It is destructive to be looking over your shoulder yearning for something that distracts you from your vision. (Anyone remember what happened to Lot’s wife?) And if the “But Mom” is followed by “I just want”, whoa Nelly, stop the train!
The context of the “But Mom” scenario is always the same: one wants to do something contrary to what is in his or her best interest- a moment’s pleasure enticing one away from what is optimal. So when I would hear one of my cherubs say to me “But Mom”, I would counter with “Do I look like a Butt Mom to you?” which would send them into peals of laughter. Sometimes it was enough of a diversion to help them reboot, but other times, a tone tainted with a whine ensued with a justification for why the object of desire was paramount to their happiness. A logical discussion about the misdirection that the thing in question would cause was much more easily digested after a hearty chuckle.
So if you find yourself in a situation where your version of “But Mom” rises up, do not let yourself get derailed! Instead, step back and count the cost. Whether it is that cookie that will take you away from your dieting goal, the cigarette that seems good to smoke at the time, or the pretty little thing whose company for lunch seems like a good idea, none of those compare to the greater satisfaction you will experience by staying the course.