I have hit a new stage of motherhood with my three kids. While I thought having a newborn with two other children under the age of 5 would be the most difficult, this stage of motherhood has been my hardest. I am finding on a daily basis that I consistently feel like I am not enough. I feel like I am not a enough good mom, good enough wife or good enough manager of our household.
Considering I am a people pleaser and often have been called an overachiever, it is not difficult for me to feel like I have not done enough. During this stage of motherhood, that feeling has grown exponentially. With three kids constantly each wanting attention, each needing very different things and each with various school or activities occurring at the same time, it is clear that I cannot attend to each one as much as they desire. The fact that is often hard for me to admit is that I am only one person and can only be in one place at one time.
Because it caused me unnecessary significant stress last year, I declared to my husband before Thanksgiving that I would not do Christmas Cards. He of course was completely okay with the decision and there was not another thought about the cards until they began arriving in our mailbox. Each card was fun to unwrap and see the faces of friends and their families. Guilt quickly bubbled up because I had not sent out cards, but I stuck to my original decision.
My oldest daughter has especially enjoyed the Christmas mail considering we rarely get anything besides junk mail during the year. After opening up several cards, she innocently asked where our cards were to send out this year. Although I knew it was a simple and innocent question, I suddenly felt like I had failed her in some way and that I was not enough. I was forgetting the meals I had made my kids, the hours they spent decorating the tree with me, and the hours I spent setting up a neighborhood Santa event for them. How could one question make me feel like I had not done enough?
I do not feel like I am alone in this. Most of moms likely have bigger struggles with this feeling than something as simple as Christmas Cards. Stay-at-home moms sometimes struggle with the feeling that they are not making a big enough impact in the world or struggle with not contributing to the household income. Working moms often struggle with the feeling when juggling the needs of their kids and the demands of their job. I am sure mothers without another parent to shoulder the burden deal with this feeling on a routine basis.
The thing is we are enough. We need to stop making excuses for what we are not doing and not worry about the potential judgment of others. As moms we must remind ourselves of what we are doing and forget the things that we are not doing. When we cannot be everything our kids think we should be, it is a teachable moment for them so that they can grow up and set realistic expectations for themselves. Teaching our kids that they are enough may help us understand that we are as well.
Writer Bio: Summer Bolte
I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fullfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.