You Are Enough
Recently there have been a number of viral posts for mothers. They begin something like...."you are enough". I have read them. All of them because quite frankly, being a mom today leads us to believe no matter what we do, we are NOT good enough.
It is apparent to me with the number of posts circulating this must be a growing trend of mothers questioning themselves, questioning who they are for their kids and questioning other mothers as well.
Today, unlike in days past mothers are balancing so much. In the quiet moments of the night many sit awake wondering if they are making the best decision for their children. Many work. Many stay home. Both have their challenges. Do you find yourself a better mother working? Can you make it on one income? Are you willing to give your entire self to being home? There is so much in that one single decision that I believe we all second guess ourselves. For me, its often seasonally if not monthly, weekly or even daily. Some question more than others, but I think we all question ourselves and wonder if we made the right choice?
Children are encountering life challenges earlier that the generations before. We have to navigate the emotional and social stresses appear earlier and earlier. There is identified bullying. There is "bullying" which isn't really bullying that is called before its necessary, impacting those said "bullies" when truly they were just children making bad choices.There are kids struggling with anxiety at such young ages we question how the future of their lives will be? We have to make decisions to help them relieve that anxiety and sometimes those changes impact the entire family.
There are more social pressures. They stare our children in the face around every corner. It may be in school. It may be regarding events that happen and how they will look if they attend. It may be regarding social groups they may want to be in or choose not to be in to protect themselves. Children want electronics earlier. The children are seeing apps that are impacting who they are and changing who they want to be. There are also shows that seem benign but end up showing our kiddos more than we ever imagined. Lines of communication are hard to keep open and with the hustle and bustle of life its hard to find time to sit down, debrief and guide. I know for me, I try but I can't keep up.
Children who play sports no longer have recreation leagues that are fun and educational for long however now they have them that filter into travel and intense programs and if they are not involved at a young age, many are a lost cause. I know I try to balance this for my family and want them to be effective teammates but fear I cannot give them the support they need to grow as athletes.
There are more identified special needs than there were in years past. Parents are lucky because they are facing them with the support of social media however that world isn't real and finding support locally can be a challenge and yes, those of us with special needs often feel judging eyes of locals. They are questioning their every move. They question choosing to go out in public? They question therapy and what type of therapies. They are constantly thinking. For me, my mind rarely shuts off.
Parents are finding their kids in situations they never expected. Its in part due to social media. Its in part due to the changing times.
I remember hearing when I was a new mom that my children's young lives were the "best and easiest" days of my parenting. I scoffed, but once again, those mothers who went ahead of me were right. Those lazy days with Sesame Street or the dreaded Cailou were in fact the easier days in life. Those days when you met a friend for a park play date, a walk around the block but when you think back, I am sure you too worried, was it enough?
I watch as mothers question themselves. I know I question myself. I watch as mothers talk about other mothers, sometimes in kindness others in judgement. I do it myself and often wish I didn't (well the judgement part). In the past year I have begun a transition as a person and as a parent. I never expected this change and yes, it was brought to me by a diagnosis I never wanted to hear but this autism diagnosis has been both my greatest challenge and my greatest gift. Each day it has taught me something. It has taught me one thing.
We all want the same thing. We all want happy, healthy children who we raise to be accepted and understood. They will not all be productive in society and that is okay. They still deserve respect. And love. We will have friends who experience loss perhaps by accident and perhaps by choices our children make and those mothers deserve support. They deserve understanding. They deserve our love.
Today we are all on our own journey. Each child is unique and will challenge our entire being however but you were chosen for this child. This child was created to be in your arms. You are enough. We are on the same team, to raise a better generation than the one alive today. Instead of questioning, lets give ourselves the credit we deserve. Instead of judging, let us support and listen and try to understand. In reality, WE are enough We are the moms of today's generation and we are the guides of the future.