I’m just weeks away from meeting my newest little one, so thoughts of motherhood have been heavy on my mind lately. And not just thoughts of trying to remember the basics of caring for a newborn, but bigger, weightier thoughts about the journey and assignment of being a mother. I’m still relatively new at this thing (my firstborn just turned two), so I’m feeling the challenge of caring for two little ones deeply.
As a first-time mom, I spent many moments in the past two years wondering if I’m doing things right. I struggle with questions like: Was it okay to let her sleep through the night without waking her to feed? Can one year olds have donuts (once a week)? She didn’t have a bath today—and I’m too tired to give her one tonight. Washing her face and brushing her teeth is enough, right? Is she watching too much TV? Am I letting her stay up too late? Is she hitting all her developmental milestones?
While some of these questions raise important issues for the well-being of my child, what I think they are representing more are insecurities on my part about whether I am “mom enough” for her. Whether my shortcomings will cause her long-term pain and whether others think the same.
This is my situation: I’m a mom. And I have a full-time, outside-the-house job. I drop my girl off at daycare in the mornings and rush to pick her up on time in the evenings. I try to have healthy, homemade dinners on the table at least five nights a week. A lot of evenings, after all the running and working and cooking and cleaning up and preparing for the next day, I’m exhausted. And discouraged. And more than that, I’m wondering if it’s all too much. Am I “mom enough” to handle all the things on my plate? Really what I’m asking is whether I’m trying to have it all, and if by doing that, I’m somehow missing out on the most important things.
I think moms who stay home with their little ones ask questions from a slightly different (though equally exhausted) perspective. From conversations I’ve had with many of my mom friends, it seems like all of us struggle with the job we’re doing as mothers. And as much as we struggle with how we feel like we’re doing, we are all wondering what everyone else thinks about our performance.
But as we are fretting about whether we are “mom enough” for the job before us, the Lord reminds us that:
- He takes us, as imperfect as we are, and makes us good enough. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
- He gives us the strength we need to get through each day. (Psalm 55:22)
- He is our peace in the midst of fear and worry. (Philippians 4:6-7)
- He keeps us, and our littles who we worry so much about, in the palm of His hand. (Job 12:10)
So, at the end of the tired days, in the midst of the hard seasons, we can take heart that even when we don’t feel like we are mom enough for the job, we are loved, encouraged and empowered by the One who is more than enough.