Story by Jennifer Thompson
I missed the mark today and not by a little, I’m talking a lot. Today, the tired set in and the frustration came out and with it came the self-doubt. The phrase “I’m not good enough,” replayed in my mind.
As I looked into my toddlers’ baby blues, tears streamed down my face. I apologized. I told him I’m sorry mommy isn’t always good at this. I explained that sometimes when I am frustrated and overwhelmed, my patience dwindles, and he gets the brunt of it.
In that moment he could have said many things. He could have ignored me all together or said something about Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or school, but instead he said something far bigger than he is. “No, mommy. No say that. You be a good mommy to me.”
Just like that, he rescued me. I felt relief. A weight lifted from my shoulders.
The phrase “you are a good mommy,” echoed in my brain as I drove to work. No matter how undeserving I felt of that phrase, to him I am everything he needs. And, it got me thinking about the word enough. The weight of it.
As mamas, the word enough is dished out like a favor to remove our guilt. They tell us, “just tell yourself that you are enough, mama.”
Do you know what the definition of “enough” is? It means to do something to the required degree. Sister. Are you kidding me? We do motherhood to the required degree? Of what exactly? June Clever? NO.
I will never have the perfectly manicured lawn. If you stop over I won’t have a Martha Stewart worthy casserole waiting in the oven. Sticky hand prints decorate every low hanging window. There are toys everywhere and my kiddo just ate yesterday’s crumb off the floor and looked at me and smiled. I can’t manage to keep the house clean to save my life. Some days I yell. There is dust on my end tables. I’m perpetually late. I’m clumsy and I lack patience.
It drives my perfection chasing brain crazy that I can’t do it all; that I can’t reach the unattainable, but I’m learning to accept my shortcomings and embrace the things I’m good at. Like teaching the value of…
Loving hard. Extending grace. Offering kindness. Showing no judgement. Embracing differences. A love for nature. A strong voice and a soft heart.
This motherhood thing? I don’t have it all figured out and if I’m being honest I don’t think I ever will. But the one thing I am sure of it’s that the word “enough” is still soaked in guilt and unmet expectations. It still makes mama’s feel like they are somehow not measuring up.
Sister, the reality is we all have bad days. Days where we are the furthest thing from the mother we had hoped to be. Days where no matter how hard we try to flip it – we just can’t manage to get it together. Days where you bury your head into your steering wheel and let go of the tears you’ve been fighting back all morning. Days where you question whether you were cut out for this motherhood thing at all.
But don’t ever doubt your worth. Don’t ever discredit yourself and place the word “enough” between the word’s good mama.
In fact, let’s eliminate it all together, because sister the woman I see is FAR more than the word “enough.”
Be kind to yourself. Let go of expectations and guilt. And in the words of my toddler, write this down. I AM A GOOD MAMA.
Not a “good enough mama.” A good one. Plain and simple.
Pin it to your refrigerator or on your mirror in the bathroom; some place where you can’t miss it. Some place where you can read it every single day, over and over until you believe it.
Stop doubting it sister, because your babies see it – and it’s time you do, too.