Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Replacing "I Can't" with "I Can"

"Mommy, will you build a castle tower with me?" asked my little three-year old buddy.

"I can't right now," I was about to say, but I stopped myself. Why couldn't I? What was I about to do? Putz around the house and look for stuff to pick up? Load dishes into the dishwasher? Throw laundry in the wash? Important tasks, yes, when it comes to keeping our home running smoothly, but so important that I couldn't sit on the floor and build a castle tower with my son?  

On the heels of my friend's post about playing with our kids, I resolved to say, "I can't" less and "I can" more.

We sat on the floor with the instruction booklet, and we built the castle out of blocks. It really didn't take that long (maybe 15 minutes), and it was actually quite fun. The laundry didn't mind waiting. My son treasured his little castle that he built with Mom (until baby sister crawled over and knocked it down).

Yesterday, after the boys woke their baby sister up from her nap too soon, I was rather frustrated. "Will you read me this story, Mommy?" one asked. Feeling a little grouchy, I was about to respond, "I can't right now; let's go downstairs." But I stopped myself and tried the "I can" challenge.

We all curled up on the bed with pillows piled all around, cuddled up together, laid with heads touching and read Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?

I realized then that it will be the "I can" moments that reward us with the sweetest memories of motherhood. We can so easily miss out on them with two seemingly simple words, "I can't." Yet, they'll rob us of the joy we could experience in everyday moments at home if we resolved to say "I can" more often.

"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13).

Sharing with:
We are That Family
Women Living Well
Raising Homemakers


  1. Great encouragement. Yes, I am learning when we say "I can" it makes everyone happy bc all the housework can wait. :)

  2. I love what you highlight here, "it will be the "I can" moments that reward us with the sweetest memories of motherhood." This is such a true and wise statement! very encouraging! Way to go, momma! Looking forward to visitint again Monday. Happy Easter!

  3. We, you are right...we can! And we should, and we ought to give our children US! :) This is especially difficult for me at times because now Evan is an only child (since our son passed), and he isn't used to that. And since we homeschool, he is with me all day (love it)! But there are times in my selfishness that I don't want to go play hide and seek or play with cars etc. I stop and tell myself sometimes (and it needs to be more often) YES I CAN! :o) Thank you for this post! You are a gem of a blessing!

  4. Hi Nicole, thanks for commenting. I think this was a big growth revelation for me this week :) My housework waited all weekend, and first thing Monday morning, I think I have to tell it "I can" (and try to involve the kiddos too!).;) But yes, generally, you're right. Taking those little breaks to show them they're most important to us makes all the difference.
    Theresa, great to see you this week! Hope you had a great Easter. Talk soon!
    Thanks Shannon for the kind words of encouragement! :)