I always catch myself wondering if I am enough. If I’m doing enough for my children. If the things I do are the right things. If sometimes I’m too strict, like when I don’t let them have screens during the week. Or too relaxed, like when I don’t ask them to make their beds every morning because it’s easier for me to do it instead.

I know I’m not always present. Some days I hear them ask “Mommy?” three times before I put down my phone and listen to what they have to tell me.

And some nights at bedtime, I rush. I hurry them through their showers, tuck them quickly and run out of their rooms before they can ask me for another thing. Because it will be the very first time since 6 a.m. that I’ll get to be alone, and I can’t wait. I feel guilty about wanting that time to myself. And then sometimes I really enjoy it, and then I feel guilty about that, too.

I wonder when I say no to the monthly school book order because we have enough books right now.

I wonder when they ask for pancakes in the morning, and I don’t have time to give them anything but cereal.

They are always asking for things I’d like to give them, and even when I think I’ve given them everything they can possibly need, they still ask for something else. More time, more energyjust more.

But I’ve come to rely on this piece of knowledge through my journey through motherhood.

I have to trust I’ve given them enough, even when it’s not everything.

There is a place in my heart that will never run out of love. That reserve will never be depleted. It will always keep flowing even when I have to say no. 

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And then there are the endless other ways I’ve shown them my love. Every kiss on every boo-boo. Every field trip I’ve chaperoned. Every class party I’ve sent in treats or cups for. Every time I buy vegetables I know they aren’t going to like but will hopefully take one bite of after I spent 20 minutes preparing them. Every time I schedule a haircut after I notice his hair is growing over his ears. And every dentist appointment I religiously make six months from the last. Every time I RSVP for one of their friend’s birthday parties and then figure out how they’re getting there because I’m not available to take them to it. I’m enough.

And yes, they’ll ask for more. They’ll want something else for dinner, or candy from the grocery store, or a new shirt in the mall. And I’ll say no for one reason or another. They’ll want me to play with them while I’m in the middle of making dinner. Or they’ll want to talk while I’m on the phone.

Sometimes I’ll be able to stop what I’m doing, and sometimes I won’t.

But it won’t matter.

Because I’m enough. I always have been, and I always will be.

Caroline Murray

Caroline is a freelance writer, mama to two young children and one sweet baby.  She loves everything country and tries not to take anything too seriously.  You can see more of her at www.the-othermom.com.