Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Paging Dr. Mom with Julie La Barba, MD, FAAP

Sep 22, 2022

Stop saying yes to things you really don’t want to do, to make time for the ones that really matter.

AKA: How to say “No!”

ARRIVAL FALLACY: Is this all there is?

When will the tasks/to do list ever end? They won’t.


Figure out your priorities based on your values…your calendar should directly reflect this.

What does it look like to be a good enough wife, mom, doctor, friend?

How can we stop saying yes to what we think we SHOULD do based on others expectations and choose to prioritize what’s truly the most imp to us.

Have to really look downstream to figure out exactly what we want in 5 years, 10 years, etc. THE BIG STUFF

What is urgent and what is important. Urgent often steals the white space from Important, but if we don’t know what important is, it’s hard to protect that time.

Why Women Have a Hard Time Saying No

Women often play to get along, whereas men often play to win.

Kathryn J Lively Ph.D.

What’s So Hard About Saying No?

Most women have a difficult time saying no, especially if they think someone’s feelings may be at stake or if they think they’ll not be liked. Despite what most women think, this is not some immutable gene or biological defect.

Rather, it’s actually a socially learned coping mechanism that can, with a little time and attention, be unlearned.

As young children, girls are socialized to be nice and to be more in touch with their own and other people’s feelings than are boys. There’s nothing wrong with being nice. And there is definitely nothing wrong with being liked. Boys, on the other hand, are socialized to be less attuned to people’s feelings, and to win.

What this means is that when girls and boys and women and men start playing together – and for some, dating is a game – women are at a slight disadvantage. They want to play nice, whereas guys just want to win.

As we said, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to not hurt anyone’s feelings as a general rule, but there is something wrong when girls, and women, learn to subject their own needs to the point that they are taken advantage or they end up doing things they don’t want to do.

"Over the years I’ve worked with talented women from all fields. Lawyers, doctors, office managers, engineers, you name it. But one thing that even the smartest and most hard-working women have in common, is that they don’t know how to say “No.”

Lacking the skills of resistance can be costly, leading you to take on unreasonable workloads. You don’t want to be stuck in the office at 9 p.m. on a Friday night while your friends are out having fun, all because you didn’t know how to say no."

Dr. Phyllis Mindell, Ed.D.

5 situations you’re going to face this year and how to gracefully decline, aka say NO!  Alternatively, Offer other options and offer a solution

School volunteer ask-

standing weekly or monthly commitment:

“I’m actually on a red light status right now I’m not taking on any new projects on a regular basis.”


If Huge job like fundraising chair or PTO PRESIDENT:

“I know this sounds crazy but I am the President of the Smith committee (insert last name) and I really have my hands full with my own family right now”

Then ask if there’s a one and done opportunity instead:

ex. Pumpkin patch monitor at the carnival, or serve booster club by monitoring concessions during a certain game


Someone asks you In the hallway/elevator - your name came up for Work volunteer commitment: ex. Lead committee on workplace professionalism

“It sounds interesting! Is there anyway you can email me the time commitment commitment and responsibilities and I can get back to you?”

If you know the answer is a hard pass:

“I so wish I could take that on but right now I would need to clone myself for that to be possible!  I cannot take that on right now, but thank you for thinking of me.”


Title raise but no salary increase with increased workload: ex. Asst. Department Head with increased caseload but no change in pay/benefits

“I’m so honored you have this confidence in my abilities. Can you tell me more and may I sleep on it and get back to you?”


“I just committed this week to —— (activity)until ———(time) but I would love to consider in the future.”


Extended family obligation- ex. tradition you’ve taken on for years but have outgrown or need to hand off: Always hosted Christmas, cooked the turkey for

Thanksgiving or maybe host 4th of July with all the cousins, but your kids are older now or you have been invited to be a guest elsewhere

“Hey I know I traditionally hosted this holiday but would I be able to take over this other family gathering instead and hand it off to someone else this year?”

Give options and offer a solution


Social ask: luncheons, girls trips, sponsorships, fundraisers…the list goes on…

“Thank you so much for asking me - it sounds lovely & I am so grateful you guys thought of me! Unfortunately now isn’t a great time.”

“That doesn’t work for me right now but may we set up a walk/lunch/call instead?”