Never Good Enough

July 14, 2009

Have you ever had one of those days? One of those days called Mon-day? Or how about Mon-day the 13th? AKA a bad day… (for the record, I don’t believe 13 is an unlucky number, and I don’t think black cats are bad luck – I had 2… at the same time…)

I’m having one of those days. Nothing happened that was particularly bad, or should make me grumpy, but there it is – I am. The phone woke me up, but it was 10:30 so I can’t complain. The optician’s office – where I was going to take Penny to get her glasses adjusted this morning anyway, so I didn’t answer it. Ended up not taking her, but that’s life.

About 10.2 seconds after I got back into bed, the phone rang again. My dad, with information about step-by-step instructions for feeding Penny solid foods. I’ll get into that in another post, since it’s something I want more information on.

The cable/TV/phone provider was scheduled to come between 12 and 5 because my internet connection keeps going up and down. When they checked from their end, they said yup, my modem is shot. Tech came last Friday, replaced some amplifier part and left. It didn’t fix the problem, so we rescheduled for this afternoon. This tech came and basically said he couldn’t do anything because of the thunderstorm we had. They’re going to run a brand new line from the pole out in the alley, separate from our neighbours because we’re in a duplex, but a different department needs to call and schedule that with me.

A couple of times in the last few days I’ve seen people reacting rather quickly and to be honest, a little rudely. Happened again this afternoon. It hasn’t affected me directly, but just watching the exchanges between other people riles me up sometimes. I want to remind people about the immediacy and permanency of everything you say on social networking sites. The old adage comes to mind “Think before you speak.”

But more than all of this, I repeatedly find myself wondering if I’m good enough. Am I a good enough mom and parent, a good enough wife? I recently applied for a job and asked for a certain amount for compensation. And I’ve spent the last 2 days wondering if I’m good enough to make that amount of money. I’m constantly wondering “Am I good enough”, and in my mind, I’m not. Last week I said “You know when you were a JR in HS and think the SRs are so smart and cool? That’s how I feel about some of the moms on here.” I read what these moms have to say, and I feel like I can’t even begin to approach the league they are in. They use language that is well beyond the average grade 6 level. So even when I am interested in something they have to say, I read it and I feel like I understand maybe every 3rd word. I feel like I am playing pretend at being a parent when you put me beside one of them. They just know everything, and I can’t hope to have the knowledge even after 50 years of being a mother.

There’s more too. I realize my family thinks they know everything, and I of course, know nothing. So they give me “advice” and I’m expected to follow it. Like being told months ago that my siblings were only breastfed till they were 9 months because babies shouldn’t be breastfed any longer than that. Well, Penny’s 6 months old. So I’m pretty sure in another 2 or 3 months I’ll start getting pressured to wean. And I don’t want to. I want to be strong enough to stand up to what they say to me, but for some damn reason I feel like I’m not good enough for them if I don’t do what they say. I don’t know why what they think means so much to me, and why I’m always seeking approval from them. But it’s approval I never get, and has left me in tears on many, many occasions. Things like being told I shouldn’t work from home because Penny needs to be socialized so she doesn’t end up anti-social like her parents. Then I go to a play date, and get asked well why would I do that? I’ll be honest. I would really like to spend time with my family, but when we do I feel like I never live up to any of their expectations, and that they have to go out of their way to accommodate us visiting. So rather than willingly spending time with them, I force us to visit so that they can have time with Penny. I put up with the criticism and snide remarks, then go home either fuming or crying.

What else? Right, I’m not a good enough blogger. One of the magazines I read is looking for mommy bloggers to blog for them. I’d love to do that! But seriously? What do I have to say that’s interesting to anyone else? I’m a new mom, but I’m doing the same thing every other mom is right now. I don’t have any particular bits of wisdom to impart (refer to the pretend-mom paragraph above). I’m not a reviewer (I thought MakesMomHappy.com was the greatest blog ever, and then I found out there’s about 672 other review/giveaway blogs out there). But I SO wish that I had something to say that people wanted to listen to. Something that brought people to my blog regularly, and could start discussions, and could make people think.

Oh, and one last thing? Why do I feel like being a breastfeeding mom has to go hand-in-hand with co-sleeping and babywearing and attachment parenting and cloth diapering and eco-consciousness? Can’t you do one without being expected to do all the others?

So yeah, that’s how my day is going. How about yours?



  1. ***HUGS*** I’m not good at any of this stuff either. I am amazed that moms get anything done. I feel like a slacker. Taking care of a baby is so draining! You’re doing great. We all go through this. Two weeks ago I was a mess. It gets better.

  2. I want to introduce myself and share some things I have learned along the way. My name is Stephanie I am a SAHM to DD 10 and DD and DS Twins 6. I will apologize in advance because this may run long. I learned along the way there are a few hard and fast rules to parenting. I have a great husband who is a wonderful provider and works very hard so that I can be at home with the kids. When the twins were 1 1/2 he took a job overseas and ended up staying for 3 years. So needless to say I had a crash course in being a mom. My family was 300 miles away which wasn’t always a bad thing, we were always disfunctional at best. I didn’t have a very nurturing roll model to guide me on this journey. So here are some of my own rules that I try to live by.
    1. No one is perfect and even the ones that seem perfect have days when they just want to roll around on the floor kicking and screaming just like the rest of us.
    2. Motherhood is on the job training, there are no handbooks or instructions that apply to everyone. I have to use different techniques with all of my kids.
    3. When people start dishing out unsolicited opions and advice, smile and nod and then do what works best for you and your family.
    4. No matter how hard you try or how many times you bend over backwards for your kids they will still have days when they say they hate you or tell you that you are the worst mom ever..its a tool of manipulation DO NOT FALL FOR IT.

