In the earliest days of motherhood, there’s often a nagging doubt in the back of Mama’s mind: Am I enough? Will I be able to give all my baby needs?
Am I Enough?
She holds him in her body, grateful for all the ways it nourishes and nurtures him.
She trusts but she wonders, “What about when he’s in my arms? How will I even know if I am doing enough?”
Somehow, her body proves true in those first days, weeks and months.
Again, it nourishes and nurtures, willed by her mind and heart to push through the long nights and short days, feeding, changing, and soon juggling other responsibilities.
Those words tug at her heart in the busy moments:
Am I enough?
Can I really do all he needs and do everything else?
There’s no time to dwell.
Calm, slow days interspersed in the busy, foggy days give her hope.
Every smile, hug, and laugh encourages her.
Maybe all her effort is enough.
Soon he’s out of her arms and on his own two chubby knees, then tiny feet, then running ahead. The doubt used to creep in to conversations about how she was feeding him or what kind of soap to use for his bath.
Now, it overshadows plans for his education, socialization, behavior, emotional support, spiritual guidance.
When she allows herself to step back and accept the weight of her influence over him, it’s overwhelming. So many forks in his little road and he cannot even see them.
As her plate piles up, the same word circles her thoughts but in a different way:
This is enough. I am stretched thin enough, I cannot take on another thing.
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She wishes there was a way to know she was doing it all right.
Some checkpoints or grade provided so she could strive and attain. And maybe rest some, too.
The most obvious way to do this seems to be to compare herself to the other moms,
But she hasn’t figured out how to do that without either puffing herself up over them or casting herself down in defeat of the competition.
In a moment of silent desperation and behind a smiling face so as not to cause him any alarm, she gets on the knees of her heart and prays all her efforts will pay off. That everything will line up for him.
Unexpectedly, instead of becoming overcome with doubt, instead of shoving all the thoughts aside to move on to checking the next task off from the list, a truth shines through that both breaks her and sets her free.
There is no way around it: All the things won’t line up exactly right. All her planning and striving cannot prevent struggle for him. But it’s okay.
Because total fulfillment is not what she’s meant to provide for him. The source of her doubt is the thing that quiets it:
It drives her to give and serve and set up boundaries and prevention strategies and desire all the best for him — all good things. But they are not enough without what she just innately provides.
It is the best gift and the one she can’t help but provide.
It keeps him steady and pushes him on ahead.
It nourishes and nurtures.
It does not fail.
Love is enough.