At my Mops meeting last week a friend gave an amazing devotion about how mom's feel like we are never enough. From the moment she started speaking I found myself nodding my head in constant agreement of everything she said.
Feeling less than enough as a mother and wife is something I struggle with daily. I tell myself that the only thing that matters is me and my family but still it's hard to
not let the outside in. I find myself constantly comparing myself, kids, and house to others. It's a never ending battle. There are some days where I wake up feeling on top of the world. I put myself together, dress in a super cute outfit and go on my way. Then I come into contact with someone who is better dressed than me, or whose kids are better behaved or talking more than mine and that insecurity creeps in.
It doesn't help that from the day you see those bright pink lines on a pregnancy test you are inundated with standards you must meet in order to be a great mom. Breast is best you are told. And if your baby doesn't take to nursing, you are given a smug look and told at least you tried. Or your given dirty looks when you wip out your bottle of prepared formula. If you nurse past 6 months people think you have attachment issues. If you let your kid watch tv before they are 2 you are a lazy parent. If you cloth diaper you are a hippie. If you co-sleep you are going to murder your child. If you let them cry it out you are ruining your child forever. And the list goes on
It's hard to not let all those outside factor's bother you. I can stay up all night thinking about all the ways I failed as a mom that day. I didn't play enough, I yelled too much, I let the kids eat chicken nuggets for dinner, I let them watch more tv than normal, I put Gianna to bed with the ipad etc etc. I could literally go crazy with all the thoughts that run through my head. Pretty sure my snoring husband is not worrying about all the things that I am
But one of the things my friend said really sank in. It was this... At the end of the day all you can do is love your children. People can say and think what they want about you and your parenting style but you are the only one who knows and loves your child more than anything in the world. God created you to be the mom of your specific child and as long as you love them you are dong more than enough. I thought that was such an amazing way of looking at things. Instead of focusing on all the things I could be doing, or what I do wrong on a day to day basis, the only thing that is important is that I know my children for who they are and love them.
People can give me all the advice they want(some solicited by me) about getting Gianna to sleep in her own bed, but only the husband and I know that no matter what we do, every night like clockwork at 11pm we hear the pitter patter of her feet outside our door and a little sniffle before she hops into our bed, snuggles into us and falls sound asleep. Only we know that after nursing, pumping and supplementing with formula, Ethan was much happier being a only formula fed baby. Only we know that Gianna isn't ready to potty train and no amount of bribery or pleading will work. Only we know that Ethan has to fall asleep with his monkey and may or may not want to be held. You get the point
As the parent, all that matters is that you do what you feel is important and necessary for your family. People are not going to agree with you or parent their children the same way you parent yours. But that is ok. You don't love their children the way they do and they don't love yours the way you do. And that's how it should be. So stop feeling guilty or superior that your way is the best way or the wrong way
Instead feel empowered by the knowledge that what you do is important for your family and your children and stop letting the outside world make you feel like you are never enough. For you are enough and to your children you are More than enough
So screw the laundry, cleaning, and guilt ridden thoughts today. I will be busy loving my children