so I’m basically just going to rename my blog “Eleanor eating stuff” because I love it.
I love that she carpe diems food. anyways, this post is going to take a twist but I promise, it all ties together.

there are a lot of shoulds in life. I know. I did a counseling session earlier this year because I was in a deep should-hole about life and the guy was like, stop it. stop all those shoulds. you’re driving yourself crazy.

I should be cleaning
I should be reading to the kids more
I should be using a gentler voice
I should be at the gym getting rid of my baby gut
I should be earning money!
I should be making friends
I should be reading more books about being a better mom
I should cook more
I should shower… at least once… this week
I should eat less junk
I should be going on dates with my husband
but then… I should be saving money.

there are a lot of shoulds in life. and they creep up on you slowly. they start when you’re a kid.

you should eat your vegetables
you should do your homework
you should play with that nice little girl instead of that trainwreck kid in class
you should play piano

then as you get older, the shoulds start to get a little more dangerous

you should be prettier
you should do your hair nicer
you should stop eating so much
you should be able to fit in a size 2 at this age
you should run more
you should eat less
you should be someone else.

and the shoulds break my heart. they broke me. they broke me a long time ago. I’ve felt a lot of shoulds in my life.
I refuse to let that happen with my kids. I absolutely refuse. I try to avoid saying should. but most of all, I avoid shoulds involving weight, gender roles, and appearance. I just don’t want my kids worrying about appearance. I want them to build the quality of their character and not worry about all those superficial shoulds. my dad worried a lot about appearances. it was impossible to keep up (for real, we were too dang poor to keep up). and I don’t want my kids to be infected with the shoulds

so here’s the thing about all these goofy messy pictures of my kids. especially if they’re eating. whenever I see E being goofy, especially when she’s eating, I think that someday, someone might say to E… you shouldn’t eat that. you should be more ladylike. you should watch your weight.
not only will I want to go Cersei on that person, but I probably won’t even be there when it happens. it’ll happen quietly. discretely. from someone E probably trusts. and she’ll always be more self-conscious after that. and it PAINS me to think that might happen.
so these days I’m just celebrating it all. I’m celebrating all those things that will get shit should all over someday. I’m taking a million beautiful pictures of all the crazy beautiful things my kids do. and I’m letting them run with it. I’m letting them be messes. I’m letting them eat like no one’s watching. I’m letting them wear whatever they want. and I’m letting them build their armor for all the future shoulds…