The joys of balloon animals and the struggle to be everything
You will never be enough. And that's alright. Because you're just the one person and you're more than enough for the spots you fill and the love you share and the hope you inject.
If you saw Mom's Night Out it was fantastic and delivered a great message to moms that we are enough. I agree in some ways and not in others. It's all in how you're looking at the big picture. (You know the really big one that we can't really see so much down here on earth?)
Us mommas have a way of being sure no one else can mother our children like us (don't you even try to suggest I'm lying here) and, yet, feel simultaneously utterly inadequate. Are we mad? Did birth set something askew in our brains? (Probably but I'm a writer not a scientist.)
I think winning the battle of "enough" starts with understanding where it comes from. Some people look within. Perhaps for some. But, it's important to remember we live in a pressure cooker called the world. Marry with that all consuming love and affection for this child you want so very much the best for and it's a combo for deep moments of "not enough."
The world we live in expects much, sometimes even demands much, of us as mothers. We live in the most saturated media infused world of any mommas in the history of ever. We work outside the home and in it. We see about 500 pretend mommas a day doing everything with firm thighs, toothy grins and designer hand bags. They solve big problems with equal parts perfection and self-deprecating humor and voila all is right in the world even though the world is not perfect.
The Donna Reeds are gone replaced with the truth of how neurotic some of us are and, yet, nothing but a view from inside the mind of a mother can convey that deep ache to be more or that raw yearning for not perfection, but enoughness when it comes to providing for our children. And then we open Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram and see 700 of our closest momma friends momma-ing it up with such glee. And to be sure I'm doing a lot with glee because there is no joy like the pure and honest delight of a two and a half year old with a balloon. A BALLOON! (Give them a balloon animal? Head exploding. Vibrating with joy.)
Wilder and friends at a birthday party this weekend vibrating with joy at the thought of the balloon animals heading their way.
We say we're our own worst critic and maybe that's true, but there is much judgement out there. We can never be skinny enough and our children's clothes hipster enough and our diets organic and locally sourced enough and our Valentine's Day crafts creative enough and our work presentation concise enough all at the same time - and sleep. From open letters to moms losing their tempers in supermarkets (have you ever been held hostage by an un-napped toddler mid afternoon on the cookie aisle?) to high and mighty blogs aimed at shaming a mom for looking at their phone while on the playground because, you know, soak up every single solitary tiny moment ever.
Humans never have been able to access so many opinions. Voices once heard only in the circle of a bridge game now have the megaphone of the internet. Life feels different. But, the truth is that it's still the same when it comes to the deep stuff.
My tiny messy snowflake needs the same things I did as a child and the same things my mother needed as a child. They need love that covers a multitude of sins. They need structure. They need a tender heart and a firm hand and eyes that see beyond the flying guacamole and repeat questions and nevereverending loupe of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and vision the big picture. They need the words that assure them they are enough even when they are not perfect, especially when they are not perfect.
They need whole mommas that know they cannot singularly provide for every single need ever for the child. We have a whole village for that.
They need mommas that embrace truth and acknowledge the hard, that know there are times to stop and soak it in and others to hit turbo and make it happen without pause. They need mommas that know sometimes they are not enough and that is okay. Because our world is made of mommas that know how to soak it in and others that know how to make it happen and some brilliant ones that seem to do both.
Because we're all called to do some things - not everything. And that's enough.