Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm Just A Girl.....

who can't say no....

I'm in a terrible fix.

Okay, this isn't exactly what I mean. I learned how to say no to that many years ago.

but, if you work for yourself and you work from home you probably know what I mean. This has been talked about thousands of times, but I still find it hard to say no to people when I am at home working.

They want my time. They need me.

There is no one else to help them and I want to be there for them. I really do, but I need to work. I have to support myself. What do I do? I feel like I am running through a deep woods.

My life as a baby boomer woman is so much different than my mother's. She has always been taken care of. She never worked outside the home and she never had any financial worries. Now her care taking has fallen on my shoulders. On top of that, I have an older sister who can't drive more than a couple of blocks because she gets confused about where she is. 

So yesterday, after running their errands and realizing I only had two hours until I needed to cook dinner, I decided it was time to set some ground rules. Once I have done the breakfast dishes, made my bed, helped my mom with any immediate concerns, I will be closeting myself in my room to work. It is not okay to disturb me unless it is an emergency. I will reappear at lunch and address any needs that have popped up. After that, I will return to my room to work for the rest of the afternoon.

I will take the time to go out thrifting and attending auctions. I will pay attention to my business.

WHEW!!! That was hard. Saying no is a difficult thing to do, but sometimes you just have to stop


and realize that you are important, too. I think there will be a lot less stress in my life if I do this. I will know that I am taking care of me, too.

and on a business note I have just added an ON SALE section to my ImSoVintage shop. You can find it here.


  1. Good for you! Those of us out here in "internet land" are backing you.

  2. It's so hard when it's your family who needs you. I have learned to say no to outside demands (although, granted, there are fewer of those now that my kids are grown and there's no more PTA, etc.), but I still find it hard to say no to my family. Good for you for setting yourself a "schedule." Best of luck.

  3. You are 100% entitled to your time. Don't feel guilty about it either. I've been self employed for the past 27 years. Part of that time was at a regular office we had and part of it was from our home office. When I'm asked to do something for someone else, I always just work it around my business concerns. Can I be flexible? Yes, but I still always do the "favors" on MY time schedule. It's just gotta be that way. Good for you!

  4. Good for you, Laura. Setting limits with people who depend on you is so hard.
    You are deserving of your own life. Meeting your own needs is neither selfish nor any indication of lack of caring on your part.
    You are a wonderful and loving caregiver, but you absolutely can't lose yourself in the process of caring for others.
    I'm proud of you. :)

  5. That is a big step. A very hard step but if they need you, you need to be in top shape.

    Good luck!

  6. It is so hard to say no to Family! Believe me I understand! Right now my life is on hold as I tend to my Mom here in Texas. I'm glad I can do it but everything else in my life is just waiting. I think your ground rules are more then fair and you must take care of yourself and your business! Good Luck! Big Hugs, Linda

  7. Working at home needs to be scheduled just like working in an office. Post your office hours and try not to deviate. Yes, it's a nice thing to have a more flexible work schedule, but not if you are always flexing and never working. I fully support my work at home friends. You are doing great! Keep up the good work.

  8. Good for you. You DO have to set boundaries or else your time will never be your own. As hard as it is, it's necessary.

    Big fan of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Oklahoma and that song, which I used to sing all the time as a young girl.


  9. I do understand how you feel because after my divorce in 2002 I was self employed even when I was employed at a school and a single full time mom. I help when I can, but just because your self employed doesn't mean you don't have obligations and work to do, some people seem to think that. I had to learn to say no and not worry about explaining why...not easy as you know. :)
    Hope you have a great day!

  10. Good luck! I worked free lance for years so I was the one everyone called for help too. I guess there has to be a few people like us, right? But it does get hard when your needs are not respected. Well-- hope it works out for you!

  11. Good for you! It is always hard to say no & as a result, I've ended up doing/committing to things that I really didn't want to do.

