Stop Should-ing on Yourself

Alright Ladies,

I’ve had enough, and I’m willing to bet that you have too. I’m done with the self-doubt and the perfectionism.  I’m through with the amazing women in my life taking the innocent word “should” and using it to make themselves feel inadequate. (I’m in favor of a bit of self-improvement, but y’all are taking this to a whole new place.)

My gorgeous neighbor with the most luscious red lips I’ve ever seen, talks about how she should be as thin as the size 0 mom who lives across the street.

So what if you’re not rail thin? I once heard a man in Mexico say “Bones are for the dogs.  Meat is for the man.”  I’ll tell you what, a little meat is kinda sexy on a gal.

The friend, who baked the tastiest chocolate cake I’ve ever had (and I don’t really like chocolate cake) for her son’s birthday, looked on Pinterest and then began lamenting all of the things she should have done to make his party better.

Does it really matter if you never throw a “perfect” children’s party? Will your children be ruined if you let 3 year olds dance with balloons while the moms drink mimosas? That’s more my speed for a party game anyway.

The homeschooling mom with the crazy smart son doesn’t take any pride in the insane achievements this kid has made in the last year, instead she laments all of the extra science experiments she should have done with him in her spare time. (I’m assuming that extra time is the pesky moments she wastes in breathing because she’s insanely busy.)

There is no limit to what I could teach my children, which means that eventually they’re going to have to learn the rest of it themselves. I cover the basics and a few fun things along the way, but letting go of doing it all has given me peace.  Wouldn’t you like to get to a place in your life where you can have a bit of peace?

I just want to hug these women…. or shake them…. I’m not sure which, and beg “Please, please stop should-ing on yourself. Can’t you see that all you’re doing is making yourself feel like cr*p?”

We live in the post-Martha Stewart age of Pinterest perfectionism. It’s a world where moms with good lighting and excellent editing tools spend weeks planning how to take that one perfect photograph that will make everyone else wish we were them. When are we going to realize that the perfect picture lady’s life isn’t always picture perfect?  She owns a better camera and cool editing software.  That’s why it all looks so great.

Let’s be honest about that girl, she probably has a stash of clutter hidden just out of view or a serious Hanson addiction she never got over.  People who are crazy enough to spend weeks prepping for the one perfect pic are c.r.a.z.y,  and do you really want to live with the dialogue and pressure inside her head?

There is no such thing as perfect, and thank goodness for it.  This is your one and only chance at life.  Why would you spend it bemoaning all the things you imagine you should be instead of loving the things you are?  I’m tired of funny, sexy, smart, and amazing women abusing themselves for being the people God made them to be.  They ought to tell that awful mean inner voice to pack that “should” up and get the heck out!

photo credit: By SSG Adam Mancini @U.S. Army [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

About Rebecca Frech

Rebecca Frech is a Catholic author, speaker, CrossFit coach, and the Managing Editor of The Catholic Conspiracy website. She is the author of the best-selling books Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us and Can We Be Friends? She is a co-host of the popular podcast The Visitation Project, and is a columnist for The National Catholic Register. She and her husband live just outside Dallas with their eight children, a German Shepherd named Dave, and an ever-multiplying family of dust-bunnies.
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