Special Needs Mom: Learn to Say No! - Create Your Own Sunshine

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Special Needs Mom: Learn to Say No!

Moms of children with special needs must have a strong No! muscle. We need to focus on ourselves, our children and family. It will help us advocate for our children.

I am by nature (or family training) a people pleaser. Over the years I have learned to put up strong boundaries by applying personal filters.

In today’s world it is easy to get information overload. I have used this same technique to narrow down and ask the hard questions before signing up my time and energy for anything.



Who’s responsibility is it?

When someone asks for your time or energy take a few minutes to think about how one more commitment would fit into your life. Don’t be on auto-pilot and just say yes.  


Ask a lot of questions:

1. Date and time of event

2. How long will the event be?

3. Is this one time or an ongoing commitment?

4. Are there special requirements that I need to be aware of?


Take the time and really ask yourself if you able to add one more thing to your day.

My number one No! filter is regarding anything that appears chaotic or unorganized. It’s an instant No! I come home extra tired and cranky from these types of events. My mood than affects the environment in my home and the rest of the family.

Remember, Sunshine, you are not responsible for saving the world. Promise, ok?



How do you say No! politely?


I have gathered a lot of excuses over the years in my attempt to “be nice” and not hurt other’s feelings. I hated seeing the disappointment in their eyes. I didn’t want them to think bad about me. It is difficult to say No when you are the Caregiver and People Pleaser of your family/ friend circle. It took me many years to strengthen that “No” muscle. Now days I am more no nonsense. I will say, ” No, I am not able to commit to … (whatever).” If I want to and am able I might add, “I can do (fill in the blank).


To my surprise most people might be disappointed at first but they quickly find someone else that can help them accomplish their goal. And the few that could not move on and insisted that I needed to help them? Yes, there were a few like that. It quickly put a new light on our relationship. It took some time but I learned how to put up better, healthier boundaries with these people.

Tip: If you have been a “Yes” person, when you first start saying No, it will surprise some people. You have always been their go-to person. Some might challenge you. Hang strong to your “No” answer. Over time it will get easier for you to say and for them to hear it.
It will take time to strengthen that “No” muscle.



In the meantime I have provided some healthy language models to get the conversation started.

First part of the sentence (pick one):

1. Thanks for thinking of me
2. I really appreciate you asking me
3. I wish I could
4. Thank you for the invite

Add this word to the sentence: however

Second part of the sentence (pick one):

1. my time is booked
2. I am already scheduled
3. I have another commitment
4. I have been feeling tired and maybe even getting sick
5. I have been extra busy (fill in the blank with examples if you wish: with a stressful project at work, helping my mom move out of her house, with another volunteer project, etc )

Add this word to the sentence (if needed): and

Third part of the sentence (pick one):

1. it’s just not going to work for me.
2. during that time.

If you would like, tell them what you can do for them.

Two “No-No’s” in my book:

Don’t say —

1. “Let me think about it, and I’ll get back to you.”
For starters you just prolonged saying “No” and therefore wasting both yours and their time. It’s one thing if you need time to think about it or check your calendar, it’s another thing if you are using this because you don’t want to use your voice and stand up for yourself.

2. “Let me recommend someone who may be able to help you.”
This can be a tricky situation. I prefer to contact the person first before recommending them to others. I believe it respects all parties involved and keeps your relationships on a good note.

Sunshine, do the next, right, honest thing. Keep it simple.

Remember, you need to take care of yourself and your family.

Looking back, I realized that somewhere along the way, I started thinking that I needed to do it all.

You don’t Sunshine, just remember that!

This week, start becoming aware of when people ask for your help. Take a breath before giving that instant Yes! What is the real answer?

What is one thing that you need to say No! to this week?


From deep in the heart of Texas,







Interested in bonus material??

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Bonus material for this blog post includes:


  • Learn To Say No! Worksheet

  • How To Say No! Politely Worksheet



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About The Author

Jamie Turner

Jamie Turner helps moms of kids with special needs tackle their self care + take care of their families. Her goal is to have a good belly laugh at least once every single day. She retired her Super Mama Hero Cape in 2017. She now lives by grace not perfection. Don’t worry you can too. Promise, the world will not fall apart, ok?

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