My house is messy. Sesame Street is blasting. And I have no plans to cook dinner.
Let’s be real. My social media pages are highlight reels. Carefully chosen and craftily edited photos of my child looking cute in his baby Gap attire. But the truth is, I end most evenings utterly exhausted thinking of ALLLLLL the things I failed at today. The mountain of laundry or the dirty dishes, snapping at my child or ignoring him all together, pick your poison – I’m guilty.
The pressure to do it all and be it all is everywhere. It starts from day one, literally. What did you look like in that very first hospital photo holding your newborn? Then it’s breastfeeding, daycare, sleep schedules, teething, screen time, sippy cups, and birthday parties. And that’s just the FIRST YEAR. I’m already exhausted thinking about it.
At the same time, I’m expected to have a healthy dinner in the crockpot, after being up with the baby during the night, and then be cheery the next day during playtime where I should probably be making some (ridiculous) Pinterest craft. It’s no wonder we all require a zillion cups of industrial strength coffee.
I honestly don’t have enough. Not enough patience. Not enough energy. Not enough time for my baby. And as much as I hate to admit it, I’ll never have enough for him. Parenting is not for the faint of heart.
But as I’m reaching the finish line on my first year of motherhood, I have realized something powerful. Something freeing and comforting.
It’s okay. I don’t have to be enough for him. I can just be me.
You see, I don’t think we are meant to be all that our children need at all times. In fact, I think it’s a disservice if we try to be everything all the time.
Isn’t it possible that not being enough for my son is exactly what he needs? I think my short comings may foster the very qualities I want him to have.
I want him to be independent and autonomous. I want him to learn to cope and problem solve on his own. I want him to know that time without mommy right there to do it all is OKAY. For today I am here to help, but the reality is one day I won’t be. And I want him to be prepared and confident and able.
Perhaps most importantly, I want him to rely on others and not just me. I want him to think daddy is the coolest guy around, because he can make him giggle in a way that I never can. I want him to realize that time with grandparents is special, and there is a unique love and wisdom in their conversations that may not be found in ours. I want him to value learning and exploring and be eager to leave me at the preschool door. I want him to lean on his faith and not his own understanding when he gets older and life gets harder.
Like most mothers, I want a lot for my child.
And many of those things will happen when I’m simply not enough.
If you’re struggling with not being enough, and are looking for some wisdom, “For The Love” by Jen Hatmaker is at the top of my reading list.
What are you reading that calms your mommy fears?