Have you had Enough?
Written by: Trisha Moser
Do you ever feel like you have had enough? Like you just can’t go on this way anymore. Well, I’m there! I have reached the end of the road when it comes to the expectation thrust upon me as a parent.
All these parenting expectations have stressed me out long enough. I’m done being anxious about what I am expected to do as a parent, and what the other parents think of me.
I mean…. I can’t even… I can barely put together a full sentence anymore when I get asked about these expectations. I’m so over it.
Now, let me be clear about something… I am always going to love, feed, bathe, clothe, and take care of all the basic needs of my kids. However, I am done with the ridiculous expectations that get pushed upon us by well-meaning adults.
Let me take you back 7 years to when a I was a new mom, and relive a conversation I had with a seasoned mom.
Her: Oh, hi! I’m so glad to see you out and about for once with your baby! How is everything going?
Me: Fine… I think.
Her: Well, I’m sure you’re still breast feeding him…right?
Me: Well….it wasn’t really working so I’m using formula.
Her: Oh...Isn’t he only a few months old? That’s awfully early to be switching to formula. Well, I know you would make the right choice and use cloth diapers, right?
Me: Actually, we are just using normal, store brand diapers for him. I mean, I don’t really have the energy or will power to wash out 80 cloth diapers every day.
Her: Oh, ok…well, then I guess that’s one way to do it… but I know for sure that you will be making your own baby food, because if we truly love our babies we will make them food from our own gardens, and it’s so much cheaper! Do you realize that if you used cloth diapers and made your own baby food you would have so much more money?
Me: Ok well here’s the thing. I’m barely surviving. I didn’t love this kid at first sight like most moms, I struggle with post-partum depression, all he does is scream and puke all day, and I cry every 20 minutes. So how about that, lady?!
…Actually, I didn’t say all that. But I was surely thinking it!
Here’s what I actually said…
Me: <Blank Stare for awkward 30 seconds>…. Oh.
And then I quickly hurried away.
Now, keep in mind that this all happened on my first day that I went to a local mom’s support group at a church in town. It had taken me a good six weeks to work up the courage to even show up, and here was my first interaction with other moms. I left that meeting crying, convinced that I was going to kill my baby on accident.
Oh, the expectations…
It’s gotten out of control. I wish that we were parenting in the days without social media and mommy blogs. I wish we didn’t have access at our fingertips to vast opinions on how not to ruin our kids. I miss the simplicity of just doing our best and that being enough.
Can I just say something to you? You are doing fine. You’re fine! The kids are fine. The house is fine. Macaroni and cheese for supper is fine. A basket of laundry on the floor when people come to your house is fine. Formula is fine. Breastfeeding is fine. Cloth diapers are fine. Disposable diapers are fine. Tylenol is fine. Essential oils are fine. We are fine. We are all doing fine.
Do you hear what I’m saying? You’re doing your best, and as long as your kids are loved, fed, clean, and safe, then that is enough. YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Do not strive to meet the expectations of people. That will never gain you the approval that you wish for. The only striving worth anything is to strive to please God in all that we do, especially in how we parent our kids.
Let’s all refocus today on what is important. Let’s really take a close look at our parenting choices and see if we chose them because they are best for our family, or because we are afraid of what other people will think.
I think we have all had enough. And I know that we all are enough. You are enough. You’ve got this!
Galatians 1:10 (NLT) – Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.