Forgive me, but I need to speak to all the mothers out there!
You’ve seen those cute Animal Planet videos of some animal mother caring for its young right? That mama bear chasing off a would-be male bear ready to devour her cubs, the mother cheetah teaching her cub to hunt, or that mother dolphin that pushes her newborn underwater to help develop its lungs. Or maybe, like me, you saw that mother eagle, brave the winter storm to keep her clutch of eggs from freezing. These mothers are so determined to see the success of their offspring, they willingly lay, literally, covered by a blanket of snow.
What makes them such a better mother than me? Do you ever have that thought? I mean, have you ever compared your mothering skills to that of an animal? Have you ever tried so hard to be the best mother you could possibly be only to feel that you have failed? Do you ever wonder if what you do is… enough? No? I’m the only one huh? Well shoot, you should stop reading here then!
I was watching Mom’s Night Out the other night and there’s a part near the end where, after a night of mishaps and botched plans for a night sans kiddos, the main character is feeling dejected and worthless. She says to another that all her efforts are never enough, to which the response was “to who?”
So I ask you, “to who” do you feel like your efforts are not enough for? Your kids? Your husband or significant other? God? Or is it really you that you don’t feel enough for? Is it really you who is obsessed with being the perfect mom, setting such high standards that no mother in the world could obtain them?
For me, my inadequacies as a mother, and failings are only those that I come up with all on my own. They are the times where my frustrations and exhaustion gets the better of me and my voice raises too much. They are the moments that despite my best efforts I feel like a gigantic failure as a mother. There is no one saying to me that I’m a bad mother. There isn’t a single time I can recall someone telling me that my children have no hope because all the things I do aren’t enough. Nope, I can’t recall a single person saying that to me. Well, no one except me! It’s all in our heads, ladies!
The truth is, that I’m no different than those wild animal mothers. I’m just doing the best I can. And neither are you. You don’t see mama bear beating herself up because she got angry and growled at her cub. You don’t see any other animal mother doing anything other than what she was made to do, just being a mom. They are just doing what they were made to do. Their instincts to keep their young alive guide them to make decisions and sacrifices to ensure their success. Is that really any different than what we do as mothers? Don’t we make decisions based on the instinct to keep our children alive? Do we not feed them when they are hungry, clothe them, bathe them, and nurse them back to health? Do we not research things to determine if that item is what’s best for our kids? Do we not make sacrifices for them, endless nights without sleep, forgoing our needs for theirs and so much more?
So I say this to you (and me) – We are enough. The efforts and sacrifices that we make matter. The work we do as mothers, is important. We are enough. We are enough because we try. We are enough because no matter what, the rearing of the next generation to be responsible, honorable and functional citizens is what drives us. We were meant to be their moms. We were chosen to be because we were the best one for the job! So let’s give ourselves are break and remember that we don’t have to be perfect, we aren’t meant to be. It’s impossible! All we need to do is by like those animal moms and be willing to brave the blanket of snow to ensure the lives of our young. If we’re doing that, then we too can be counted as a great mom. We are ENOUGH!