You Are Enough
I see you moms out there. I see you at the grocery store, pushing your baby in the cart, begging your toddler to stay close as you rush down the aisles, only to get home and realize you forget the one thing you needed the most. I see you signing your children into the gym nursery, partially excited about your workout, but mostly anticipating a little time to think and use the bathroom alone. I see you holding your screaming toddler in the checkout lines as he arches his back and pulls your hair, adamant that you are the worst mother ever because you never let him do anything, like buy him candy just because he demanded it. I see you rushing into day care clearly running late, yet again, begging your child to let go of your leg so you’re not tardy to work, meanwhile torn between the guilt of leaving your little one behind and secretly looking forward to some adult conversation. I see you rolling your eyes at that school letter asking for one more donation, one more event, one more obligation of time you are convinced you don’t have, but will somehow miraculously find.
I see you moms, I do. You are busy. You are tired. You are overwhelmed. Your never-ending to-do list has seemingly morphed into your never-ending should-do list, and quite frankly, you’re over it. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get ahead and yet, somehow, every other mother seems to be doing it better than you. Your social media feed confirms it. As you scroll past Pinterest crafts, successful DIY projects, luxury vacations, intense workouts, well-behaved children, and perfect family photos, you are certain you are the only mother who doesn’t have it all together. All those moms must be more organized, more motivated, more educated, more supported, more something than you. I see you. I hear you. I get you. I am you.
As women, and especially moms, we notoriously take on too much. We have this relentless desire to please everyone and prove that we can handle it all. From making crafts, to volunteering in the classroom, to building careers, we are constantly bombarded with opportunities to compare ourselves, often to distorted standards of success – and we take on those comparisons like it is our job, a job we have mastered.
Back in May, we celebrated Mother’s Day. Many of us were showered with gifts, cards, and/or words of affirmation from our children and families insisting we are rocking this whole mother thing. We smiled, cherished our tokens of appreciation, and soaked up every moment of recognition we got in hopes of convincing ourselves that yes, indeed, we aren’t screwing up this mother thing as much as we thought. But then our special day came and went, and we immediately put our heads back down to our never-ending lists and feelings of guilt, already counting down the days until next year when we get to spoil ourselves and feel valued once again.
Can you relate? How many of you even fell into the comparison trap on Mother’s Day, comparing what you got to what someone else did? Yes. I see that hand. It’s ok. You’re not alone. Comparison is an ugly, mean trap. It’s deceivingly disguised as a method of measurement for our success, and far too many women have allowed it to make them feel inadequate and incapable of ever being enough.
I want to encourage you today. I want to remind you of something you have probably heard a million times, yet still struggle to grasp. You are enough. Yes, you. We all struggle with doubt, fear, and feelings of inadequacy. We all struggle to find that balance between work, motherhood, relationships, and life. It doesn’t matter if you work or not. It doesn’t matter if you have one child, five, or none. It doesn’t matter if you are married or single. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old. It doesn’t matter what you have accomplished or not accomplished. Whatever is looming over your head as your reason for not being enough, it does not matter. We all struggle in some area of our lives, because we are all human.
One of the things that I enjoy the most is connecting with women and listening to their stories over coffee. But while I listen, I also watch. I watch their facial expressions and their bodies relax as they begin to share their struggles and find comfort in the fact that someone can relate. I offer encouragement, but also stories of my own. I reassure them that they are not the only ones going through what they are going through and that their story isn’t unlike so many others I have heard. I do my best to offer hope, because I, too, know what it feels like to be without it at times. I, too, know what it feels like to be surrounded by people and yet still feel completely and utterly alone and afraid and insufficient.
I see you. I hear you. I get you. I am you. Women, it’s time for us to stop trying to outperform our neighbors and start supporting our fellow humans. To stop making judgments and start making friends. To stop painting illusions of perfection and start focusing on the art of authenticity. It’s time to be real. It’s time to be vulnerable. It’s time to indulge in self-love. It’s time to truly grasp the truth – you are enough.
Owner of A Moment’s Grace, empowering women inside and out, through her photography and health and wellness services and networking and community events.