“You need to stop using that word,” my husband says whenever I start a sentence with “I should really….” It turns out, he’s right. All of that focus on “should” spikes my anxiety and makes me feel like I’m not enough.
From not worrying so much about my kids’ birthday parties to forgoing a first-day-of-school sign, I’ve been learning to care less and less about what I “should” be doing as a parent. So I wrote about my journey and what’s helped me over at Perfection Pending: Why We Need to Take the Word Should Out of Our Parenting.
Here’s the introduction:
At midnight, the day before my son’s very first day of preschool, I committed a mortal parenting sin. I chose not to make a sign for his first-day-of-school photos. Now, this may seem like a minor offense – at best. After all, I wasn’t sending him to bed without his dinner.
But if you underestimate how momentous this decision was, you clearly missed the barrage of back-to-school Facebook posts by parents of small children. Even among my fairly low-key friends, there was a parade of increasingly elaborate signs, ranging from cute printouts all the way up to actual chalkboards.
But me? I bowed out of all of it.