Earlier this week, I was working with one of my clients as she was talking about her thirteen-year-old daughter she said “she always makes me feel like I’m not good enough”. My heart broke for her and was angry at her all in the same moment. Enough is enough with these feelings about being enough!
Unfortunately, as moms this has become a pretty common occurrence. We have these incredibly high standards for ourselves and no matter how much we strive, we never seem to be able to reach “enough”. Ironically, the definition of enough is “adequate for the want or the need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire”. The definition uses words of a minimal nature like “adequate” and “sufficient”. At the end of a long day, few moms I know are thinking, I spent an adequate amount of quality time with my kids today or I spent a sufficient amount of time answering emails. To take this a step further, the synonyms for enough are plenty, abundant and acceptable, while the antonyms are insufficient, lacking and unsuitable. Does anyone else feel like when it comes to parenting, we’ve somehow gotten it twisted? When you speak about enough it’s more likely from the perspective of not having enough, being insufficient, inadequate and unsuitable. It’s heartbreaking. What a lonely and hopeless feeling.
But wait, earlier I said that it also made me angry, how does that come into play? Ah yes, the anger comes from the phrase “she always makes me feel”. Those of you have been reading my blog for a while probably know what my answer is to that, but it’s one I’m happy to repeat as often as needed – she cannot “make” you feel anything. Not to mention this is a thirteen-year-old we are talking about and you are a grown woman with years of experience on her, you have the ability to determine your own feelings. What she says may bring up one of your insecurities, maybe it’s that you are not doing enough as a mom, but what does that really mean? Are you providing her with an adequate amount of food, clothing and a roof over her head? Are you able to sufficiently deliver her from place to place when she needs to go to school or an activity? If you answered yes, then by definition, you are doing enough. Now maybe she doesn’t like the car you drive or wishes that she wore fancier clothes or shoes, but that is not a reflection on you being a good enough mom. We have to remember they are children, still trying to figure things out. They are surrounded by materialism every day and it’s up to us to make sure they define enough beyond material things. Your worth is not determined by what you have, but by who you are. A tough lesson at any age.
“Enough is enough” is a phrase said in frustration with emphasis is on the last word – Enough is enough! What if we changed the emphasis to the word is? Enough IS enough. Whatever you’ve done today, it’s plenty. Whatever you’ve provided your child today is adequate, sufficient, and acceptable. Who you are today is enough.
Are you working through a similar parenting struggle? I currently have 3 openings in my 90-day, one-on-one, Parent Coaching Workshop. Message me or comment below and we'll set up time to talk.
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.