My Rule for Life

© photo by Kaponia Aliaksei for canva

I have only been a parent for five years, but I found my very favorite rule for living during that time. This rule is a guide for my entire life, and it’s appropriate for my roles as wife, mother, and teacher. It helps guide the decisions I make daily, and as a result, it helps me make sure I am cultivating a life filled with joy. Subsequently, I believe this rule helps me to be a more “fun” mom, and it has also relieved a lot of the pressure of motherhood.

My rule for living is…

If it doesn’t matter in five years, it doesn’t matter. 

Go back and read it again. Let those words sink in.

I adopted this rule when my oldest son was two. He’s always been an early riser, and by 8 am, he’s typically eaten a “first breakfast” and is on to “second” breakfast. On this particular morning, he was rummaging through the freezer, hunting for his next meal. He held up a popsicle and brought it over to me saying, “ocle, mama, PEAZ!” (translation: “popsicle, mama, please!”)

Because it was 8 am, and the rules of society indicate that popsicles are typically enjoyed in the afternoon, my first instinct was to say “no.” But then I wondered, why couldn’t he have the popsicle? It was a 100% fruit juice bar. How was this any different than drinking a juice box? And really, did it matter what time he enjoyed a popsicle?

The answer: no, it doesn’t really matter.

Saying “yes” to that 8 am popsicle brought my son a lot of joy, and saying “yes” didn’t affect ANYTHING  about his long-term future. It wouldn’t change if he got into college, and it wouldn’t change his performance on the ACT. It wasn’t going to matter in five years, so it didn’t matter. 

As mothers, we make decisions

Some decisions are big, and some decisions are small. Some decisions can have long-term repercussions, but others, in the scheme of things, really don’t matter. I’ve surprised myself at some of the things I’ve said “yes” to over the years, and I’ve had many family members tell me I’m a lot more relaxed of a mother than they thought I would be.

Life is so very short, and it can be rejuvenating to give your kid a “yes” to something that may typically be a “no.” 

// RELATED CONTENT: Say Yes To Your Kids //

Wear your pajamas to play outside? Sure – it doesn’t matter. 

Dessert before dinner? I’ll allow it tonight!

The next time your child comes up to you and asks for a popsicle in the early morning hours, ask yourself, “is this going to matter in 5 years?” 

And if it doesn’t, save yourself some trouble mama, and make it an easy yes. 


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