It may be the most recurring question of parenthood.
It will be asked of your heart very early. When you witness those two lines on that little piece of plastic; when you sign that dotted line in the attorney’s office. Whatever the route that brought you to parenthood looks like – this question will be one of your first thoughts.
It will be a question that you will find yourself asking out loud when you are in that hospital room, cuddled with a little human who’s only mere hours old, whose head you just cannot seem to stop smelling.
You will find yourself still asking the same question when your little human is not so little anymore, but rather now they are taller than you, wearing a shoe size bigger than yours. Yes, even when they become adults, with children of their own.
It is a question that you will feel requires asking (and more importantly, reassuring) over and over and over again. Through all the seasons of parenthood. You will try to answer it confidently, but there will always be that small space, tucked deeply into the back of your heart, that will allow you to feel a little doubt in your answer.
"Am I a good enough parent to this child of mine?"
It is the basis of many books, many parenting therapy sessions, many blogging articles on the good old World Wide Web (this one right here will add to that list). It is the one thing that connects all parents who decide to wake up and show up every single day for this (equally amazing and tiresome) gig of parenthood.
Look at a mama on the playground. A dad cuddled up with his child. You are looking at a parent who has questioned if they were good enough.
And if, by the grace of God, you yourself have been brought to the doors of parenthood, you are nodding right now, because you have asked yourself this question. Perhaps many, many times.
Well, what if I told you that you are good enough. And that good enough, is good enough.
Even on the days that you don’t want to get out of pajamas, and the children ate something that you poured out of a box for breakfast, and the TV feels like it’s been on for 52 hours straight, and you don’t remember the last time that someone said thank you, even though you’re constantly pouring out of your cup all day long for others. Yes, Parents. Even on those days, you are good enough.
We feel like we need to do more, and even more tiresome on the heart, we feel like we need to be more.
When really all your child wants is you. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just you.
For not only were you blessed with this child, but this child was blessed by you. That’s right. You. You are a blessing to this child. Even on the days when you don’t feel like it, you still are. There is no one else who could love that child of yours more than you do. There is no one else who would protect that child of yours more than you would.
Just as you could not picture life without your child, your child cannot picture their life without you.
I believe that it is no coincidence when a child comes into our lives. Whether that be by birth, fostering, adoption, or coming into a child’s life because you love their parent so much, that you want the opportunity to love them, too. No matter what leads you to parenthood, that child was put in your life (and you in theirs) for a very specific purpose.
Cherish that. Take faith in that. But more importantly, believe in that.
My daughter, who was 8 years old at the time, once said: "God doesn’t make any mistakes, Mama." And she was right.
You and this child were given to each other for a reason. A really, really good reason at that.
Don’t waste precious time wondering if you are good enough. Don’t allow moments to pass where the only thought running through your head is if you could be better, or how you could be better.
You are good enough.
Repeat it after me. After all, we could all use a little reminder now and again.
Heather Delaney is a wife, mother, sister, and nurse, who’s happy place is with a pen in one hand, and a cold coffee in the other. You can follow her adventures of motherhood, wellness, and positive living either on Facebook, or on Instagram at @thelifejoybuilt.
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