  12. Good for you! I often find it hard to stick to my work-at-home job and get distracted by housework, yard work, phone, friends and errands. Boy, that is not even a list of fun distractions... I like your idea of office hours, am going to give that some serious thought!

  13. I know how hard it can be! I wish I could give you a hug and a pat on the back! You're doing a great job, my friend! What a sweet caring person you are....I'm so glad we're friends!

  14. Oh Laura sounds like this is a great plan. Discipline is key and saying no is just the beginning. Hang in there, or stay in there (your room/office) and get her done!!! I just retook your button. I have had comp issues of late and many things I thought I had accomplished was oh, nowhere on my site. (hug)

  15. oh and ...Ps, I loved those Autumn trees and the way you took them. Great!

  16. Hi Laura ~ just found your blog through Ash Tree Cottage. I know the one smallest word in the English Language "NO" is the hardest ever to say. I have a hard time too. GOOD for YOU that you are going to exercise your right to speak that little word. I was brought up in the world where a little girl NEVER said "NO". It is time that we all exercise this right to say that one little word. Good for you. I am following along to see how you progress. Have a great day.

  17. You have to take care of yourself and your business. Prayers for you!

  18. You have a lot on your plate, my friend. You are a good daughter and sister! I don't blame you for setting some limits. Good for you!


  19. Good for you!! Working from home is still WORK, and hopefully others will respect that, now that you've set some clear boundaries.

  20. Good for you for taking care of yourself. I appreciate you and your blog. Nancy Carr

  21. Laura, I am smiling as I read this, a gentle happy for you smile.

    Good for you, boundaries are important, and so is making a living.

    You are one amazing daughter, and I am sure that your Mom appreciates that. Easy access to the ones we love make it very tempting to be with them all the time. Soon this will be the new routine, and everyone will adjust.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  22. Here Here!! You do have to take a stand like that if you feel that your own life is suffering. If you don't take care of yourself (physically, mentally and financially) you are of no help to anyone else either. Good that you set some rules in place. People that love you will respect you for it.

  23. Laura,
    You should post these rules for yourself, in your work room. They are VERY reasonable, and actually should be helpful to all.
    I am the transportation for my in-laws. Sometimes I feel like I should be available every day for them, but I would grow to resent it, and that would be a bad thing. It is a difficult thing anyway, and a trip is very time consuming. Plus they are unable to listen to me. It is what it us.
    Sometimes it makes me feel bad because I see them much more than my own parents, who, thankfully are much younger and healthier.
    They are truly appreciative, and also, I do it for my husband.
    It's like, now that I am retired, some people assume I do "nothing". Please.

  24. Why is it when we work at home, we are not "working"? God love 'em...but my Bobby G. is the same way. I am called on constantly to leave my desk or whatever I am working on to go do something for him or with him. And I love doing it, but there are times when I just want to say: "can't you see I am working here?". (but I don't) Good for you Laura! And don't feel guilty! xoxox

  25. Bless you, Laura! You seem to be a very giving person and you have needs too! I'm sure you are going to do the best you can in this situation and it will work out for everyone! Have a wonderful weekend! Roxie

  26. This post hits to close to home for me!
    I also need to take time for ME and I rarely
    get to do so I have always worked from home and
    because I multi-task, I am often interrupted.
    You do have to put your foot down every now and then!

    Great post,Laura!

  27. Bravo! A timely and important post for sure. So many of us are in this pinch and we're drowning in our own good deeds. I hope to follow the example you are setting.... just as soon as help everyone who is asking for help and also win the lottery. Soon, I hope!

  28. Hi Laura, anyone who cares for family members is surely destined for sainthood! I would post the new rules on the front of your door, for anyone tempted to knock. Maybe there are duties your sister can assist you with as well. Dishes? It's probably time for a serious family meeting as well, in case you haven't already held one. Taking charge of one's life is never easy, but you've got the power, girlfriend!
    Best of luck!


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