As parents, there's one little word that we say so many times every day.
"No, you can't have ice cream before dinner."
"No, we can't go for a bike ride right now."
"No, Mama doesn't have time to play."
There are so many reasons why we have to say "no" to our children. Sometimes, what they want is dangerous, but other times, it just doesn't fit into our tight schedules. We have work and carpools and laundry to do and meals to prep and sometimes, there's just not a lot of room for spontaneity and yeses.
But what if we had one day a year—just one—where we got to say "no" to our routine and "yes" to everything our kids wanted?
This is a thing. It's called a "Yes Day" and it's become an annual tradition in Jennifer Garner's house.
This week Garner and her three kids, 6-year-old Samuel, 9-year-old Seraphina and 12-year-old Violet celebrated their sixth annual "Yes Day", and judging by Garner's Instagram posts, it pushed her to her limits (in a good way).
The concept is based on the book Yes Day! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and it is, in Garner's experience, as exhausting as one would expect.
"You'll never need coffee more than the day after 'Yes Day!'" Garner captioned an Instagram pic of last year's "Yes Day". This year, she shared an end-of-day pic to her Instagram Stories, declaring that the day (while obviously tiring) hadn't beaten her.
"Yes Day" is all about breaking the routine, but there is still one rule that applies. The consequences of "Yes Day" must be confined to that day, so if you're child wants to say, book an expensive vacation or buy a pony, those would be off-limits requests. However, if your kiddo wanted to visit a local theme park or visit an equestrian ranch, get ready to ride, Mama.
Adopting the tradition of Yes Day can also help alleviate some of the negativity parents (and kids) might feel on days when it seems like all mama says is "no". When you've got a Yes Day planned and your child asks if he can dye his hair blue on some random Tuesday, parents get to soften their no with, "but remember that for Yes Day."
Jennifer Garner is such a fan of the concept that she's signed on to produce and star in a movie called Yes Day, and we can't wait to see what her art imitating her life on the big screen, where it will no doubt inspire more parents to remove the word "no" from their own vocabulary for 24 hours.
It's an amazing tradition that deserves to get more traction, because in a world where we so often have to say no (sometimes for our kids' own good) it's so nice to have one day where we get to say yes to making memories and no to routine responsibilities.