When Enough is Enough

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My youngest has been sick, teething, or both for about a week and a half. He’s lost weight and relies mostly on my milk rather than solids. He was down to just two short feeds a day. Now he’s up with mouth pain and nursing at night and day. It’s the only thing that comforts him and where most of his nutrients comes from.

We went on a beach trip like this. I also caught his cold. Needless to say, I’m exhausted. I haven’t even finished my own mothers present for Mother’s Day. I pride myself on trying to be this superwoman all the time. My husband got up with all the kids this morning. He’s offered to have me go away to my moms for a break. I won’t be because my baby is still teething so bad and needs me, but I started thinking and realized I was putting an immense amount of pressure on myself. I was counting everything I wasn’t doing, but nothing I had accomplished. I was angry at myself when I was too exhausted to just keep moving.

When is it enough? When have I worked hard enough or long enough?

This is something that has plagued me since I became a stay at home mom. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a working parent.

Everyday, I ask myself if it’s enough.

Did I hug them enough?

Did I clean enough?

Was I patient enough?

Responsible enough?

Relaxed and flexible enough?

I think one of the hardest things about being a parent is just knowing that “enough” doesn’t have to mean when everything is done or perfect.

When your job isn’t measured in hours and days it’s easy to get caught in this never ending loop of feeling stressed and like a failure, because you are never done.

Add into the mix trying to learning homesteading skills and practices(or anything else for that matter) and it’s a terrible recipe for anxiety and depression.

I’m trying to do so many things, but I’m afraid I’ll get so caught up in checking things off this ever growing list that I won’t sit down and enjoy these things.

It doesn’t have to be a marathon.

You are not a failure if you didn’t do the laundry or dishes.

You’re not a failure if your kid had to be bored for a bit while you took the time to do something that didn’t involve them.

You are most certainly not a failure for needing a break.

Sometimes you have to step back and remind yourself that you aren’t a machine.

Things will happen with time.

Not all things that didn’t get done are important.

I don’t have to be superwoman and neither do you.

I forced myself to take today “off”. Yes, my youngest is still here with me. Yes, I got a couple things done, but naptime I made a point of doing something completely and utterly unproductive. I feeling better having done it. There is still this nagging voice that’s unhappy with that laziness, but truth be told I’m still exhausted. I’ll be getting to sleep in again tomorrow. It wasn’t like this in the early years, but my husband and I have grown into much better partners for one another. He’s got my back in whatever way that means.

Take that break.

Release yourself from the guilt of it.

You’ve earned it more times than you know and have cashed in far less than you should.



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