You Are Enough

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You are enough! You are enough! You are enough! Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat this phrase ten times a day. It may feel silly at first, but it is true, and sometimes we need to recite positive affirmations in order for the truth to sink in.

As mothers and mothers to be, it is difficult not to get caught up in how we compare to others, what we should be doing, and what we are doing wrong. During pregnancy, we are flooded with information about what to eat and not to eat, how much weight to gain, how to exercise, what is safe and unsafe, what is the best way to give birth, what to do to prepare for the baby... And, after the baby is born, we are flooded with information about how to parent, whether we should breastfeed or not, how to lose weight, what to feed our children, when is bedtime...Woah! I could go on with these lists, but I think I need to take a few deep breaths instead.

With all these overwhelming guidelines, we forget to acknowledge that many of them are not simply black or white, but there are grey areas for us to be ourselves and decide what is best for us and our children. So what if you read that you should only gain up to 5 pounds during your first trimester, and you gained 10. Maybe your body needed that extra weight to nourish the baby. So what if you’re losing weight at a slower pace than your friends after giving birth. Maybe you need more time to recover. So what if you feel like you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown while other mothers seem completely calm. Maybe your circumstances require some extra TLC.

Motherhood is not a contest. You are on your own journey and doing your best. Everyone is unique and has their own challenges. Of course our own personal challenges are more obvious than those of others. After all, we walk in our own shoes every day (or on our own bare feet if your feet are tired and swollen), not someone else’s.

What can you do for you and your family? What makes you happy? What feels right and authentic? Give yourself some credit, acknowledge your strengths, accept your challenges, and be open to help when you feel overwhelmed. Seeking help does not mean you are a weak or a bad mother, it means you are strong and open to growth.

Remember, there is no set path for your motherhood journey. Choose your own and know that you are enough.

Bridget Benninger