“You know you’re enough, right?”
I stared at my friend. “What?” I replied.
“You’re enough. Even when you don’t feel like you are, you are. You were chosen to be your kids’ mom for a reason.” I let her words wash over me and I felt a sudden peace that I didn’t have before.
Because let’s face it, fellow momma. We can try to tell ourselves the same thing, over and over again, but sometimes, we don’t believe it until we hear someone else say it. This time, it was a dear friend whose mothering I deeply admire and whose friendship I cherish, validating me and holding me up with her encouragement.
Sometimes, it’s a friend who gives us this type of encouragement because they know us and they know we need it. But this type of encouragement can come from many sources.
It can be a total stranger who whispers, “You’ve got this. Good job,” while you’re trying to check out at Target and your kid is melting down (again) because you won’t buy her a cake pop from Starbucks. (Not that I’ve ever experienced this, or anything…)
It can be the kind, grandmotherly woman behind you in church who squeezes your hand and tells you she said an extra prayer for you, that your children are precious, and that she sees you, because she used to be you, once upon a time when her own children were small.
It can be your child’s teacher, telling you something positive your child did in school, and you realize that he did it because you taught him to… and suddenly you realize that even though sometimes it doesn’t seem like it, you are getting something right.
It can even be your boss or a coworker, who smiles knowingly (because she’s been there, too) when you come into work exhausted from the strain of working and being a mom and she tells you that you’re doing a good job.
It can be the lady sitting next to you at the park, who reaches out in hopes that you can be mom friends and help each other shoulder what can feel like the weight of the world together.
It sounds cliche, but it really doesn’t take much to be the person who turns someone’s day around. So, let’s be that for each other, fellow mommas. Compliment that mom in line in front of you at Publix with the tearful toddler. Text the friend you haven’t heard from lately to tell her that you’re there to listen next time she gets overwhelmed. Tell the new mom with bags under her eyes and spit-up on her shirt that she’s a good mom. (And maybe offer to hold her coffee for her while she straps her fussy baby into his car seat.)
Kids will be kids. They will always have a way of causing us frustration and exhaustion amid all of the beautiful aspects of motherhood. That’s why we need each other’s strength. Moms are amazing every day, and we’re even more amazing when we carry each other as we bring up these young people entrusted to us.
We’ve got this. You’ve got this. You’re enough. You always have been. And you always will be.
About the Author: Stephanie Curl, Contributing Writer
Stephanie is a writer and editor and has worked in the marketing field for her entire career. She has lived in Lakeland since 2005 and loves the family-friendly activities and sense of community that Lakeland offers. Stephanie is married to her high school sweetheart, Edward, and they have two young daughters. She loves classic literature and anything related to Harry Potter…and she’s always up for another cup of coffee!