Last week, as I was trying desperately to run necessary errands and get lunch for my 11 month old at Target, the fit began. She lost it. I tried so hard to run all of my errands in the one day off I have, and we were on errand #7 for the day, and she just couldn’t handle it anymore, and my emotions that I have hidden so well inside of this perfectly curated 4’9 package showed through in my child.
She was portraying exactly how I felt.
Working almost constantly and doing this all on a single income one parent home feels impossible at times, but that doesn't compare to single handedly the most heart-wrenching thing thus far: watching other people raise my child. I've missed countless milestones, and I know it. I'm not the one who is instilling morals in my little girl, who is teaching her how to talk, and who is teaching her how to be the incredible little person I know she is. Adelaide says "uh oh" now. She blows raspberries. She says "yay" and claps and shakes her head "yes" and "no" and I taught her none of it. I just came home to her doing these things one day.
I can't honestly say that I haven't spent many hours crying over this because that would be an outright lie. In fact, tears are falling freely as I type.
There's so much pressure from society, family, and friends to go and have some semblance of a life while also working and providing, and at the same time, spending hours a day with my little girl, and in reality, I see her for maybe an hour or two if I'm lucky, and that time is spent trying to prepare everything for the next 12 hour work day and hoping and praying that I'm not screwing up.
No one warns you about any of this when you become a parent.
As a parent, you live in a constant state of Never Enough and you feel like you can never quite get everything accomplished for your child, no matter how much you try, and this has been something I’ve been pushing down because logically, I know that isn’t true, but head knowledge isn’t always heart knowledge, now is it?
I don’t know how this post found you. Maybe you’re in tears, emotions threatening to overwhelm you like I am, maybe you’re on your break at work, or maybe, just maybe, it’s late at night and your children are asleep and you’ve stolen some time away for yourself. Maybe this is one of those days you wish you could just press the reset button on and forget that it even happened. I’m speaking to each of us when I say that you are enough. While I sit in my favorite coffee shop, hiding behind a splotchy face and a peppermint mocha, I struggle to accept the very words that I want so badly to instill in the people around me. The very fibers of my being want nothing more than you to know you are enough while I continue to tell myself that I am not.
It’s funny how we have double standards for ourselves.
Just today, someone told me something so powerful that I’m holding onto this chilly autumn day spent my favorite kind of way: Your doubt in whether you are enough is the most evidence that you are indeed enough.
When he told me this, I wanted nothing more than to tell him about how my room is a war zone, how I work 80 hours a week, I haven’t spent more than a couple of hours at a time with my little girl in longer than I can remember, and I don’t even know the last time I felt successful at this whole Motherhood gig, but then it hit me:
If I thought I was enough, I would never work harder to be better than I was the day before.
You’re not a failure, friend. We don’t let our children knock themselves down, so why don’t we begin to follow our own examples? Instead of telling ourselves that we suck at this, why don’t we give ourselves some positivity? We can do this. Maybe — just maybe — if I keep telling myself that I’m not falling apart, but falling into place, that’s exactly what will begin to happen.
God blessed us with those precious little ones that are wreaking havoc in the other room. He wasn’t unaware of how little we knew about being parents, how many times we were going to screw up, or how little we felt we deserved these tiny people. He knew what He was doing.
I want you to repeat after me, darling; in fact, I want you to take a dry erase marker and draw on your bathroom mirror so that it will be so engrained in you that you will never forget:
You matter. You can do this. You are a good mom. You are not a failure.
You are enough and this too shall pass.