22 Oct 2011

Flawless Saturday Question

14 Comments Flawless Saturday Question

Do you keep your promises?

One thing that always gave me great security growing up was the fact that my parents never broke a promise to me. Seriously. Never. If they used the word “promise”, it held great weight.

Russ and I are raising G the same way. If we make a promise we keep it. If we’re not sure we can deliver, we don’t promise. We say, “We’ll see”, or “Maybe”. But a promise is a guarantee.

I realized, however, that I promise things to other people that I don’t always stick to. It’s not purposeful. As a matter of fact, I always think I’m going to do what I say I’m going to do… But I don’t always. So I’m trying a couple of things when it comes to the promises I make outside of my family:

A. Promise only when it’s something I know for a fact I’m going to follow through on, just like I do with my son.

B. Make fewer promises

I promised a teacher at G’s school that I would try her family’s new restaurant a couple of months ago. I meant it, but I never followed through. When I saw her the other day, I told her again that we would be coming by. Tonight, we did. I felt good about it because I kept my word. Our kids see everything. And even though G didn’t know I made that promise, he does know that we supported a friend of ours.

Several months ago, we visited an amazing animal sanctuary and I promised (I PROMISED) I would help the woman who runs the place raise some money by having a charity event. I don’t even know where it came from, but I was so overwhelmed by the work she does… I just wanted to help. I absolutely have to keep that promise, and I will. And I feel like I have to do it soon.

But I need to think before blurting out a promise. I need to make sure it’s something I can follow through on, or I need to make it clear that I’m going to try to do my best.

So, do you keep your promises? How much does it matter when people keep their promises to you?

written by
Lisa Arch likes being a working actress... but LOVES being a Mom!

14 Responses to “Flawless Saturday Question”

  1. Reply Michelle says:

    Yes, I keep my promises! And, it means everything to me that promises made are kept. If not, it is lying. I also say what I mean, and mean what I say. No hidden meanings, beating around the bush, or reading between the lines with me.

    That being said, recenlty I have learned to say, “No.” when asked to do something if I cannot or do not want to do it. I was raised to believe that volunteering was very important (don’t know how I learned this since my grandmother was the only one who actually DID volunteer) so I never turned anyone down. Needless to say, I was soon overwhelmed with life and my volunteer duties. So, at the end of last spring, I bowed out of all of my volunteer duties. If someone asked, I said, “No.” I put one off until school started because it was something that (1) I would have time to do and (2) I wanted to do and, I am not doing it. I volunteer in my kindergartener’s classroom (doing whatever the teacher asks) once a week. That is all that I do. I am still saying, “No.” I do it politely, but I still say it. And, I FEEL GREAT about saying it.

    I half-jokingly talk about starting Volunteers Anonymous for those of us who have a hard time saying no.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Michelle, I learned to start saying “no” a few years ago, and I agree that it is an incredibly freeing lesson to learn. And yes, because of that, I am freer to keep promises to those I really want to keep them for. I used to feel so overwhelmed all the time. My husband finally told me I say yes way too much, to everyone who needs anything. So I stopped. Now my goal is to really think before I commit. Then it feels even BETTER when I fulfill my commitments. Hooray!

  2. Reply Carla says:

    I used to have a hard time saying no too…I was running myself into the ground by trying to be all things to all people. I finally just started limiting myself to what I feel comfortable comitting to. I have been the primary house/ petsitter for my sis in law, even taking the cats to the vet for her for many years. Now with my work schedule, if I can I do, and if not, she gets someone else. She gets it…and its cool. It feels GREAT to say no every now and agin…and it does no harm…people understand!

  3. Reply Melisa says:

    Jim and I have the same exact philosophy about promises and our kids (or anything, for that matter). We also believe that if you say you’re going to do something that involves a negative consequence, it’s important to follow that as well. (I bet you do too: this is sort of a different tangent) So many people tell their kids that they’ll be grounded for X days if they don’t do whatever, and then don’t follow through, and then they wonder why their kids don’t behave. Ack, don’t get me started.

    But YES, I am the same way on “We’ll see” and “maybe” being different from a hard core promise.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Melisa, I am telling you it’s the EXACT same thing! If we say ANYTHING to G-Man, good or bad, we follow through. It’s so, so important. Empty threats are equally as bad as empty promises. They create disrespect and a huge last of trust. We rule! (heh)

  4. Reply Norma Lamothe says:

    I have a real hard time keeping promises. I always have especially when the boys were little. I have promised to make 40 crochet Christmas stockings for the center that Craig goes to. I have 3 1/2 to go. That promise will be kept. I don’t really talk to anyone except family. Out side the family it is “hi how are you” There is no promises there. I really don’t have people promiseing me anything. I like what you said about it is important to keep promises to teach your son. I wish I had some of this advice when I was raising my sons.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Yeah, Norma. It’s definitely a lesson I was pleased to learn from my folks. I’m grateful for that. Nice work on the Christmas stockings!

  5. Reply Patty at A Day in My NYC says:

    I’ve always been very careful with promises making only the ones I can keep. And yes I do make less promises. It just makes keeping them much easier!

  6. Reply tracey - justanothermommy says:

    Yeah, the word “promise” is pretty sacred. I rarely use it. I often say, “I’d love to help” or “we’ll try to do such and such” instead of promising until I KNOW that I can follow through.

  7. Reply Myranda says:

    I will not make a promise that I am not 100% confident I can follow through on. Things come up unexpectedly and if it’s something that is not on a time restraint I let whoever I promised know that while I may not be able to do it right then, I still intend to keep my promise. I approach promises the same way I approach credit cards. Why spend money that you don’t have…why make promises you know you can’t keep!

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Yes, Myranda!!!! Wow, I love that you equated it with money. I’ve always been that way with credit cards (well, since I paid off my debt in my mid-20’s), and that’s such a perfect analogy. Same principle. Love it!

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