the biggest sacrifices housewives make is saying “yes” to our partners when our bodies are desperately crying out “no”.  Why do we do it? Because it’s just too hard to resist – and hopefully there’ll be some end-gain in sight – peace in the house and the slight off-chance that by saying “yes” there might be some small win or pay-off later down the track, like a tiny bit of a sleep-in the next morning till at least 7.30am or the potential of having the dishwasher unpacked or the school drop-off taken care of once that week.  A girl can only dream.

Yes – you look amazing in those skinny jeans

Who could possibly have the heart to tell someone that they aren’t carrying any extra weight after having given birth a mere 18 months ago? I for one am not going to be the bearer of that bad news – and that your dear friend can no longer hide behind the “just had a baby” excuse 18 months post-delivery.  Not everyone is blessed with amazing post-labour genes and the reality is that it’s bloody hard for some girls to bounce back to normal and  shed that post-baby blubber, especially after your second kid.  That’s why I’ve stopped at 2 – for now!  As far as I’m concerned, a little white lie to gloss over a little bit too much excess weight never killed anyone.  Just make sure you don’t ask “when’s the baby due” unless the baby’s head is literally emerging.  That would just be tragic!

So – when you catch yourself about to say “no” just make sure you weigh up carefully if the end response is going to be worth it.  In my experience saying “yes” is just much safer, not to mention easier. Unless of course the question is “Do you want fries with that?”  Now that’s a no-brainer.  Of course I don’t want fries with that – just give me a double-burger instead!


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