Dear Mom Who Feels She’s Never Enough,
Please know you’re not alone. You probably didn’t even see it coming because it’s in the small details. We run largely on auto-pilot. We have to. We couldn’t function in our modern world without this ability. It would be too overwhelming to process ALL we do. For example, we know what temperature to set the shower at without thinking about it, where to find the toothpaste, how to use a phone, and so on. We don’t have to think about these things – they’re in our habits.
So, too, we run through our minds in habitual ways playing the same tracks over and over again—the stories about our family, friends, self. Good or bad, we create patterns and behaviors through our choices that become habitual.
This is exactly why a mom (especially a new mom) can fall under the spell of feeling she’s never enough.
- There’s never enough time.
- I didn’t get enough done.
- There’s not enough of me.
- I will never be enough.
Sound familiar? Here’s the thing, this is ALL very normal. IF WE AREN’T AWARE of how our new habits as moms are re-conditioning our days and ultimately how we are feeling: life gets lost in translation.
If you think about it, a mom starts off her journey into motherhood by constantly meeting the baby’s needs. Feeding, diapering (oh, the diapers), burping, soothing, and on and on… We are learning to put their needs first, as we should, AND THAT MEANS STOPPING what we’re doing to meet their needs, AND therein lies the challenge.
How do we constantly put what we are doing ON HOLD without learning to eventually put ourselves on hold, last, or even forgotten?
Here’s the rub, these types of ‘interludes’ have subtle conditioning that leaves us feeling anxious because you know when baby calls, you need to answer. NOW. If you are in the middle of doing something like panicking to finish a meal, answering a phone call, or whatever activity you are engaged in, it doesn’t matter; you need to break and go. That’s the reality with small ones.
If this type of re-conditioning strikes a nerve and goes unchecked, it WILL spiral down. Then, we are left feeling inadequate and fragmented in our thoughts, habits, or self. Anxiety brews, and we don’t even make the connection. We keep telling ourselves to toughen up, and we feel guilty for not being enough, or worse, we begin to feel resentment.
To feel like you ARE ENOUGH, you need to think small, from the stories we repeatedly tell ourselves to the way we nourish ourselves. Even the time we so willingly volunteer away from our already hectic lives is often the habit of saying yes. Habits create resilience when our days keep piling on the challenges or keep us stuck in a tiring hamster wheel of life.
Good habits, like staying hydrated before you’re standing over the sink guzzling water and now tired and irritated from the result of becoming dehydrated (yes, we all know this, but that doesn’t mean we practice it daily). Or mental habits like a ‘shift in awareness’ so you know when you’re barreling past your personal warning signs and about to hit a code red situation with your child. Calming practices you tap into throughout your day create stress resilience, making it easier to disengage from a stressful situation before it happens OR how to recompose fast if it does. All of these little ‘practices’ add up to big results. Together they create a life rhythm, making your to-do lists manageable instead of overwhelming. Not more, just better.
It’s the difference between showing up from a place of feeling REPLENISHED and VITAL versus not ENOUGH. Your responsibilities don’t change, but how you view them WILL. Doesn’t that make more sense?
Here’s the truth of the matter when it comes to not feeling enough, Mama: YOU ARE ENOUGH to matter.
If any of this rings true for you, then start paying attention to the details. Start to get curious about your life and where things may be out of sync. Uncover where you want to make improvements and then make a choice to do something about it, like ditching the guilt and learning how to take care of yourself too – really good care. Know that YOU will benefit from this, and it will be selflessly translated to those you love – it’s a win/win!
Where do you need to shine a little love light on yourself?
- In your time?
- Your energy level?
- Your body?