The Shoulds and the Should Nots

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Do you ever get weary of trying to do everything the right way?

I’m a perfectionist in many ways, although I’m not nearly as bad as I used to be. I’m also a rule follower. If someone says something is supposed to be done a certain way, or I should avoid doing it another, then I desire to comply.

Yet, these days I feel like there is simply too much information out there and everyone has an opinion. And all of the opinions vary. As soon as I make a decision to do something one way, someone else says it’s wrong.

For example, within the last year we started making popcorn in the microwave using a plain paper bag. I had read multiple accounts about packaged microwave bags contributing to cancer, and if there is anything I’d like to avoid, it’s more cancer around here.

However, my husband just read information about how you shouldn’t microwave brown paper bags after all.  Now what am I supposed to do? Ideally, the information says to pop it in a pan on the stove. Just be sure you use the right kind of pan!

On this blog, I always simply want to give you food for thought. If I ever come across as telling you my way is best, then call me on it.

I’ve been told best ways to breastfeed, and failed. Over and over, I’ve heard how I should be a morning person and get up early because that’s the best time of day. Forget the fact my brain works in a fog until about 7:00 a.m. I’ve tried it and failed. I’ve been told not to buy certain items, shop certain places, or wear certain pieces of clothing, all for various reasons.

The whole deal can get more than exhausting for someone like me who always wants to do the “right” thing. Especially when what is “right” is incredibly hard to determine. That’s one of the reasons parenting is so hard, because there doesn’t seem to be one best way to manage children.

As I ponder this problem, I wonder how to handle the situation. Here is my advice to myself, and use it if it helps you:

1)      Make the wisest choice possible given all of the facts.

2)      If it works for you, make no apologies.

3)      If it doesn’t, be willing to adjust.

4)      When you learn new information, re-evaluate and make changes if necessary.

5)      Above all, don’t criticize others for the choices they make that are different from your own.

There are a lot of messes in this life to clean up and many ways to do so.  We can do our best to avoid the messes, but there is no guarantee we will be successful.

Blessings to you as you navigate life’s highway of the shoulds and should nots. Be prepared—it’s a bumpy road ahead.

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4 thoughts on “The Shoulds and the Should Nots

  1. I agree. There are way too many choices and way too much information out there. It’s hard to know what to do or how to do it. I have also found myself having to think about what is best for me and my family instead of doing whatever is popular at the moment. Using Gods Word over the internet is usually the best way to go! Thanks for the great post!

  2. I am also a reformed perfectionist Amy. I need to remember those rules–especially when dealing with my children. Perhaps it isn’t my way, perhaps it isn’t the ‘right way’ but if it gets the job done, it is good enough.

  3. Great advice from one rule follower to another! I’ve learned over the years to give grace to myself when I feel like I should be doing what other moms, wives, women are doing. It’s so freeing to realize that we are all different, created uniquely by God to fulfill his purposes for us. Thanks for the reminder!

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