To the Mom Who Thinks She’s Not Enough

I don’t know where you’re reading this. Perhaps you’re sitting at your laptop, stealing a few minutes for yourself. Or maybe someone forwarded this to you at work. Or you’re huddled on the toilet holding your smart phone, with the bathroom door locked, and you’re fighting back tears because this has been one of those awful days that you wish you could forget.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, this message is for you and it starts like this… you are enough.

Think about those words for a minute.

You are enough.

Like tasting a fine wine, sip those three words and swish them into the recesses of your mind.

You are enough….

I remember the first time I discovered I was pregnant. I looked in disbelief at the pregnancy test. The joy that I felt was immediately overcome by concerns.

I had a few glasses of wine this month, I ate sushi, and took medication… I’m already a bad mom. I’m not enough.

While in labor I remember rocking back and forth, slow dancing with my husband, and looking up at him with tears in my eyes. Fear set in.

How can I possibly care for another human being when I can barely do this birthing thing? What have I gotten myself into? I’m not enough. 

Night after night, every three hours I nursed my newborn back to sleep. As I held that beautiful baby in my arms I fretted.

I’m exhausted, I’m worn, I just want to sleep. I’m selfish to be thinking about myself and the sleep I’m losing out on. I’m such a bad mom. I’m not enough. 

A tumble down the stairs, a fall in the yard, a bump on the head, and a trip to the emergency room… frightening moments in a young toddler’s life. As I wipe my child’s tears, I worry.

 I can’t keep up. I’m not fast enough, I’m not skilled enough, and I’m not observant enough. I’m not enough.

Homework, tests, making and losing friends, all the stresses of raising a school-aged child. As I think about this stage of life I fill with anxiety.

I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t understand this homework. I can’t protect her from hurtful friends. Are her grades good enough? I’m not enough.

Going to work, staying at home, working at home… these life decisions overwhelm me.

What if I make the wrong decision?  What if my work-life affects my relationship with my child? What if I’m not a good stay-at-home mom? I’m not enough.

I’m not enough.

These words rob us of our joy and destroy our confidence in our ability to mother.

You need to know something though… you are enough!

Whether you adopted, had a cesarean, had an intervention-free birth, took an epidural, birthed in a hospital, or laboured at home… you are enough.

Whether you nursed or bottle-fed, whether your child slept in your bed or in their own crib… you are enough.

Whether your child had a scratch, a bruise, stitches, a bump, or a broken bone… you are enough.

Whether your child had decent or amazing grades, one friend or many friends… you are enough.

Whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home-mom… you are enough.

I know this because there is a little someone who loves you and who looks at you with adoration. I know you’re enough because there is someone who delights in being loved by you.

You’re a mom. The fact that you think that you’re not enough indicates just how amazing you are. However, whether your children are weeks, years, or decades old, they need you to love yourself just as much as you love them. They need you to realize that you are enough.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing… this message is for you.

Yes beautiful mother… you are enough.


Featured on The Huffington Post HERE.

Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom
Former early childhood professional, now a stay-at-home-mom of two girls. I write about parenting, homeschooling, my faith, and personal life experiences. I'm striving to become the deliberate mom I long to be.
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom
10 things you can say to your baby, but not your spouse - via @BestofBaby - 51 mins ago
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  1. says

    Twitter handle:
    Okay, I may or may not be ugly crying over here. I feel like you took a peek inside my mind and saw my innermost thoughts of inadequacy. I’ve literally had all of these same thoughts except the school age ones, and I’m sure I’ll have those too when I get there. I like how you said that the very fact of having these worries show that we’re a good mom. Because I would assume that if we were truly bad moms, we wouldn’t even care how we were doing. Thank you for this reminder, I needed it <3
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  2. says

    What a wonderfully special post. Today, a day I’m so tired because of sleep broken by a toddler in the wee hours, who’s now breathing deeply and sweetly know my arms. Even today if I don’t get all my tasks completed, if I barely make it through today, if we lay and nap together, or if my fuse is shorter than normal, I’m still enough.

