No, I’m sorry, I just can’t. I already do all the things.
I had a conversation not that long ago with someone I care for who asked me to do something. It hurt, it was uncomfortable, but I had to say no. No, I’m sorry, I just can’t. I just can’t do any more right now.
Have you ever been in that place? That place where you really want to help, you really want to participate, but you just can’t? You appreciate being asked (sort of) and you see it as the compliment that it is, but there’s no room. There’s no room for more things.
Because I already do all the things.
I do all the school things because parents need to be involved with their kid’s school work, grades, projects, and teachers.
I do all the extra-curricular things because kids need to get out more, to join teams or groups, and to grow their skills.
I do all the work things because we need to, you know, buy stuff.
I do all the church things because we need to be a community of faith that works and grows and serves together.
I do the cleaning things, the laundry things, the grocery shopping things and the diaper changing things—because we need to wear clothes, eat, and do those things in a healthy environment.
I do the doctor visit things because kids are always snotty. The dentist visit things because they insist on using their teeth.
I do the birthday party things, the friend’s birthday party things and the family birthday party things.
I do the boo-boo kissing things, the nightmare soothing things and the lullaby things.
The calendar, the planning, the scheduling. The encouraging, the soothing, the disciplining. The playing, the pretending, the story reading. I do all those things, too.
All. The. Things.
So, I just can’t. I’m sorry.
I need to focus on the things I am doing. I need to love my husband well. I need to be there when my kids want to talk. I need to fulfill commitments I have already made. I need to be available to friends who need to connect, and to study God’s word and make sure I’m living it out. I need to make certain my house is a place my family wants to come home to.
I need to do the things I do, the best that I can, without adding more.
But please know, I will cheer you on from the sidelines. I will listen to your ideas for growth, I will admire your passion, and I will encourage your excitement. I will pray for your project and listen sympathetically when things don’t go as expected. I will share with pride the things you are doing and I will lend a last-minute hand when you’re desperate.
But the rest? The time needed to fully commit as a true, ground floor, behind-the-scenes helper?
Please understand—I just can’t. I’m sorry. I already do all the things. I just can’t do any more right now.