Am I Enough?

As a younger mum you do tend to get bombarded with a lot of advice (from people who may have good intentions, that isn’t always beneficial) and it can often leave you feeling inadequate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told what I should/shouldn’t be doing and ‘corrected’ when doing something because this other persons way is ‘better’. I get it, you’re just trying to support me but sometimes my way is better for me.. One of the biggest pitfalls of parenting (whether you’ll admit it or not) is feeling like you’re not doing enough. I feel it. And I know a lot of other parents feel it too. It’s always there. Whether it be the smaller questions; Is my child getting out and about enough? Are they eating properly? Are they around other kids enough? Or those bigger, more concerning ones; Am I giving them the best life possible? Are they missing out on anything?

Social media plays a big part in those parenting anxieties too. Instagram is jam-packed with Insta-mums; with perfect bodies, who live in immaculate houses, cook extravagant meals, drive lavish cars and go on equally as lavish holidays. Somehow they still manage to juggle maintaining their households, working and attending the hottest parties. How do they do it? Hats off to them, they seem to have it all.. Me on the other hand; I’m lucky if I make it out of bed before half eight, remember to marinate the chicken before dinner and I’ve all but given up on having a thriving social life.

Society has created this ideology of what motherhood should look like but I’m okay with not fitting that mould. I’m doing the best that I can.

I didn’t always have this mindset. When I first became a mother I’d compare our lives to the ones that I’d seen on social media; imagining my son had his own colour coordinated nursery filled with all of his toys and that I could take him anywhere and everywhere at any time. I brought my son all of the latest clothes, toys and gadgets. I don’t think a day went by when I wasn’t online shopping; I enjoyed it (I’ve always been a shopaholic so that was nothing new). It was never about stunting on social media (I barely posted anything anyway and I’ve never been ‘that’ girl), it was more about making sure he had everything that I thought he needed and making sure he experiences everything. I’d never want him to feel like he was missing out (which is stupid because he’s not going to remember any of this when he’s older).
The problem was that I was rapidly running out of space and he was losing interest in most of his toys and growing out of his clothes just as fast as I was buying them. It was when I stopped focusing on how to spend my money and more on how to spend our time that I realised how materialistic I’d been. My son is more than content playing with a discarded Amazon box or with his mini pots, pans and play food on the days that we don’t bother leaving the house. He doesn’t care that this isn’t his third (or even first) holiday of the year so far, or that he hasn’t got a Moncler puffer jacket to keep him warm in this weather (his £10 Asda one does him just fine). And he definitely doesn’t give a damn that our house interior isn’t Insta-worthy (with the white marble surface tops and cute grey finishing touches). He’s happy and so am I. 
Truth be told a lot of the time you have to take what you see on social media at face value: just a snapshot of that person’s life. They could just as well be going through a lot of the things that you are too and are choosing not to share those details. For a long time my friends and even family members didn’t know that I was a single mother – I hid it well (I was ashamed that the world would think that I wasn’t enough, although I had no reason to be). There was a time that I posted some holiday snaps of my son, baby dad and I; at face value we were a happy family with the world at our feet. Little did everyone know that there had been a lot of tension leading up to that holiday (and not the good kind). We’d been arguing on and off for months (including the night before we flew away) and we weren’t actually together, just co-parenting (and struggling at that). We were doing the best that we could. I was doing the best that I could. 
The truth is, you’re probably doing your best too. And that’s okay. You are enough. And what you’re doing is enough too. More than enough. It’s okay to not have your shit together all of the time. It’s okay if your life doesn’t seem as perfect as the next persons. What you do have is a blessing, although it may not seem that way at times (especially when they’re kicking off in the middle of a shop because you won’t let them grab the Impulse body spray they’re determined to go home with for some reason). Your child doesn’t don’t care that their clothes don’t always match or their mum looks a mess today. They don’t care that you couldn’t afford to take them on a 5 star holiday to the Maldives. They don’t know any different; as long as they’re fed, watered and occupied they’re fine. 

Trust in yourself. You are enough.

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