Moms, Step and Play with Your Kids| How To Say Yes To More Playtime

Are you a working mom who is kicking ass and taking names at work?

And you are giving your all to make time for your family but you struggle with work life balance?

We all know this is not a perfect balance, but we are all doing our best.

I have just completed reading Shonda Rhimes’ Year of YesOne of the ideas that resonate with me is that of saying  ‘yes’ to our children.

Saying ‘yes’ to our children when they want to play and be with us is easier than we think. Okay not all the time, I am a realist too.

Shonda states that when she plays with her kids, they can only play with her for about 15 minutes before they want to move on.

Do you have 15 minutes? She asks.

[bctt tweet=”Say ‘Yes’ to your children when they ask to play with you, 15 min is doable” username=””]

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We are out there being awesome at work.

Are you kicking ass and taking names at work?

Saying ‘yes’ to your mentors, sponsors and to those stretch assignments?

Are you putting up with a horrible boss at work?

Let’s also say ‘yes’ to our children and ourselves.

This is how it plays out mamas, admit it:

  • Mommy, please play with me outside-  Not now angel, I need to do the dishes. Just say ‘yes’.


  • There is a moms’ tea at my daughter’s playschool. Should I go? Gosh my diary is a nightmare…. – Just say ‘yes’ to the moms’ tea at least sometimes. We know how we can never make the moms’ tea because its smack bang in the middle of the work. But let’s just say ‘yes’ once.

[bctt tweet=”Just ‘say yes’ to playing with your kids. It will mean the world to them and you.” username=”cherralle_”]



What are some steps you can take to say ‘Yes’ to yourself and your children?

1. Weekends.

Spend time focusing on yourself and your family on weekends. Always aim to close off what you need to do on a Friday.

Then get on the floor and just play with your children.

2. When you leave work, really leave.

Okay, this is  personal, as each person needs to find their way of working. Some people, leave work earlier and then catch up in the evening after the kids are down.

Only you can hold yourself accountable for the focus you are giving. Reach out to a mentor if you are struggling, see next point. I wrote a post on this topic, Dear Working Mother, Here is How To Leave Work On Time.

3. Have a mentor who is a working mother.

We all need to have multiple mentors. Have at least one working mom that you can learn from in your personal ‘board of directors’. The challenges and guilt that you face as a working mom are unique. You will have someone you can be open with about your unique life.

4. The Sunday.

This use to be my own issue I created for myself. Working on Sundays, to ‘prepare’ for Monday.

I stopped that  as I decided to take back my Sunday evenings to read, watch a movie, spend time with my husband, whatever. That has helped me to say ‘yes’ to myself on a Sunday evening.

[bctt tweet=”I stopped working on Sundays to ‘prepare’ for Mondays because it just made me unhappy on a Sunday night. Take back your Sunday!” username=”cherralle”]

Let’s say yes to being more present

Let’s say ‘yes’ to spending time with our children, being present, they are only this little once.

In my daughters’ eyes (who is three years old) I am a ROCK STAR!! I am her ROCK STAR and I will work on saying ‘yes’ more to her (when she is not driving me nuts).

In which ways can you create more time for play?

Further Reading:

Shonda Rhimes Year of Yes: 5 Key Lessons (and why you need this book in your life)

Do I Still Need To Lean In When I Am Just So Tired?


Shonda Rhimes Year Of Yes: 5 Key Lessons (and why you need this book in your life)

Shonda Rhimes is a power house. Creator of Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder.

In  Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes gives an intimate account of how she said yes to things that scared her for one year. The book is a full account of her one year journey and is now one of my favourite books for women.

It was hard to get stuck into the book at first. I found the book a bit too ‘informal,’ ‘chatty’ and the pace felt slow. However I soldiered on, and I am so glad I did.

By the second to third chapter, I realised two things:

1) She is speaking to me (the reader) as if we are girlfriends and just chatting. In the book she wants to connect on a personal level
2) The writing style in her book is reflective of how she writes her scripts. Fast paced monologues anyone?

Related Post: 7 Things a Working Mother Wants To Tell her Boss

I was getting very excited. I could  see where her main TV characters came from: Olivia Pope, Meredith Grey, Christina Yang, etc.

It was as if Olivia Pope was there, permeating through the pages. It was truly magnificent to discover the inside workings of this woman’s mind.

Shonda Rhimes Year of Yes: Here are 5 Key Lessons

shonda rhimes year of yes

Say yes to your voice, you  may just inspire

The first yes that Shonda describes was saying yes to a Graduation Speech at Dartmouth, the university which she attended. Although scared out of her mind, she ends up delivering an epic speech! By the way, one of the things she  told the students is that they need to get rid of the dream and start doing.

 “I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, engaged, powerful people, are busy doing,” she said.

Related Post: 10 Things A Working Mother Needs to Survive

Working motherhood – we don’t need to pretend we got it all together

Shonda discovered that often people are not open about the level of support they have to make this working parent thing work. She states that she has a nanny, who looks after her kids, and would not be able to what she does without her nanny.

The lesson here is that it is important for people to share their stories. Particularly, those who are ‘role models’ so that they do not create unrealistic expectations (albeit unintentionally).

Shonda takes pride in being a working mom and loves the fact that her daughters are proud of her.

I want my daughters to see me and know me as a woman who works. I want that example set for them. I like how proud they are when they come to my offices and know that they come to Shondaland”, she said.

Related Post: Moms, Step Up and Play With your Kids: Why Play is Important

Say Yes To Play Time

Shonda committed to saying yes when her kids asked her to play. In one example, she was on her way out to a dinner function one evening. However, her children asked her to play just as she was heading for the door. She said yes anyway, knowing she would be late for the function.

What difference does it make being 15 minutes to a function, when that 15 minutes will mean the world to her kids? She also realised that when she sits down and plays with her children, they can only  play together for about 15 minutes before they want to move on,  and that is cool.

We can all manage the 15 minutes, can’t we? Shonda encourages 15 minutes of play time a day. Play time could be with your kids, or  could be 15 minutes dedicated to doing something that relaxes you.

[bctt tweet=”Play time could be with your kids, or  could be 15 minutes doing something that relaxes you” username=”cherralle_”]

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Say Yes to looking after yourself

Shonda advocates saying ‘yes to replenishing your well’.  For one thing, she recommends disconnecting from work, especially on weekends to explore other sides to ourselves. As a rule, she started focusing on being home for dinner, disconnecting by 19h00 in the evening. Actually the world will not end if she does not take those calls. There will be emergencies, but these are few and far between.

She also admits to getting it wrong as often as she gets it right, don’t we all?

Be the badass that you are and own it

Shonda created a word. Yes, she did, she is completely within her rights to create a word. Badassery. Defined in her book as follows: 1) “the practice of knowing one’s own accomplishments and gifts, accepting one’s own accomplishments and gifts, and celebrating one’s own accomplishments and gifts; (2) the practice of living life with swagger.” 

Accept compliments, say thank you and move on.

[bctt tweet=”Shonda created a word. Yes, she did, she is completely within her rights to create a word. ‘Badassery’.” username=”cherralle_”]

Year of Yes is not about agreeing to everything, its about pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Do something different you may just surprise yourself.

Be a good friend and share this post with a friend who might love this book!!

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Bye Bye Mom Guilt – Why You Should Feel Proud Of Being a Working Mom




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