Doula observations · Postpartum

I Am Not Enough

I am not enough for my kids. There are days when I’m not Mom enough, when I’m not patient enough, and when I don’t love them enough. For example, my house is currently in a state of disaster. Clean laundry strewn across the living room floor, at least it’s clean, right? Dishes are piled high in sink. I managed to knock out about half of them before I lost steam today.

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But anyway, back to the kids. I couldn’t get myself out of bed today. Mickey Mouse was their parent until I dragged myself up. It’s not fair to them and I feel endlessly guilty about how I parent… Or rather how I don’t.

By the way, if any of you are feeling bad that you still have Christmas decorations up, just know we never got them fully up. My tree is still about halfway decorated and has been since the first part of December. I never got the gumption to finish it. The totes with the decorations are piled next to it the ornaments are all crowded along the bottom of the tree because I have toddlers, and they wanted to decorate it.

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I’m feeling lost in motherhood. I’m feeling lost in birth work as well, but mostly just how to get into birth work. I have so much passion and skill, but very little business sense. I’m working on it. Always working to better myself, although on days like today I wonder why.

I recently got invited to be one of the facilitators of the local postpartum group. I see new mothers at their most vulnerable moments, moments they don’t want the world to see. Due to the private nature of the group I will not be using any identifiers. Let me just say, these women amaze me. I’ve seen a first time mom who ended up with depression in pregnancy who knew to get help. I’ve met a few moms who didn’t get depression at all with their first kids but got it with number 3 or later.  I’ve met survivors of postpartum psychosis, one of the most stigmatized diseases in the world.

They fight on.

That’s not to mention the other facilitators. These women are rockstars! In the depths of their own depression, or their own anxiety, or their own post-traumatic stress about births outside their control, they reached to help. If that is not amazing, I don’t know what is. These women have become my tribe. We look to each other when we’re having struggles and I learned that even the strongest, most amazing women have struggles.

I am not the only one that struggles to be a mother. That was an amazing discovery. 

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As I coach the women in the group to be gentle with themselves, it’s starting to sink into my own psyche. I’m starting to believe that I deserve my own gentleness. I’m starting to give myself the grace that I always tell others people to give themselves. I’m allowing myself to fail in certain areas so that I can excel in the important areas.

I have learned that it’s okay if I’m not enough for my kids. That sounds bad but it’s not. My kids have a whole tribe of people to love them. Their dad is amazing and involved and just the best dad in the world. I’m fortunate to have my mom very close, to be close with my mother-in-law, to have sisters and grandparents and friends that are willing to watch my kids and love them if I’m unable to that day. My days are getting better for the most part, although I’ve learned that I’m definitely not the best housewife. I work full time, and that is a whole new hurdle to jump over.

So I’m not enough for my kids. That’s a lot of pressure for any woman to put on herself. I don’t want to be my children’s everything. I want friends and family to be their everything. Not just me. Because if it’s just me, then I fail. I fail everyday.

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2 thoughts on “I Am Not Enough

  1. I feel you I think your great leader and mother your doing your best and that’s all your so strong and great example to be your brave to show those pictures I don’t have the guts to show. But my son is away and my house is actually clean but he’s not here.

    Like

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