Inside: Have you ever been overwhelmed as a mom, juggling too many things and wondered am I enough? Am I doing enough? When the self-doubt creeps in, you need this one simple trick to get your mom mind back on track that you are in fact doing enough.
I sat on the edge of my bed, with my knees tucked under my chin and tried to take a deep breath.
A controlling breath.
I’m too overwhelmed to even cry about what just happened.
I’m still just trying to process it.
Some days, I feel like I’ve got it all together as a mom. Juggling all the balls and keeping them in the air.
I’m balancing parenting and household chores and schoolwork and our family calendar and carpooling to extracurricular activities and work and it feels ok most days. I feel semi-accomplished and quasi-successful.
And then there are days like today.
I dropped all the balls I was just yesterday managing to juggle.
I double booked a playdate. And actually, I triple booked it.
I made a mistake at work and felt foolish.
I forgot a dear friend’s birthday.
I forgot to change the load and now the baseball jersey that has to be worn in a few minutes is wet and mildewy.
Honestly, if just one of those things happened, I would be fine. I could handle it.
But when it all happens at once—and it always seems to happen all at once—the overwhelming realization that I can’t do it all—that I am not doing enough to handle it all—hits me like a ton of bricks.
It brings me to my bed with my knees tucked in and I have to admit to myself that I can’t do it all. I am only one person and I am not superhuman, even if my kids think I am.
Something is going to give, in addition to my sanity and my puffed up ego thinking I had all my stuff pulled together.
Because most days, I am searching for the elusive ‘enough.’
Enough clean underwear.
And then I think, maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m not enough.
It’s a very isolating and self-deprecating feeling.
This negative self talk and fear can paralyze me into inaction. My usually fast moving, fast thinking self all of a sudden has the inability to move forward or do anything.
I just sit there, surrounded by my self-doubt.
But there is a way to turn this moment around.
I walk to my bathroom and read a note I left for myself for moments like this.
On an index card taped to my bathroom mirror and on my computer and in my car I have three simple words that remind me daily to just do my best as a mom and as a wife and as a homeowner and as a friend.
These words let me:
Call the friend who’s birthday I missed to book a post-birthday celebration
Request rainchecks for the triple booked playdates
Write an email fixing my mistake, owning up to the screw up
And spray febreeze on the jersey and let my son play ball in a mildly damp but flower-smelling jersey.
These three words give me the inner strength I need as mom to get through my toughest days.
I am enough.
And for good measure: I am doing enough.
Because some days, I make the homemade dinner. And some days we eat frozen pizza. I am doing enough.
Some days I am on time and other days I am perpetually five minutes late. I am doing enough.
Some days I volunteer at my kids’ school and other days I let the other parents have at it. I am doing enough.
Some days my bed is made and other days you can’t see my floor through the piles of dirty laundry. I am doing enough.
Some days I make my kids’ lunches and even remember to cut the crusts off. Other days they eat cafeteria hot lunch. I am doing enough.
Some days I shower and moisturize and actually put on makeup. Other days I stay in workout clothes that I never worked out in. I am doing enough.
Some days I snuggle with my kids and read a book to each of them in their beds. Other days, the oldest reads to the youngest and they get a quick kiss. I am doing enough.
When you’re a mom you’ll always be juggling too many balls.
Balls will inevitably drop.
There will probably never be enough time or money or energy or patience.
Or clean underwear.
But you? You will always be enough.
You will always do enough.
Even on those dirty laundry pile, cafeteria hot lunch, no shower, running late kind of days.
You are enough.
Now you just have to remind yourself to stock up on febreeze and frozen pizzas.
What do you do to help yourself get through the really tough days? I usually turn to my friends.