The Wandering Mind

Stop ‘should-ing’ Yourself

For the last few weeks I have been feeling guilty. I have felt like an awful mom and like I can’t get a hold of our day and figure out how to spend equal time with my kiddos. Sweet Pea has been demanding all of my attention and screams when I walk away even if she can still see me. She has also become a big momma’s girl. I’m basically the only one that can feed her and put her to sleep. It has been hard. Little Man has been so great at being independent and understanding when I need to take of Sweet Pea, but I wish I could figure out how to spend more time with him.

After one particularly long day and a rough evening, I spent a few minutes talking to my dad about how I felt. That I’m exhausted. That I feel guilty for taking a nap when I can barely keep my eyes open. Or that I should be doing other things like playing with Little Man. That I feel guilty that Sweet Pea is hogging all my time and Little Man is lucky to get snuggles at the end of the day. That I should be doing this, that, and the other thing.

He said, “Take it from someone who has ‘should’ve’ himself to death… stop. Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving, so give it back.” There is only so much that we can do and we have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of our kids. If we only ever tell ourselves that we should be doing this instead of that, the ugly cycle will never end and we will never not feel guilty.

The day after our talk, my dad brought me home a Lindt dark chocolate bar and said, “For all the times that you ‘should’ yourself.”

Instead of feeling bad, cut yourself some slack. Take a break. Whatever you have to do will still be there. If your kiddos are independent, like Little Man, let them be. Let them know where you are and what you’re doing and then let them be. If your kiddos aren’t independent, like Sweet Pea, bring them along, include them in whatever you’re doing if possible. Try to make things fun and know that ‘this too shall pass’.

The only thing you should be doing is living in the moment and enjoying life!


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