Am I Mom Enough?

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THESE are the moments I need to remember.

No, this isn’t another mom blog tirade on the recent boobirific Time magazine cover. There are plenty of good ones out there, though.

This is a heart-on-my-sleeve post about some thoughts that were going through my head today. I imagine I’m not the only one who feels this way. If I’m not, then I could use some words of encouragement. If I am, then I’d like a prize for “most unique mommy meltdown.”

Here’s a little gem that popped into my head today: What the hell am I doing here? 

You see, this question goes both ways. There are days when I admit I feel highly over-qualified for this job. I’m sorry if that offends anyone, but it’s the truth. After spending an hour scraping gooey, matted banana from my baby’s high chair, I feel a little cheated. (True, I had to clean it before, but it wasn’t used that often.)

To the extreme opposite end of the spectrum, there are days when I feel vastly under-qualified, like today. I am not a child psychologist, preschool teacher or dietitian. When my older daughter had the Mother of All Meltdowns #2 (you can read about #1 here), it was the first time I seriously doubted my choice to stay home. I’m not sure who cried more, me or her. I even threatened to throw away her Toy Story 2 DVD (which if you know her, you know it’s a BIG deal). I’m trying to give myself a little credit, though, as my hormones are wonky due to the baby’s self-weaning. (Okay, I’m giving myself a LOT of credit for that. It’s been rough.)

Admittedly, I would probably feel this way had I chosen to continue working outside the home. I would have still asked myself, “Am I Mom Enough?” Whether you’re bringing home the bacon, or frying it in the pan (or both), it’s so hard to know whether or not you’re doing the right thing.

So, do I still think I made the right choice? Yep. After feeling so deprived of time with my darlings, I can’t imagine giving that up again in the near future. (Talk to me in a couple of years.) My daughter still would have had her meltdowns, and I would have had less time to make things right with her. So I’ll just take it day by day, or hour by hour, try to enjoy the bright moments, and stop asking myself that dreaded question. I’m doing the best I can, and that, my friends, should be “enough.”

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7 thoughts on “Am I Mom Enough?

  1. All great points! One question I want to know is why as mothers and women do we seem more prone to asking ourselves if we’re good enough? What is it about our DNA that has us wired this way? It’s a battle everyday we have inside our heads – whether it’s about child rearing, career paths, house duties, maintaining friendships, family time, spouse/significant other relationships – trying to figure out our place while upholding our sense of being a woman….it’s exhausting! All I know is – if we wake up everyday thankful for the day it’s a triumph and the smiles, hugs, kisses and frustrations are part of this crazy journey – that I’m truly learning is life! Not the perfection of the fair tales and Hollywood movies – but all the exhilarating, challenging, disappointing, and amazing experiences.

  2. I think the nice thing about kids, at least early on, is that they tend to forget things quickly and move on. Sometimes we’re the ones who can’t let go. I try really hard to just forget the bad stuff as quickly as they do and move on to something else. Now when they see that I don’t dwell on it, they don’t either. Sure, a meltdown can last a long time, but once it’s over, I try to take a breath, redirect everyone and go outside or do something else. Of course, some days I fail miserably. ;)

  3. Oh Meg, you’re so sweet. I can’t imagine going it alone, and I think you’re so strong! Amara is beautiful and sweet (like her momma) and you should be proud of the young woman she’s becoming. Earlier today, Anna ran her hand over my leg and said, “Wow mommy, you’re legs have a lot of hair. They’re SO beautiful!” Then, she bent down and kissed my stubbly leg. Does it get any better than that? :-)

  4. I think as a parent, you will always second-guess yourself. Having doubt translates simply to the fact that you care and ultimately want the best for your children. I have learned over my 7 years of parenthood that I accept the things I can’t change (like being a working mother) and try to make the most of my time with Amara. If the carpet doesn’t get vacuumed because she wanted to play memory four times, then it doesn’t. We do the best we can and parents are never perfect. I tell Amara all the time I’m not perfect and ask her to forgive me for that. She still loves me anyways and thinks I’m a good mommy. My only hope is that doesn’t change into the adolescent/teen years! Point is: You’re doing great Cat. Your children are lovely and thriving and you have a lot of courage staying home. Some women really can’t do that. It doesn’t make them bad parents; just different. Tomorrow is never promised, so I think what you’re doing is great. I wish I had more free days. That’s for sure!

  5. You are an amazing mother. And yes, I feel this way more often than I want to admit. For me, it’s less, “Should I have continued working?” and more, “I’m losing my mind in this house!” I promise you that any stay-at-home-mom who’s being honest will tell you that this is par for the course. Buy some chocolate, wine and coffee and settle in, mama…these toddler days can be rough!!

    • Oh honey, I’m so glad we’re friends! Some day when we’re old, we’ll enjoy wine, coffee and chocolate together, and laugh about these crazy days. :-)

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