If you were to ask my kids what their No. 1 complaint about Mom is, I’m willing to bet they’d say I use the word “no” a lot. To be fair, I generally utter it on repeat every day because my kids want to do some pretty insane stuff, like sword fight with butter knives or climb the tallest tree all in our yard all the way to the top. You get the idea. So when I caught wind of a mom who recently said “yes” to everything her kid asked for for 30 minutes straight, you could say I was a little … intrigued.
The mom in question is Amy Betters-Midtvedt, author of the blog Hiding in the Closet with Coffee, who recently raised eyebrows on Facebook when she shared an image of her kiddo at Target, along with a story about what inspired her to participate in a “Yes Day.” (Or at least, some version of it.)
If you don’t know what a Yes Day is, you can thank the amazing celeb mama of three, Jennifer Garner, for the concept. She recently decided to go a full day without saying the word “no” to her kids, and by the end of it, with all the requests from her children, she was understandably exhausted.
Even after seeing Garner’s exhausted photo go viral, Betters-Midtvedt was brave enough to give this a whirl herself — with a few adjustments. Her Yes Day would be more like a Yes Half-Hour, she decided. (Which honestly sounds way more reasonable to me.)
“I loved the idea of being able to just say yes,” Betters-Midtvedt tells Babble. “So often I have to say no because of life … no time, no money … and other times I find myself saying no too much, which was the case with our youngest.”
I can definitely relate on that one.
“I thought about saying ‘yes’ for a whole day and couldn’t fathom how to pull it off in our current state of jobs, school, and outside activities,” she admits. “A half-hour … that I could do. Saying yes is such an empowering thing that helps kids feel valued and heard and like their ideas matter. That they have a say in what the family is about.”
So she gathered up all her energy, some money, and her adorable son Sam, and the pair headed out for some afternoon shopping where Betters-Midtvedt found herself saying yes … a LOT.
As she shared in her Facebook post, her shopping cart wound up getting filled pretty quickly:
“Yes to mummy hot dogs. Yes to two kinds of Doritos. Yes to Halloween themed mini soda cans. Yes to the army guy Halloween costume. Yes to the french toast bagels. Yes to the strawberry cream cheese. Yes to those annoying string spider webs that will never come out of my bushes. Yes to him … my boy.”
Needless to say, her son was a BIG fan of the whole thing.
“So far I have only had a yes half-hour with Sam, but his Yes Day was a win for his siblings,” Betters-Midtvedt shares. “They loved the weird dinner he picked out for everyone (when does Mom buy not one but two kinds of Doritos for dinner?? NEVER!) and they loved the new decorations he picked out. Sam walked around the store like he was 10 feet tall, getting some time to be the one who got to make the decisions was very empowering and also adorable to watch. I loved seeing his confidence in his choices.”
She tells Babble that while she will absolutely do this again and for each of her five kids, making them aware of the importance of sticking to a budget will also be a part of the conversation, just as it was with Sam.
And on the upside, Betters-Midtvedt doesn’t think all of their “Yes Days” will necessarily lead them to buying up everything in Target.
“I think at least one of my kids would pick to walk around in nature for 30 minutes just looking at creatures,” she says. “It’ll be fun to see what they choose.”
Honestly, I’m taking notes over here. I think my kids would love this concept too, and what mom doesn’t want to score some points in the Awesome Mom department once in a while?