I’m not the first to blog about this and I won’t be the last. Feeling ‘ _____ enough’ is tricky for most of us, whether that’s smart enough, pretty enough, kind enough, patient enough, liked enough, ‘together’ enough, a good enough mom, a good enough dad…and the list goes on.
At the root of feeling ‘enough’ is self-love, one of the keywords that has people clicking over to my site daily. But what else can I share with you that will help you feel like who you are now, and how you are now, is perfectly divine?
How about something practical? Something tangible that you can get a grip on when it feels like things are slipping through your fingers.
This is from that part of me who happens to be a mom of 3 kids. Motherhood is, of course, a role I strongly identify with but it’s also the place where I am pitted against my greatest struggles and challenges. Those struggles and challenges are internal; they don’t stem from my children being typical children, but from me being built the way I am. That’s a whole ‘nother post but if you read my tips on coping as an introverted parent, you get the gist.
I’ve learned that it’s OK to let the age and stage of my kids dictate what life looks like. Understanding and accepting what is possible and what would just be a big freaking gong show followed by a massive headache has really helped. Find your happy medium – that place where you are nurturing yourself (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) and keeping things easy for yourself as you care for other human beings.
That happy medium will change in terms of what it looks like. Maybe nurturing yourself as a mom of an infant means colouring (in your new colouring book that you asked for this Christmas) for 20 minutes while the baby naps. Maybe it means taking a nap yourself. Maybe it means listening to music that soothes you so you can be your calm self for when the baby wakes up again. Nurturing yourself will look different as a mom of a toddler and again as the mom of a school-aged child and so on.
And then there are those moments when you can’t even think about doing anything except letting the tears fall into your cold coffee. That’s OK. If that’s the best you got in that moment, then give ‘er. You’re doing what you can given what you’ve got, in that moment. It’s OK. It’s totally enough, and so are you.
Over the last 8 years I’ve stopped and started, I’ve changed direction, I’ve put my pedal to the metal, and I’ve turned on the cruise control depending on what was happening in my life. There were times when I resented having to put projects on hold or felt held back in some of my pursuits because the kids were too young or I had a tough pregnancy and couldn’t ‘handle’ anything more (because growing a human being is like sitting around and doing absolutely nothing). I’ve had days of crying and feeling super unproductive, like my life wasn’t going anywhere. In fact, I probably would have scoffed at the title of this blog post in those moments. I’m so much better than this, I can do and be so much more.
Well, here’s the thing: when I look back over the last 8 years of my life I can’t believe how much I actually did accomplish. I think, though, that if, in those crying into my cold tea moments, I just accepted that my best was enough, I probably would have saved myself some grief.
Because I’m a goal-setter, I’ve learned a lot about hustle. I think there is a misconception about what hustle is. We think it means go-go-go every minute of the day, depriving ourselves of sleep, and living on caffeine. That’s not what hustle is! Hustle is simply doing the best we can and always moving in a forward motion. We can zip through a goal or inch our way toward it; in either case there is movement forward. Even in those head in our hands moments, what we might feel are huge pits of wasted time, we can still move forward if we accept them and love ourselves through them. Because then we know that in the next moment, we can make another small step in returning to a higher form of ourselves. And if it’s not the very next moment, it could be the next one, or the next one. Keep moving forward because as I said earlier, every age and stage will bring with it new opportunities.
Never let that light go out because that light is you. It’s all the joy you can bring to the world. Keep the flame fanned with people who truly care about you, someone to help you out with the kids and give you that break, the pursuit of your interests and passions in whatever capacity that means in this moment, and these words: Your best is enough.