The Hope in “Nope”


The Hope in "Nope"

Grab your lattes ladies, because we are about to have an adventure together at the intersection of Disappointment Drive and They’ll Get Over It Avenue.

Like you, I am a mother. My duties include, but are not limited to; chauffeur, alarm clock, chef, therapist, dishwasher, laundry folder, housekeeper, plumber, manicurist, social media coordinator, stylist, and greeter… all before 9AM.

There is a reason Starbucks makes millions selling warm bean water… something must keep this ship afloat.

Like most of you, I am also a wife, sister, daughter, friend, colleague, board member, volunteer, and taxpayer. Each opportunity to be such, while wonderful, comes with it’s own set of expectations and exhaustion. Don’t even get me started on also trying to be a goddess and muse. If you’re wondering how that is going… I’m nine months postpartum and still in my maternity jeans. Hey, they are comfortable.

You’re probably reading this right now while trying to juggle thirteen other things, keeping one hand on your phone and the other on the steering wheel of Life’s clown car. I get it. We all do.

And that is why I am here today. I’m here to give you permission to do the thing we never do.


Once a day. Just say “no” to one thing a day and I promise it will have a profound impact on your life. This sounds so simple to execute, and yet so many of us find ourselves saying “yes” to everything and everyone, putting ourselves last. We have taken a back seat in our own lives, and I’m here to tell you… it’s time to take the wheel, sister. And that starts with saying “no.”

I started applying this in my own life and the results were instantaneous and amazing. The fear of disappointment, rejection, hurting someone’s feelings? It was some monster I’d created. I promise you can tell people “no” and you won’t get voted off the island.

Need some inspiration? Here’s a few “NOPES” I’ve used that have worked out exceptionally well.

• That “thirty minute” coffee date with an acquaintance that turns into an hour, and forty minute drive time? NOPE. I’m going to say “maybe another time” and spend those two hours doing something for myself.

• That event I was asked to help with after I’ve helped with every other activity the last three years? NOPE. There will always be another opportunity to get involved. See you next month.

• Checking my email as soon as you open your eyes in the morning? NOPE. Not this morning. This morning I’m going to leave my phone on the table and go enjoy coffee with my husband instead of starting the day frantically worried about the office.

• That daily phone call I get from someone complaining about their day? NOPE. Today I’m going to spend that extra ten minutes in my car listening to my favorite song or podcast. Or maybe just drive in silence. Magical.

• That networking event I could attend when I’ve already had two this week? NOPE. This afternoon I’m going to head home, or go for a walk, or go just have some quiet time.

SEE HOW EASY IT IS? Saying “No” allowed me to say “Yes” to what I really needed.

Our fear of saying “no” to people is coming at the cost of our own happiness.

Ladies, you have permission not to do every single thing that is asked of you, every single second it’s asked. There is power in “No”, and the freedom that it brings.

Please share your favorite “no” moments below. If you don’t feel like it… Just say “NOPE!”

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Charleston native Whitney Williams McDuff has devoted her life to being the best daughter, sister, friend, wife, coworker, leader, and now mother she can be. She graduated from USC with a double degree in Public Relations and Psychology, partially because she’s fascinated by the nature of people, and partially because it set her free from the claws of a monstrous statistics course that she was eager to avoid. (Hey, sometimes the truth isn’t always pretty). Her career spans across the world of sales, marketing, and public relations, thriving in a realm where building relationships was the key to the contentment kingdom. Her passions include writing, reading, painting, her piano and guitar, interesting conversation, film, her pug Bee, and a great glass wine. Ok, glasses. She and her husband Jimmy are expecting their first child, Baby Holbrook, this summer, so wine bottles have been left on the shelf for now. Her blog, No Wine for Nine, began when Whitney became fed up with the pressure to be flawless and knew that laughter and sharing her stories with her girlfriends was essential to making it through this thing called Motherhood.  Her hope is that her blog is a cherished place for any woman who longs for an escape from the stress of perfection, because she believes that true magic lies in the imperfections and hilarity of everyday life. Still trying to navigate Babies R’ Us. Biggest fears include spiders and mis-posting on a mom-swap site.