Have you ever doubted yourself? Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes?
Am I a good enough parent? Wife? Friend?
Have you ever felt the pressure of all of the demands of daily life piling up on you and thought, I can’t do it all. I can’t be everything everyone needs me to be right now. It’s just not possible.
I’m just not good enough.
I know I have.
When I think back to when the kids were little, when I had nursing infants and toddlers wandering around the house getting into this and that, so often it felt like each day was similar to the last. I loved what I was doing but regularly wondered if it was enough. I felt like I couldn’t keep up with the daily demands and would question myself. Was I doing enough? Were they learning enough? Was I playing with them enough? Were they sleeping enough? And eating healthy enough? Was it enough?
And when my husband would come home from work, we would eat dinner and then begin working on the bedtime routine. He would start baths for the kids while I would finish up cleaning the kitchen. After everyone was tucked in, we would settle on the couch for a show and would often fall asleep, sometimes within minutes of it starting. And I would wonder. Was I doing enough? Was I loving my husband well enough? Did he know how precious he was to me?
I was so tired, and I only had so much to give, and so often the energy I had would be spent on the kids during the day, leaving him with the exhausted scraps when he came home. Was it enough?
I was so busy at home with my children and my family that friendships often took the back burner. I wouldn’t respond quickly to texts, emails, or calls. And more often than not, playdates were canceled because one of the four children had come down with something. The doubt would creep in again. Am I a good enough friend? Am I available enough? Do my friends know I love them and that I’m here for them? What if plans are canceled? Will they still want to talk to me? Was it enough?
Doubt would creep in, as my self-worth would hinge more on my accomplishments than anything else. Was the house clean? Were the kids behaving? Was I putting good, and healthy, meals on the table? Was I being a good friend? Daughter? Sister?
I put so much stock into these external factors.
Enough felt unattainable. It was exhausting.
Because here’s the reality—you can’t be everything to everyone. And thinking you can be, or trying to, can put you in that place of exhaustion really fast.
If there is one thing I could go back in time and tell myself it would be this: You are doing a fantastic job. God has given you these children. You cannot be perfect. You never will be. And nobody is expecting you to be.
If the house gets messy, or you fall behind on laundry for the day, that’s OK.
If you don’t pick up your phone, and you can’t return the texts or calls because you’ve spent the day with a baby sleeping on your chest or chasing your toddler around the house, that’s OK.
If you fall asleep on the couch, in the arms of your husband, after laying there for just two minutes, that’s OK.
If you eat peanut butter and jelly every night this week because you just don’t have it in you to make another meal, that’s OK.
If you need to spend the day cleaning and organizing while your kids watch more shows than you would normally have them watch so you can maintain some sanity, that’s OK.
And if you don’t find yourself enjoying every moment, that’s OK, too.
You aren’t going to love every single second of every day, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love every ounce of your child. Cleaning puke, potty training, and dealing with sleepless nights and temper tantrums are usually not super high on the enjoyment chart.
Mama, I want you to know you are doing a great job. Nobody expects perfection, so I hope and pray you will not expect that of yourself either. If you are doubting your worth or wondering if you have what it takes, I pray you know you do. I pray you know you are exactly where you are meant to be. I pray you know what you are doing matters. It has value.
You can’t be everything to everyone. Because you were never meant to be.
Only God can be everything to everyone, so let go of that pressure. Know He has equipped you. Know He is with you, and when you feel that you aren’t enough, He will always be enough.