At one session, she said four words to me I’ll never forget:
Don’t should on yourself.
I am the queen of the shoulds. As much as I tell myself that I’m fully confident in the mom that I am, the reality is that my inner dialogue is full of self-comparison and, often, guilt about what I should be doing.
Since Evan came home, I’ve been the stay-at-home mom quite a bit more than I had been used to in the past. I notice myself getting more and more impatient, and I couldn’t really figure out why, until it occurred to me that my should’s are nearly constant these days.
When I’m cleaning the kitchen, I tell myself I should be playing with Evan, but, when I’m playing with Evan and the kitchen’s a mess, I should be cleaning it. When Emerie is watching TV, I should turn it off and make her do something else. When I do, we argue and I should stop arguing with a 3-year-old. It’s really a lose-lose thought process.
Probably not coincidentally, I just recently stumbled upon this blog post, called “The Thing I Should Not Say.” In it, the writer says, “When we allow “should” to become accusatory, it imposes expectations that run counter to how we truly feel[….] The world we live in presses constantly from all sides. Forcing ourselves do something simply because we feel that we should creates yet another obligation.”
Well…no wonder I’m so exhausted!
I wish I had the perfect explanation for you as to how I’m going to silence my shoulds…but I’ve got nothing.
I guess the best I can do is give myself a little grace and recognize that there is probably always something I should do, but, as I try to with all decisions, I’ll pick the thing that’s best for all of us.