Here’s a secret no one told me about motherhood. Or maybe they did and I just wasn’t listening closely. The secret is, motherhood can be truly all consuming. It can feel like I’m treading, just trying to keep up with the day to day demands. Yet when I look up, everyone else seems capable of doing it all and so much more. There’s the mom with the great career or the one with the spotless house. There’s the mom having fun with friends or venturing across the globe or running a marathon. It seems like no matter how much I do, there will always be more that I should be accomplishing; it will never be enough.
But being a mom, and all the simplicity and complexity that entails, is enough.
So here’s a reminder and reassurance, to myself and to you and to all of us treading through motherhood together, that whatever we are doing is already enough.
You might think that you should be more doggedly chasing down your career goals; going back into the workforce or pursuing a promotion at you current job. But your time and energy and soul have limits. Embrace those limits and accept that it’s ok to lean out a bit when and where you can. Work and worth are not solely defined by numbers on a paycheck. You are doing enough.
Maybe you feel like you should be pursuing your passions, working on a project with all your heart. But maybe your kids are your passion right now, and that’s ok. Or maybe they’re not, but you’re too damn tired to figure out what your passions are. That’s ok too. You are doing enough.
You may feel like you should be traveling the world; experiencing life and making new memories. But to your little people you are the world; the leader of life and the maker of memories. Embrace seeing the world around you anew through their eyes. You are doing enough.
Maybe you think that you should be working out more. Running and shaping and toning your body to it’s pre-kid self. But your body has been a vessel of life and nourishment, which has shaped it in a new and different and spectacular way. Be kind to it – stretch it and move it – but be gentle on your tired bones. Appreciate all that your beautiful body has already done. You are doing enough.
Or maybe you wish that you could constantly cook up homemade organic and vegan and gluten free Pinterest-perfect recipes that the whole family would enjoy. But at the end of the day, the people and conversations around the dinner table are more important than what’s served on top. You are doing enough.
Perhaps you feel that you should go out more and keep up with friends. But sometimes the magic lies within the walls that surround you and the relationships cultivated with those who share your walls. Allow yourself the space to enjoy the magic moments right in front of you. You are doing enough.
Or you think you should stay home more to catch up on cooking and cleaning and laundry. But those chores will always be there. Sadly, there is no end in sight to the to-do list. So let go for a little while and explore what makes your soul come alive. Sharing this joy with your children is one of the sweetest fruits of life. You are doing enough.
You might be looking for tangibles, tasks to check off your to-do list, and it seems like a day with your children has resulted in nothing. But you are shaping souls, you are crafting character. There could be no nobler task. You are doing enough.
Maybe most days feel like it’s everything you can do just to keep up. Getting everyone fed and changed and fed and changed again is all you manage to accomplish. But you have kept another human alive; this is no small feat. You are doing so much more than enough.
Motherhood is full of strange contradictions and often we feel like we’re doing everything and accomplishing nothing. But never underestimate how much you are truly doing. The small daily details that may never be seen or appreciated by anyone else are the building blocks to little lives. Each seemingly mundane or meaningless task you are doing is building a strong and sturdy foundation for your children. Your patience and presence through all the endless needs is the keystone that keeps your family standing.
Momma, you are doing enough. You are enough.