Fall is all about letting go. Even the leaves are letting go of their branches for that glorious wind-swept tumble to the earth.
Something that keeps coming up for me when I think of letting go is the word should (and her sister shouldn't). I hear it - and used to say it - all the time.
"I shouldn't rock my baby to sleep"
"I should cook more"
"I shouldn't give up my career for my kids"
"I should be able to do it all without help."
"I shouldn't need to ask someone else if I can take a shower."
"I should enjoy playing with my kids more."
In working with so many families and seeing all of the diverse and wonderful ways to do this whole parenting thing it's made me get really curious about the "shoulds." Especially as they relate to being a mom and raising children.
“I let go of doing the dishes last night. Now what do I do?” asked a busy mom. That’s the dilemma isn’t it? What comes next? It’s so hard to let go, and once we finally do, we expect some kind of change or at least some relief. But the dishes are still there in the morning, along with everything else, and often we are left feeling discouraged.
Letting go is a practice. When our precious resources of time and energy are stretched to their limits, we have to let go in order to get through. We have to prioritize what’s essential and let go of what is not. We have to regularly practice asking ourselves: What is the most important thing to do or be in this moment? Letting future moments go until we get there, or have the space and time to plan.
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.