The word, ‘should,’ really needs to be removed from our language. The actual definition of should is “a word used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.”
Did you see that? “Typically when criticizing someone’s actions.”
I firmly believe that moms hear the word ‘should’ more than anyone else.
- You should stay at home
- You should go back to work
- You should nurse exclusively for a year
- You should introduce solids at 4/6/8/12 months
- You should wrap them tightly
- You should sign her up for that exclusive preschool now
- You should wait another year to put him in school
- You should put her in this sport rather than that sport
- You should volunteer on the PTA/athletic boosters/classroom
- You should hire a nanny
- You should lean in
- You should opt out
- You should spend more time reading/talking/walking with your child
- You should have work life balance
- You should, you should, you should…
Really?! And you don’t think moms already beat themselves enough about all of the ‘shoulds’ we are faced with each day?!
At least once a day (or hour), a mom will add another thing to her list of ‘things I did not do today’ or ‘things I failed at today.’ We have a fairly long list already started. We don’t need to hear any more ‘shoulds.’
Rather, I will do what I believe is best for myself, my children, my family. Not because it is what I ‘should’ do, but because I WANT to do. I will not live my life by your list.
Yes, I ‘should’ be serving hot, healthy, and balanced meals off beautiful china rather than warming up leftovers on a paper plate or bringing home rotisserie chicken again. But I also should be spending more quality time with my children and washing dishes or cooking meals is not spending quality time, so what do you think I choose?
So, keep your ‘shoulds’ to yourself and just say, “Way to go, mom! You rock!”