Is it time to retire the word “SHOULD”?

For example:

I SHOULD go for a walk

I SHOULD do some yoga

I SHOLD write a blog post

I SHOULD make a green juice

I SHOULD read the book instead of going on Facebook

I SHOULD do some housework

I SHOULD go for a nap as I am exhausted.

These SHOULDS are so entrenched in our psyches that I used to wonder how we get out of bed without them. What would a life without SHOULDS look like? Do we fear we would just sit on the couch, eating chocolate, watching crap daytime TV?

Our culture has so many expectations of women.

We SHOULD have a fulfilling career

We SHOULD have well-behaved, adorable children

We SHOULD have a handsome husband who treats us like a queen

We SHOULD have a spotless well-run house that could grace the pages of Homes and Gardens.

We SHOULD rustle up gourmet meals a la Nigella

We SHOULD have a group of close girlfriends, with whom we can bear our souls and go to book group, yoga and wine bars.

We SHOULD be slim and gorgeous, well-groomed at all times, unflappable, smiling superwomen.

And, don’t forget we SHOULD be making six figures.

Am I alone in thinking that this image of the modern woman is so seductive but completely unattainable?

How many of us have tried? How many of us have failed? I remember devouring Helen Gurley Brown’s book “Having it all” and believing that it was possible.

How many women are there who drag themselves through their days, completely exhausted, but trying so damn hard to hold it all together and get things done, because the things that have to be done seem so important?

How much division has there been among women who watch each other and wrongly assume “she has it all together”?

Who is telling the truth about how they really feel?

It is time to do things differently.