Forgetting the Unnecessary "Shoulds"

Last night was one of those nights. I sat on the couch, my older children playing together on the floor and the baby in her bouncy seat next to me. The stress of the day hadn't melted off my shoulders yet and I kept replaying events in my head, filing away some thoughts as I went. All the kids were content and no one was demanding my attention. Instinctively, my head then turned to my never-ending to-do list. The unfinished tasks of the day loomed large and my immediate reaction was to run through my "shoulds."

I should be doing laundry. The piles in the basement and the bedrooms are getting out of control.

I should empty the dishwasher and hand wash the bottles.

I should pack the kids' lunches for morning.

I should be drafting up notes for a project plan. We have a huge initiative coming up at work and I'll be managing the implementation.

I should be jotting down ideas for that new creative project I want to start.

I should... I should... I should...

You know what I'm talking about, right?

Well last night, I didn't do any of the shoulds. I sat on the floor and I played with the kids. I snuggled the baby and let the peace of her breathing wash over me. I let the laundry and dishes sit, knowing the other tasks could wait until morning.

I didn't need to "do" anything. I just needed to be.

I needed to be Mom. I needed to be Angela.

So I did. And it was wonderful.