Are you enough?
Everyone goes through it, that feeling like no matter what you do it is not enough. You are spread so thin, pulled in so many different directions and trying to fill everyone else’s cup while you go empty.
I remember when I had my first child, she was amazing and beautiful and completely overwhelming. I was never alone and felt like I had lost the best parts of myself. Walking the fine line between giving your all to motherhood and losing yourself to motherhood is tough.
A friend recently posted on Facebook:
“I see lots of people saying, “you are enough.” The sentiment is nice, but it’s not reality. I am not enough. This is not enough. Enough can’t be so. . . undone.”
This sums up the total out of control nature of motherhood. We fear missing out, forgetting something, of not being enough for our children, our spouse, ourselves. We want to help those mothers we see struggling, but the most we can do is just to say “I see you, I’m there too.”
This won’t last forever
But I’m going to disagree with my friend, cause you are enough. You are showing up and giving your all. Even if your all is laying on the floor in three day old pj’s while your baby crawls around you.
Having a young child will only last a short time in the scheme of things. Pretty soon you will be marveling at them going to school for the first time, riding a bike by themselves, or going on a sleepover with out you.
You will start to find the time to get a haircut. And closing the bathroom door will mean something again. You will be able to have a hobby other than picking up the same toys over and over.
In the mean time, ask for help when you need it, get some sleep when you can and let go of that guilt you carry around.
What can you do now?
Find Your Tribe
I’m serious when I say ask for help. You can not do it alone, you can not do it with a partner, you really do need a village. It can be scary to put yourself out there but making mom friends is so important to your sanity.
I joined a group on Meetup.com when my first was born. I was the first of my friends to have kids and didn’t really know anyone who had a baby at home.
I was so nervous to meet these other moms. Would they like me? Would I like them? It ended up being the best thing I could have done! To this day I am friends with some of the women I met through this group.
So find a Meetup group or a Facebook group that meets in real life in your area. Then take the most important step and go meet these people!
Do a freezer cooking session one weekend and stock some dinners in the freezer for those bad days when you can’t face cooking dinner.
Have some quick foods ready for grabbing as you go out the door. Stock a small basket of snacks next to the chair you nurse in. Make sure you are always able to eat before you get hangry. For me anyway, there is no quicker way to lose my cool then to let myself get super hungry.
Practice Self Care
Sleep when you can. Get some quiet alone time when you can. Get your nails done, take a bath, listen to music, whatever soothes your soul.
Dads can be hesitant to step up and take young kids by themselves. But you know what? They are adults that are fully capable of taking care of a small human for a few hours while you go out alone.
Try to schedule some time to yourself at least once a week. Even a hour of doing exactly what you want can go along way to improving your mental health.
And lastly…Let it go, let it go…
Elsa had it right, just let it go!
Let go of the need to do it all. You will burn out so quickly if you can’t let go of at least some of the million and a half things you have to do.
You can’t have a perfectly clean house, fully homemade organic dinners, all the laundry done, clean children, be perfectly made up and still be sane. But you can have mental sanity and happy kids if you let go of a few of those things.
Choose what will make you happy. Don’t do the things that are only for appearances. Just do what you have to to keep your kids healthy, happy and alive. If they eat cupcakes for dinner one night it won’t kill them!