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The three words that saved my motherhood

This simple life built of love is enough.

The three words that saved my motherhood

I am enough. The words that play on repeat in my mind on days like this. During weeks like this. During seasons like this.

On a day that began when my husband left for work before 4 a.m. When I've lost count of the times my baby woke to feed and I willed her to cry quietly so my toddler did not wake too. When I am unshowered, uncaffeinated and unprepared to take on the tasks that await me.

I am enough.

I smile and greet my daughter, curled in the crook of my arm. She coos and her sweet, milky breath consumes me, but only for a swift moment, as my son shrieks, "Mommy, it's daytime!"

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I pull myself out of bed and we cross the hall to sing him good morning. His face lights with a smile as he bounds across the room and captures us in a bear hug. He asks how we slept and I feel it again.

That all-consuming bliss of motherhood that punctuates the mundanity of the everyday tasks of mothering. As quickly as it comes, it's lost to the next moment, but it's these pauses, despite their brevity, that remind me…

I am enough.

I strip his diaper and he rushes to the potty only to be seconds later in the pantry to reward himself for a job well done. We settle on breakfast. A bite of cereal topped with fistfuls of berries. The blueberry to strawberry ratio is unsatisfactory. We compromise on exactly three more strawberries, that MUST be served on the side, whole, but without stems. In the red bowl, not the blue bowl, obviously, because they aren't blueberries. Crisis averted.

I am enough.

He sits, he eats. I let the dog out and whisk the baby to the nursery for her change. Before we finish, the dog is pawing at the door and my son is calling for me again. He is done and ready for a snack and, by the way, had another pee pee in the potty, but missed. We clean up, but the trash is full.

I busy him with books and her with rattles then gather and take out the trash. I manage to throw in a load of laundry and make a pot of coffee. Before I can pour a cup and allow the warmth to wash over me, I remember the dog needs to be fed, but my daughter cries out from her playpen. She needs to be fed too.

I am enough.

I scoop her up for her morning feed and nap which coincide with my son's actual snack time. More strawberries? Why not! And just one rice roll? Sounds reasonable.

Her sleepy fussing turns to a persistent cry. Bouncing her in one arm I shimmy my milk-stained shirt up and latch her while I settle my son at his table. He knocks over his cup and, like me, the floor is covered in milk too. I hand him a towel then sink into a chair to finish her feed.

She refuses to settle, so I dance her to sleep instead. Three songs in, her heavy eyes shut and suddenly her brother shouts, "Alexa, open the magic door!" Her eyes pop open and are as wide as mine when I turn to shoot him the look, but he's disappeared down the hall to potty.

So the dance begins again. I sway and she curls back into my neck. I quietly sing and breathe her in, but the thought of whether or not I rinsed the potty steals my focus and my bliss.

I am enough.

The morning is a whirlwind of tummy time, diapering and potty pickup, trains, Madeline, hunting for my cold coffee and eggs because despite the fact that Easter was over a week ago, the plastic eggs and baskets will litter our house for at least the next month until I make the time to gather, pack and put them away. Considering I finished putting away our Christmas decorations two days before Easter, a month may be too ambitious… but…

I am enough.

Nap time and playtime are followed by lunch, quiet time for my son and the nap dance for my daughter. By early afternoon they sleep. I return to the living area strewn with train track parts, rice roll remnants, rattles, eggs and what's left of our lunch. The house is a mess. Our taxes aren't filed. I need to schedule doctor and dentist appointments and follow up on the preschool waitlist. Instead, I retreat to the office, shove unopened mail aside and write in bold letters, I am enough.

Amidst a scattered day, at the end of a blurry week, following a hurried season, when so much is left undone I reflect on the morning and question what was actually accomplished. When I consider what's left to tackle today, my mind floods with unfinished tasks of days before. When I feel overwhelmed by my pile of to-dos that build with each passing day and become an insurmountable mountain of responsibility. I think it, say it and write it.

I am enough.

Hopefully, with time, I will grow to believe it so completely that strewn toys and crumbs won't be the evidence of what was left undone, but the evidence of blissful moments of authentic joy that only a mother can share with her children.

Those moments are love. They are magical, sacred and fleeting. I want more of them. I want a motherhood in which I concede and melt into those moments and honor them with a grateful heart. I want to bury myself in them instead of under the weight of my mountain of responsibility.

My worthiness as a woman, wife, and mother isn't measured in tasks accomplished, however menial or grand, or meeting arbitrary deadlines, but in a life lived with love. Love for myself. Love for my family. The fiercest, most breathtaking love for my children.

I am enough.

They are enough.

This simple life built of love is enough.

Now, where did I put my coffee?

We love this sentiment so much we've stocked the Motherly Shop with a loving reminder to carry through every tough moment. It's the perfect just because gift for yourself or a mama friend who needs a boost.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

In This Article

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    Detective set

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    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

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    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

    $30

    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

    $100

    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

    $40

    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

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    $121

    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

    $100

    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

    $45

    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

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    $179

    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

    $100

    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

    $33

    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

    $88

    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

    $75

    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

    $30

    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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    The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

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    I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

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