I Am Enough: Now to Believe it

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sad woman hunched over Providence Moms Blog

One of the most difficult aspects of motherhood is the feeling of not being good enough. Maybe it’s that I feel that I always have something to prove. Or maybe its that I feel there is some invisible standard that I am trying to live up to.  I basically want it all.  There is this need to be the perfect mother, teacher, wife, daughter, and friend, but there is only so much of me to go around.

I often describe it as just being mediocre at all things. I’m not a terrible mother, teacher, wife, daughter, friend, but I am probably not the best I can be either. This is often hard to swallow. I look at other moms and I feel as if they always have it together and I am just squeaking by. My guess is though, is that those other moms probably feel the same way. We are all caught up in this endless cycle of self-doubt.

However, I think it is time we as moms (parents) reevaluate how we look at ourselves. First off, parenting is actually a full-time job. Yes, twenty-four hours a day you are required to keep those miraculous little beings clothed, fed, safe, happy, entertained, and healthy. Additionally, its a job that never actually ends. Let’s be honest, at 35, I am still a lot of work for my own parents. Now if parenting is a 24 hour day job, that does not leave a lot of time for much else. Yet, cue in all the other aspects of our lives. There is a reason we feel like we are drowning because we are grasping to stay afloat. 

The more difficult aspect of this is that we all handle how we stay afloat differently. This is where life gets tricky. There will be days when my job gets a little more attention than my family. I need to learn to let that guilt go. Life is a series of ebbs and flows so there will be days where I give so much more to my family. I also need to realize that those around me are doing the same thing. However, we just may not be synchronized, so it feels like one person is succeeding where the other is failing. Even though that is probably not the case. I need to step back and look at the big picture, not this one moment. 

We also need to stop comparing ourselves to one another. We are all different. Each of us has different needs and interests. Everything has such a delicate balance. One mom might need to go to the gym to keep afloat. Another may need to have an organized home so she doesn’t sink. Others may need to bake, create, read, sit, or relax. We all know what we need to keep us from going under. Instead of judging, we need to celebrate each others’ strengths and recognize each others’ needs. 

Parents are far from mediocre. There will be days where we may not be able to accomplish all we want to (probably many). Additionally, there will be days where we have to give a little more of ourselves to one aspect of our lives. This, however, does not mean that we are failing. It is time that we step back and look at all that we are accomplishing so that our own children will do the same. We need to remember to keep swimming. I need to remember that I am enough. 

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Darlene is your typical Rhode Islander – she’s never left. She grew up watching Paw Sox games, drinking Dels, and gives directions according to landmarks, most of which no longer exist. She did attend high school in Southeastern Massachusetts, if that counts as leaving, and traveled all the way to South County to attend University of Rhode Island. After four years, she left with degrees in both Elementary Education and English. After college she began teaching and eventually found a home in third grade. Third graders are inquisitive, beginning to exert their own independence, and constantly make her laugh. They put up with her quirky sense of humor and her sobbing throughout read alouds.
Darlene ended up marrying the boy she fell in love with in high school. She and her husband have two daughters, an energetic two year old and the sweetest seven month old. Most days are spent trying to navigate full time jobs, raising two young children, reading, and drinking coffee. She loves to be outdoors and hopes that her girls will love camping, hiking, and kayaking as much as she does.