Guest Post: Jessica Bauer ‘Mama, You’re Enough’

Welcome Jessica Bauer to Jamie’s Thots! Jessica gives her thots on being enough. 

Enough

In a world constantly pushing us to bigger, better, and faster than the next person, enough is a hard pill to swallow.

When I apply that word to motherhood, it often presents in the form of questions I can’t answer. Am I playing with her enough? Is he eating enough? Do I tell them I love them enough? Am I supporting, encouraging, listening, and focusing enough? I tick through these questions often, but I rarely find answers.

It’s hard to know whether you’re doing right by your children, and I assume you never really know until long after they’re out of your care. Sure, you have “aha” moments along the way, but it’s hard to get a big picture. And it’s hard to avoid the mom guilt trap.

For me it’s a constant struggle to fight the feelings of inadequacy that creep in when I hear about the number of crafts this mom does with her kid or the three-course meals that mom cooks. It’s hard to look in the mirror and believe that I am enough for my children. Every day my children are loved. They are fed, protected, and encouraged to grow in whatever ways they feel led. However, I’m assuming like many of you, that’s not where my focus lies.

I typically see different forms of enough:
That’s it! I’ve had ENOUGH! This one is reserved for the moments when you can’t stop the anger from bubbling over. This can be common in my house and it often leads to raised voices, locked bathroom doors, and entire sleeves of cookies. And that’s okay.

That’s ENOUGH, I give up. This one revolves around those throw-your-hands-up moments. You wave the white flag of surrender and you pick your battles. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I have to shut down and recuperate. And that’s okay.

Okay, that’s ENOUGH. This includes {but is not limited to}: chips, open jars of play-dough, rounds of Uno, Skittles, pushes on the swing, attempts at tying shoelaces, replays of Elmo, and juice boxes. This version of the word goes hand-in-hand with outright exasperation. It comes with the territory and that’s okay.

Although I use the above definitions frequently, I do a disservice when I leave out the most important one – the one that directly describes me. I am enough. Knowing that doesn’t make parenting easy and it doesn’t make it come more naturally. It just means I can do it. I don’t need to be better than anyone else, I don’t need my life to look like a magazine, and I certainly don’t need to prove a thing. I am enough. You are, too.

To the mom who’s struggling in the grocery store with one kid snatching items and another in the middle of a public tantrum, you’re enough.
To the mom who’s holding a fresh, pink newborn baby, struggling to remember the start of her last feeding and the date of her last shower, you’re enough.

To the mom who’s watching tears roll down her son’s face and holding back her own as he recounts a hard day at school, you’re enough.

All your kids need is love. Period. The grass is not always greener, and measuring yourself against others is a quick route to failure. All the worrying over things you can’t control is proof of how much your kids mean to you. You want them to become their best selves, and you search high and low for ways to get them there. Here’s the thing, though: you’re the key. And you’re enough.

Jessica Bauer is a small-town girl enjoying her slice of life and figuring things out as she goes. Her cast of characters include her husband Jonathan, two sons, and a bouncing baby girl. You can find her blogging the good, the bad, and the funny of parenting at Life With the Bauer Bunch (www.thebauerbunch.com).
Jessica Bauer is a small-town girl enjoying her slice of life and figuring things out as she goes. Her cast of characters include her husband Jonathan, two sons, and a bouncing baby girl. You can find her blogging the good, the bad, and the funny of parenting at Life With the Bauer Bunch (www.thebauerbunch.com).

I am Enough

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Beautiful, Jessica. Just beautiful.
    I often say, “You don’t have to have it all figured out. That’s not what the child needs. What he needs is YOU. Present. Trying to figure it out.
    <3 K

  2. I love this! … and it reminded me that I wanted to write one too.
    It is a hard pill to swallow sometimes that we are enough especially in a society that tells us we need to be more and do more.

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