    Sometimes as mothers, it’s so hard to remember this, yet so very easy to forget. You’re right though, we’re all enough! :)
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  3. says

    Twitter handle:
    Oh I so needed to read this today Jennifer because I have truly felt like that this past weekend. I’ve actually been feeling that way for a while ever since I decided that separating from my husband was the best way for me and my kids. I’ve felt like I wasn’t enough for everyone. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way but it’s amazing how you always post something that I think was just for me when I needed it most. Here’s to a great week!
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  4. says

    Strangely enough, I was reading your post sitting on the couch, finishing (yes, ACTUALLY finishing!) a cup of (still) hot coffee, listening to the rain pattering outside and enjoying a blissfully baby free morning. I say blissfully, but in all honesty, I miss my daughter so much when we’re apart! My point in all this is, I often feel overwhelmed, “not enough”, etc.. but every once in awhile, my mum takes over baby duties for a morning, and I get to be delightfully refreshed. It charged my batteries like nothing else. I think sometimes, all we really need is a little “me time” to feel 100% again.. –
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  5. says

    Twitter handle:
    I’m so glad you wrote this letter to yourself because, as I was reading through all of the other comments, it became so apparent that so many of us need reminders like this.

    I might re-read this tomorrow morning to get jazzed up for the day! So empowering!
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    • says

      Twitter handle:
      Yes, it’s funny how these things work. I really wrote this to help shift my thinking/mindset… but after writing it and rereading it MANY times, it strck me that other mommies could benefit from having the affirmation – you are enough!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this Sarah!

  6. says

    Twitter handle:
    Hi Jennifer, a lovely post. Sometimes it takes the words of others for us to realize that we are enough for our children and couldn’t possibly do anything else to be more of a Mum than we already are.

    I am sat here tapping away at my laptop, awaiting the arrival of my daughter from school. I will make us a cup of tea and we will sit together and chat for a bit before her brother comes home and I do the same with him. It may not be much, but it is enough and all they need (even if their day hasn’t been so great)….Thank you for confirming that.
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  7. says

    Yes! God knew what He was doing when He made each mom and gave them their specific child(ren). It is easy to compare ourselves to other moms or even to the mom we think we should be, but being mom the best way we know how is enough. Thank you for the encouragement!
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  8. says

    Twitter handle:
    These are some empowering words, Jennifer. As a new mom, this is something that I struggle with, the doubt if I’m enough: not just a mother to my daughter but as the primary caretaker to my family. Thank you for the reminder that I am. That all I do is sufficient and more than enough. It doesn’t hurt to hear it once in a while.
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  9. says

    I clicked on this post from your SHINE hop because I thought it was one I had read yesterday and wanted to read again, but discovered it was a different post but very similar. Maybe I needed to read it ‘two ways’. So many people have commented that they feel this way. Your post came straight from your heart to ours. We all struggle, strive and compare ourselves constantly. BUT we ARE enough, and we DO make a difference – here’s a link to the other post to encourage you and others.
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    • says

      Twitter handle:
      I actually wrote this as a letter to myself and then chose to share it with my sisters in the motherhood journey. It was an emotional post to write but I’m glad I shared as it seems like many moms have similar thoughts/feelings.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this as well.

  10. says

    Twitter handle:
    Beautiful! I am always so hard on myself when I don’t think I’m doing enough to teach my girls. When they are sitting in front of the TV while I do the dishes or cook dinner, it’s tough. I often wish I didn’t have those chores to do. But I realize that when I do have the time to be with them, I need to actually be there. My toddler has started getting mad at me if I am doing something on my tablet, so I know that she needs my attention much more than my tablet does! I just love hearing her say, “Mommy, you’re so cute,” or “Mommy, you’re so smart.” I know she says those things because I say them to her. She’s learning how to be a little lady, and I feel so wonderful knowing that I am the one teaching her how to do that!
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  11. says

    Twitter handle:
    I read this earlier in the week but came back to it when you shared it on the #SITSblogging party. My child hasn’t even been born yet and I worry about all the bad things that can happen, all the things that I can and can’t control. Thank you so much for this beautiful reminder that as long as we love our children, we are enough :).
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  12. says

    Twitter handle:
    So true! It kind of went with one of my blogs this past week. We all feel pressured to be things, but where do those voices come from? We are a work. We are not perfect. We are constantly being made new and really, we are exactly where we are suppose to be! We are enough, in my opinion, because God made us to be enough to fit for the time and season we are in. We will have doubts but we can’t stay in those doubts. We have to keep moving forward. Thanks for your post! :)
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