I think that most mothers will tell you that being a mom is their #1 priority in life and I am no different. I had this perception of what life with children of my own would be like but motherhood is so much more than I ever could have imagined.
Friends of mine that don’t have kids yet or are expecting their first will ask me what surprised me most when I became a mom and I tell them…
It isn’t the continuous nights with little to no sleep.
It isn’t the feeling of never having a minute where you are alone.
It isn’t the continuous diapers and bottles.
It’s the guilt and worry that comes with being a mom.
Yes, it’s part of the gig but I truly believe that no matter what anyone tells you to try to prepare you for it…you can’t. Because nothing compares to the feeling you have once that baby is placed in your arms and you realize that this little human being, this part of you, is now your responsibility. It hit me like a hammer and I immediately started to worry that I wouldn’t be enough.
That was almost 4 years ago now…
It’s a constant battle, this thing called motherhood. Before my oldest came into my world, my worry was me and my life with my husband. My thoughts and plans were all about me and I thought that’s how life for everybody was. You worry about you and I worry about me. Seems simple enough? Then, my son was born. The first thought I had was “How could I ever get enough of him?” It was literally a piece of my heart that I was holding in my arms. I didn’t want to put him down (and to be honest, with my first born, I really didn’t. You learn that lesson eventually). The worry grips you and you begin to wonder all sorts of scenarios and “what if” becomes your worst enemy.
Looking back now I think with my first I probably should’ve talked to someone to help ease some of my worry and anxiety but that’s another guilt trip, the feeling that you can’t handle what millions of other mothers seem to be handling. It’s a constant battle between yourself of what you feel is right and what you perceive is right. Those are two completely and sometimes conflicting feelings. I felt them daily. I still do now.
Four year later and another amazing baby, I worry daily that I can’t do everything I need to do to be enough for my boys. I drop them off at a babysitter that they love and leave for work – worrying that I’m not there to raise them everyday and praying that they see their mother as a strong, working woman who could be both a great mom and a career woman. I spend days home with them full of fun and craziness and I worry that I’m behind with this or that at work and I should’ve done just a few more things before taking that day off. I spend my time writing and putting my life and their lives out for people to see and I wonder what they’ll think of it someday. Will they see it as a blessing that their mom documented these things or a curse that their lives were put on display? I wonder if my husband knows how much I love and am thankful for him even though I now give little time to him because it all goes to the kids. I’m not kidding when I say this list could go on and on. It all boils down to the same question: “Am I enough?”
You could tell me that I am. You could tell me that I’m not, but honestly, an answer from you isn’t enough. All I’ve learned from the last 4 years is this – when I look at my kids I see that they are happy and healthy. When they see me after I’ve been gone all day they smile and hug me. When they are hurt or sad, they want it to be me that comforts them. And amazingly, I can be who they need in those instances. I am there and they are happy and find peace because of me. So, though I have to remind myself everyday, sometimes every hour, that I can’t do it all, it just takes one look into their eyes to let me know that yes, to them at that moment, I am enough and that is all the recognition I need.