getting rid of should

i feel guilty about everything.
i feel guilty if i don't have the house clean when Adam comes home.
i feel guilty letting Elijah watch TV.
i feel guilty not responding to emails on time.
i feel guilty that i can't keep up with everything and everyone.
i feel guilty when i don't truly enjoy Elijah. or if i don't think i play with him enough.
just guilt, overwhelming & painful guilt.

this was one of the first things i talked to my counselor about when i started going to therapy.
i told him how i didn't feel like i measured up to the other mothers around me.
and how most days i feel like a failure.

i told him i know i should be happy
i should enjoy being a mom
i should be recognizing my blessings more
and i should not be so upset all the time.

then he said, "'should' needs to be a swear to you from now on. think of 'should' as the worst possible swear word you could ever say. and stop using it in your thought process."

he continued to explain to me that the only thing "should" was doing for me was making me feel worse. in some cases, "should" can be a motivating word and encourage people to try to be better or work harder.
but the way i was using it, it was debilitating me.
instead of being a motivation tool, it was a way for me to point out all of my faults and focus on what i was doing wrong instead of what i was doing right.

my counselor told me instead of saying "should" i need to either 1. be okay with the fact that i'm not doing something and move on or 2. change the behavior.

and that's what i've been trying to do.

so Eli watched 2 episodes of "Super Why" this morning.
and i didn't make breakfast for us so we snacked on cereal instead.
and when Elijah is whining and i'm too tired, sometimes i give him suckers to make him happy and give me a minute to breathe.
this is what i do sometimes.
maybe i shouldn't be doing it. but it's over now. it's already done.
and all i can hope is that i will try better the next day.

i'm not always good at remembering to just be okay with things.
but i'm trying.

i'm trying to show my family that i love them & care about them.
i'm trying to be more accepting of myself.
and i'm doing my best to learn to just be happy. {not guilty}
and really, doesn't that matter more than stressing over making heart shaped pancakes??


Amy @ Amy Day to Day said...

Megan, I really love this post because I can so relate to how you feel.

I feel some of the same guilts, not debilitating guilt necessarily, but guilt nonetheless. And don't worry, the bug watched 2 shows this morning too.

We just need to look at all the good we are doing instead of the things we "think" we should be doing.

Us moms are all alike, we just only see the amazing things other moms are doing and choose to feel inadequate because we don't see the normal things they are doing too.

Desiree @ Mano y Metal said...

OMG I ditto all your guilts and probably add some more!

I fee guilty all the time, it is exhausting for our soul and I think we need to give ourselves the benfit of the doubt that we are doing a grea job, even if we let the housework slack and let our babes watch a lil' TV :)

Great post!

Ashley said...

I think all of us mommas have the same guilty feelings. I tend to focus on what I think I should be doing instead of on all the things I AM doing. Like you said, I am just trying to accept things and go day by day and hope tomorrow will be better. :)

Cassie @ Live.Laugh.L0ve. said...

Megan, thank you so much for sharing this post. Please - dont doubt yourself! I know that's not easy to do but I used to do it all the time when I first became a mom, I felt guilty for everything & like you it just made me feel bad about myself.

But when I realized that I am doing the best I can I became more and more okay with it. Because no, I may not be as great and wonderful as those other moms, but I'm as great and wonderful of a mom as I can be & so are you!!!

So many hugs sweet friend!

GingerPeachT said...

oh girl hang in there :-)

What I feel as a total God thing is this week my counselor and I talked about "shoulds"! lol
She told me its such a harsh word and basically is a command.
She also told me to change it to "could".
My homework is to write down all the should statements and then when I see her next we will change them together.
I think we are struggling with the same things...of maintaining and being the "excellent wife" from prov 31...but we must be gentle with ourselves. We can do this! :-)
happy weekend!

Krista Lynn said...

I love this post because it's so real. There are so many times when I feel so guilty of decisions I made a few days ago, weeks ago...maybe even months ago. One of the hardest things to do is just move on and not dwell on things we should have done differently.

The first step is accepting who you are and knowing you can't change what's already happened! One of the best sayings I heard was 'live in day tight compartments'. Live for today, not yesterday or tomorrow. Today is the day to make the most of! =) Best of luck - great idea for a new series. You can do it!!

Unknown said...

Your open and candid post like this always makes me see that I am not the only one that feels the way I do all the time!! This post is a breath of fresh air for me!! It has really opened my eyes and showed me I have this problem too!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

I am going to share this one my blog if you don't mind?

Carsedra of:

Unknown said...

Megan I am trying to add the living the right life button to my blog, but when I do nothing comes up once I go to view my blog. Not sure if it's just me.

Carsedra of:

Alexis Kaye said...

Amen Megan. That is an awesome tactic for your therapist to use. I do that way too much as well. and the truth is that your doing amazing. Your time is much more productive to focus on all the things you are doing wonderfully :)