Stop should-ing on yourself.

I should have planned better.

I should have known my child would need something different.

I should have said no to that.

I should have said yes to that.

I should have used positive parenting strategies.

I should have used gentle parenting strategies.

I should….

I should have…

I shouldn’t….

Stop should-ing on yourself.

Parents and caregivers are flooded with a constant barrage of advice. When we don’t follow that advice, the mind creeps in with all those shoulds and guilt. All the pressure, worries, and what ifs can invade your mind so easily.

text: don't just give more attention
text: don't just give more attention

But all those shoulds? They’re just words. They’re just a string of verbal behavior your mind is telling you.

Within Acceptance & Commitment Training, one of the 6 main pillars is acceptance. Not accepting all the things that happen to you, but all those strings of words your mind tells you. We don’t have to love these thoughts but we can make room for them.

I like thinking about these unwanted mom guilt type thoughts as an unwanted party guest. Picture this: you have a party at your house. You’ve invited people you WANT to be there and you’re having a great time. There’s a knock at the door. It’s someone you didn’t invite. But they’re here. What are you going to do? Refuse to let them in and cause a scene? You don’t really want this guest at your party- but can you just let them in and make room for them? Accept that they are there, but you don’t have to roll out the red carpet for them. You don’t even have to spend your time at the party mingling with them- just allow them to be there.

Allowing those unfun thoughts and feelings to just co-exist, accepting them, is easier said than done. But man it is so powerful for your own mental health and wellbeing!

“Acceptance is being with rather than fixing.” (Whittingham & Coyne, 2019)

Just be with these thoughts your mind gives you. We don’t have to fix them all.

If you are a parent, set up a free brainstorming session where we can look at specific ways to help you with your own ability to accept those shoulds and what ifs without letting them rule your life.  https://www.parentingwithaba.org/coaching/