Every woman has a “Should Do” list. Maybe it just exists in your head, maybe it’s scribbled on post-it notes or in the margins of your diary, maybe you’ve actually gone that extra step and tried scheduling tasks into your iCal.
Your Should Do list isn’t your everyday To-Do list. Oh no. That relatively benign bit of crazy is mostly harmless and includes things like; “fax health insurance rebate, figure out how to send said fax in the absence of a fax machine (because it’s 2016, Bupa!!), the cat litter situation is getting dangerous, call Mum because it’s been a week and you’re a terrible daughter, Google the ending of Road to Perdition.”
By contrast, your Should Do (or perhaps a better name is your “perfection” list), is that little mental register of all the things you know you should be doing every day, but because you’re an inadequate failure of a human being, you just can’t quite get round to them.
I’m absolutely positive it’s ten times worse for women with children, but since I am child-free those of you who actually have tiny humans can chime in with the million and one extra things you feel like you need to do to be perfect.
Let me demonstrate with the list I wrote earlier:
Oh, yeah, I used a ruler and drew up an actual table. I was not mucking around. Each item I added to the list was accompanied by a little mental nod acknowledging the wisdom of it. This list includes such gems as “Meditate: Because Oprah said so” and “Read finance updates: or else you’ll die POOR!” Pretty sound advice actually.
Then I tallied up the hours I’d need.
Twelve hours. Twelve goddam hours on top of the amount of time I need to go to work, sleep and eat food.