The other day a friend and I were talking about all the notes that come home from school: do this, bring this, wear that. It can be overwhelming for the parent! She said, "Things like this make me feel like a bad mom." We simply cannot keep up, and we perpetually feel as if we are failing.
Later that afternoon, my toddler was napping and my five-year-old begged me to just sit with her and cuddle while we watched the movie she had selected at the library. This is when the "should" kicked in.
I should be emptying the dishwasher.
I should be working on drafting my new book.
I should make her do her homeschooling outside in the sunny and sixty degree weather.
I should be figuring out what we're going to have for dinner.
I should be calling my medical supply company to deal with ordering issues.
I should call my girlfriend who just had a baby and wants to schedule a play date.
I should take a few quiet moments to read my Bible, say a prayer, and journal.
There are so many things we "should" be doing as moms that supposedly make us better moms, better wives, better women, better employees or employers, better friends, better Christians.
It's overwhelming, and frankly, we are chronically disappointed and exhausted because of all the shoulds. Even when we manage to have a day where we feel accomplished, there are a hundred more shoulds lurking.
I spend too much time, embarrassingly, on thinking about shoulds and doing shoulds. And unfortunately, this means missing precious moments, opportunities to unwind and relax and laugh, chances to listen and learn.
Today I decided to neglect all the shoulds. Today I plopped on the couch, pulled my daughter onto my lap, and we watched her movie with a blanket draped over us, our fingers intertwined.
It was the most important should. And it wasn't a task to accomplish, but a gift to be received.
This week Sugars, I want you to take care of business that you MUST take care of. But all those little shoulds that are whispering in your ear, they need to be shushed.
And if you need further encouragement on how to make this happen, I highly recommend The Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford. I'm NOT a fan of "self-improvement" books---but this book is very practical, heart-driven, and for me, life-changing (slowly but surely).
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