Our Very Own Yes Day

Please tell me that you have seen the adorable Jennifer Garner Movie Yes Day. We watched it months ago and the kids have been asking for a Yes Day ever since. While the movie is undeniably adorable, the thought of potentially waltzing around town dressed like a Fashionista Barbie had me answering a hard NO whenever the suggestion for our household arose.

"Never say never" I smile to myself when I hear my mom's voice in my head sharing the advice that she received from her mom. It took reading an interview with Jennifer Garner in Vogue to convince me that we shouldn't just consider a Yes Day, we needed a Yes Day. Full disclosure, I have loved Jennifer Garner since she starred as Sydney Bristow in Alias. If her Instagram posts are a true reflection of her personality, I'm pretty sure we would be besties if our paths ever crossed. Yes Days are a thing in the Garner household, and their days end with fun memories and are filled with tame requests, unlike those on screen.

There are three very important reasons why Yes Days are fun:

1.Yes Days Must Be Earned

I LOVE this aspect of a Yes Day. Given the disasters otherwise know as our kid's bedrooms, a thorough cleaning was a project deserving of a reward upon completion. We weren't ready to reveal Yes Day, and fortunately, our kids were satisfied with a yet-to-be-disclosed "surprise". Typically we don't reward responsibilities as they are expectations, so the kids were extra motivated to potentially receive anything upon completion of their room cleaning project. They started off the day strong, but the afternoon brought an anticipated lull in their enthusiasm (I wasn't exaggerating - cleaning their rooms was an all-day effort) but after multiple reminders of the "surprise" and some serious stress on my part that they wouldn't complete the job - they did it! Thrilled with their efforts, we told the kids that they had earned dinner at the restaurant of their choice. They were happy and quickly agreed upon a yummy restaurant across town that we all enjoy.

2. Yes Days Are A Surprise

Holding onto the secret that dinner out was not the only reward was almost too much, I was absolutely giddy with excitement. I printed out this simple certificate using a template from Canva, rolled it like a scroll, and tied it up with a pretty ribbon. In the car on our way to dinner, we talked about how proud we were of their efforts and that we had one more surprise, then handed them the scroll. "I can't believe we actually get a Yes Day", our son said in disbelief. The look of shock and joy on their faces makes me smile just thinking about it. They were thrilled! Over dinner, the kids brainstormed about what the next day would entail.

3. Rules

Using the movie as a guide, we chose the following rules:

  • Start Time: the moment they got out of bed (but not before 6:30 am) and End Time: once dinner was served
  • Nothing dangerous or illegal - no further explanation needed.
  • Everything must impact Yes Day only, not the future - so no new pets or anything crazy like that.
  • Outrageously expensive items and experiences were off-limits. Some people like to set a budget, but we tried this approach and it worked well for us.
  • Have fun!
  • We had so much fun!

    The day kicked off with a request for breakfast at a local coffee shop which, in addition to their coffee, is known for yummy waffles and avocado toast. This was a win for all of us!

    With full tummies, we went home to pick up our dog for the next outing, a trip to Petco for a new toy. It was not an easy decision, so Charlie left the store with a few toys - lucky dog!

    "Can we watch a movie," the kids asked. My husband and I exchanged glances, knowing better than to jinx it, but silently agreeing that this day was much easier than either of us anticipated!

    Annie’s Mac & Cheese for lunch - easy-peasey!

    As we approached the second half of the day there was a request to swim at Yaya & Grandpa's house, but first a stop at Starbuck's for cake pops. (Since we were stopping, my husband and I may have indulged in an afternoon beverage for ourselves, can you blame us?!) Upon arrival to my parent's house, I learned that the kids had another request...this one involved me. Apparently pushing me into the pool, rather than allowing me to ease into the pool (as I would have preferred), was more fun. So, into the deep end I went and we all came up smiling.

    With happy hearts, we drove home and splurged on an order from Door Dash for dinner.

    As we tucked the kids into bed, they both thanked us for a great day. While the kids earned the day, I think our entire family benefitted from time together, without chores and obligations. Yes Days won't be routine for us, but a sequel will arise at some point.


    Yes Day Movie Trailer

    Vogue Article with Jennifer Garner

    Canva Link for Templates (plenty of free ones!)

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