12 Jan The “Shoulds”
Nearly every few posts on our social media feed is a new ad or posting about some activity or thing we should be doing with our children. There is an incredible amount of pressure to keep up with the Joneses, whoever they are, and ensure we are doing “x” number of projects for “proper stimulation” and attending “x” number of classes to ensure we accelerate their intelligence so they could skip to the 10th grade and so on. I will admit the number of “recommendations” I see on social media can be overwhelming and I too have thought to myself, “Should they attend a kids gym? Should they be in music class? Will that help them develop necessary skills? Should I take them to the library for reading time?,” and the list goes on. Then there are the number of articles on how we should feed our kids, how we should handle bed time, how we should let them cry but then not let them cry, how they should be saying this and should be doing that by this age, etc. Oh and forget about the shoulds regarding our mom and dad bods (more thoughts on this in an upcoming article so stay tuned). I call BS on all of it…and I’m referring to the pressure we as parents face to be perfect in all of these areas. Truth is I feel the word “should” must be banned from use in any context that has to remotely do with parenthood.
My sister and I grew up in a small 2 family house apartment where you could literally get a tour of the house by standing in the living room. Our mom, a single mom, worked two jobs and ensured we had everything we needed (I will get more in depth about my mom in later articles). My sister and I played outside a lot. We actually created a game called “Tree to Tree,” that mind you didn’t involve an actual tree. We would play sort of a game of tag and have to run between a stump and a broken lamp post without getting tagged and it was the greatest game ever! Hasbro we can totally talk partnership, call me. We also used to sit on the front steps of the apartment below us that faced the street and would pick a color and count the number of cars that passed by in that color and the first one to get to a certain number won. It was for pride not prize. My point is we were forced to be “bored.” I often wonder if that is what we should be letting our kids do…be bored. There wasn’t all this pressure to hit all of the “shoulds” on the checklist and you know what, I think we were/are better off for it. Now don’t get me wrong this is not an article bashing any classes and projects one may take or do with their children. I love doing activities with my kids! This is an article about the “shoulds” and pressure of parenthood to fit the mold that I, quite frankly, have had enough of. Currently my kids are attending an awesome music class taught by this brilliant chick Alexa, you may have heard of her, so if anyone wants her info I urge you to go to Amazon.
The “shoulds” keep us up at night. The “shoulds” invoke feelings of inferiority within us. The “shoulds” bring us to our breaking points and I’m done with them. In my opinion, raising our children, our way and to the best of our ability, to be happy and kind human beings is really the only should that matters. Be kind to yourself, don’t let the “shoulds” in because what you do, or don’t do, is the right thing and know that you are doing an awesome job!