    I breastfed my kids as long as they would let me, and when they became mobile and independent I was a little sad because I felt like I was loosing something.I was wrong because I hear MOM, MOM, MOM at least 500 times a day so obviously I am still very much needed.
    The biggest lesson that I have learned is this is your life to live, the only way to become your childs perfect mother is to make up your own rules and do whats best for you and your child.
    The best remedy for me on those days when I am pulling out my hair and ready to just give up is crank up the radio get all the kids in the room and just dance it out. They are only little once, enjoy it, laugh every time you have a chance, cry when you need to and don’t let anyone tell you that you are not good enough because the truth is no one is perfect, we just have to be perfect in our imperfections. Hang in there, chin up and live the life that you can look back on with a few regrets as possible.

  3. For meaningful discussions, I talk with other women on a homeschool board that I belong to. There are all sorts of forums out there. Perhaps joining in on discusions there would be a blessing to you. I know how much it means to me; my wireless internet card died recently, and while I waited for my husband to get paid and be able to replace it, I found how much I missed hearing about others. Sometimes I talk (okay a lot; I like to talk) on the board that I belong to. Sometimes, though, I enjoy the chance to hear about someone else’s difficult day, because it puts mine in perspective.

    Some things that help me:

    count evrything that I got done that day. Today, for example–I got the dishes put away and the dishwasher turned on tonight (instead of in the morning). I prepped tomorrow’s laundry by putting the cloth napkins in the washer and the soap in the dispenser (I’ll add the rest of the darks in the load in the morning). I had reading lessons with my 4yo and my 5yo. I sewed 10 tucks on the bodice of the baby’s dress. I cooked to meals (lunch was yesterday’s leftovers). I did 2 loads of laundry. Counting the things I DID do help me, even if they weren’t all the things I wanted to get done. This way, I see what I DID accomplish.

    As far as nursing and family pressure–nurse as long as you want. The family doesn’t have to know you’re still nursing. You can always tell them that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommeneds nursing for a year. Plus, you’ll save lots of money on formula.

    My parents always thought I was wasting my degree because I chose to be home with my children. They still talk about me going back to work someday.

    But one day I found out that my mom had taken pictures of my garden and out them in a photo album on her coffee table, and was sharing it with everyone.

    The first time I made a cmocked dress, my dad was amazed that I had made it.

    They don’t say they approve, but though the path I have chosen is different than what they would have chosen for me, I can see that in some ways they are amazed by some things I do.

    I still want their approval, but I know I will never have it.

    As I focus on the things that I want to do and who I want to be, instead of worrying if my extended family approves, I am happier. When I count my blessings, I am happier.

    What blessings has God given you today? Look for those.

  4. Number one rule of being a mom: Do not compare yourself to other moms.

    This is also the first rule to be broken on a daily basis, I’m afraid.

    Hang in there, kiddo – the first five or six years seem to be the toughest. It gets easier…and then they turn into teens.

    Right back to square one.

  5. Thank you for your response, Stephanie, no matter how long! I like your idea of just dancing it out. I think that it’s something I’m going to try, and I look forward to trying it!

  6. This is some good information, and even mentally acceptable to me. You know how some advice, you nod your head and think it’s good but never put it into practice? That kind of advice isn’t mentally acceptable to you. Or that’s how it works in my mind!

    Every time I accomplished something today, I ran through my list again and added it. It feels good to accomplish something, and it almost spurs you on to do more when you see what you really did!

    Thank you!

  7. You sound JUST like my aunt! And she has 3 boys between I think 17 and 22.

    It’s SO hard not to compare yourself to someone else, whether as a parent, a neighbour or any of a billion other ways that you could be compared. I know not to do it, but you’re right that it’s the first rule to be broken. I think rather than negatively comparing, sometimes I need to compare what I do BETTER, just for the slight ego boost once in a while (not to get high on myself)

    Thanks for visiting and reminding me of the rules =D

  8. Speaking on a personal note, you are a great mom. I’ve seen this first hand. And you would not be the first mom to breastfeed past 6 months, 9 months, or even a year if you choose to do so. Another friend of mine, breastfed her daughter (maybe her son too, I’m not 100%) until after she was 18 months. Mind you, it was only once a day before she went to bed, but still… You will ultimately do what is right for you with little sway from outside sources. And since when did you actually listen to what your family said? They mean well, but they don’t know what it’s like to be you and they don’t know what works best for you and your new family. They’ll get over it. I’ve learned with them, no matter which way you work it they are going to have something to say about it, usually criticizing, too bad for them.

    You’re blog is really good, and it is something that a lot of mom’s can sympathize with, so I totally think that you should submit it, you talk about weight loss/gain and different approaches, you talk about breastfeeding and ways to make it more acceptable, you talk about different products out there and how they compare to similar products on the market, you encourage people, you look for and provide information to a lot of questions that people actually want to know the answers to. I think anyone would enjoy reading it. Look at the following you already have, and you’re not in a magazine.

    I know this was just a bad day and everyone has them, but hearing other’s toot your horn always makes me feel better, so I’m more then willing to point some of the things that should make you feel good about being you.

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