Sometimes I find myself sitting behind the wheel of the car thinking,
Enough with the bickering.
Enough with the chauffeuring, the gas-guzzling, the bumper-to-bumper.
Enough with the gum wads stuck between cracker-crumb filled crevices where nice leather seats used to be.
Enough, I say. Enough.
Sometimes I find myself staring at my reflection in the mirror thinking,
Enough with the wrinkles, the puffiness, and the sleep-deprived eyes.
Enough with the loose skin and the unstoppable gray hairs.
Enough with the laugh lines that look anything but happy.
Enough, I say. Enough.
Sometimes I find myself standing in front of an open refrigerator thinking,
Enough with the meal prep: morning, noon, and night.
Enough with the picky eater, the slow eater, the dirty dishes, and lack of counter space.
Enough with finding the unachievable balance of nutritious and kid-approved.
Enough, I say. Enough.
Sometimes I find myself gazing at photos of tropical beaches and secluded getaways thinking,
Enough with the perpetual ticking clock,
Enough with the steady stream of demands, the dust bunnies, and missing library books.
Enough with the needs of others that never seem to be satisfied.
Enough, I say. Enough.
But then something happens to pull me out of my negative abyss and set my head on straight.
I arrive home from a school meeting—a meeting that every fiber in my body wanted to skip. But I went because it’s one of my parental duties, to be informed for my children.
I get home, and I creep into the house praying they’ll all be asleep.
“She was really sad, so I assured her you would kiss her goodnight when you got home,” my husband tells me about our youngest child with an apologetic look.
I huff. I sigh. And then I climb the stairs with lead feet, as if my energy has suddenly been entirely depleted.
I open her door softly. The light from the hall spills into her darkened room. I see tear-streaked cheeks that are still wet. With a visible sigh of relief, she smiles at me and quickly wipes her face, clearly embarrassed by her state of duress.
“I don’t like it when you’re not here to tuck me in,” she offers as if her breakdown needs explanation.
I open my arms and hold her for a moment. And like an overextended inner tube stretched beyond capacity, my child is the key to releasing all that is pent up. I feel the pressure slowly seep from my body as my shoulders begin to relax.
“There’s something on your bed,” she calls out as I bid her good night.
I promise to go look, but my thoughts are focused solely on taking off my uncomfortable shoes.
But it is there on my pillow waiting for me—a note in sublime kid penmanship, the most exquisite font available.
The note reads: “I’m glad that you are my mom.”
Suddenly. Powerfully. Salty tears begin streaming down my face, and I am reminded.
If I am not here for the bickering and the battles,
I am not here for the hugs and the hallelujahs.
If I am not here for the gray hairs and the grown-up worries,
I am not here for the giggles and the growing old.
If I am not here for the kitchen table sweeping and serving,
I am not here for the dinnertime prayers and praises.
If I am not here for temperature checks and teddy bear retrieval,
I am not here for the bed tucking and nighttime talks.
If I’m not here for the upheavals and the breakdowns,
I’m not here for the high hopes and the healing hands.
Sometimes when I say, “Enough,” I forget that enough has two sides. My life’s little joys – like morning hugs, sweet lips, and mispronounced words – are the soft side of enough. They are the cool side of the pillow on a sleepless night. In one turn, these little blessings soothe away the bad, the draining, and the ugliness of my life.
These small loving gestures are enough—enough to get me back up to do it all again tomorrow.
And although sometimes I find myself thinking, “It’s hard to be here today,” when it comes right down to it, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
Update – 5/6/16 – One year ago, I was honored to read this piece on stage at the Listen To Your Mother show. You can see that video here.
Denver friends, I will be speaking in your area on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at Denver First Church’s Ladies Tea from 10am to 12pm. It would bring me great joy to meet you! In the fall, I will be coming to the California Bay Area, Nashville, TN and Mandan, ND. Click here for dates & event information.
Friends of The Hands Free Revolution community, thank you for your support & encouragement of my writing. You are the soft side of ‘enough' on the difficult days.
* For more inspiration to let go of distraction, perfection, & societal pressure to live better & love more, check out my book, HANDS FREE MAMA, a NYT Bestseller. And my latest book, HANDS FREE LIFE, will help you stop managing life and start living it.
Kerry Foreman says
Right on time! GOD you’re good!
That was beautiful. Thank you for that…it is what I needed as I head off into this Thanksgiving week.
Thank you! I had an Enough day today. Thankfully, both sides of Enough!
So did I!
Many thanks for making us smile when we read your posts.
Rachel Thompson says
another wonderful post. They always seem to come when I need them the most and each one is something I can relate to. So nice to know Im not alone in how I feel!
Wow. I really needed that. Thank you. I feel more open to feeling grateful now. Amazing writing. I live your message and, I, too, love the kiddie penmanship.
Terri Rhodes says
Just reached my “bad side” of Enough for the day (only 9AM) when I read this & am now filled with the goodness of Enough. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving to you &yours!
Thank you for the sweet touching words that help sooth my “Mommy” soul. This Saturday night my 5 year old son was up all night with a stomach bug. Through his tears he said “Mommy I hope you don’t get sick…but if you do I will take care of you”. ….made the sleepless night so worth it!!!!
In tears, you have an amazing talent for expressing yourself in the raw. Much love to you <3
This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning after a busy but productive weekendof both kinds of enough. Enough with the guilt of never being enough would be a big one for me. I’m my own worst critic as we all are! Blessings to you and yours this holiday!
Nicely done! I think every parent can relate to this!
Anita Claud says
Thank you so much for writing and expressing all you do. They are a great reminder to me to just Stop and Be. Our chapters in life are different, but they are also very much the same. As a mother to an almost 21 year old daughter, and almost 16 year old son, and being a daughter to an 83 year young mother, I too find myself saying Enough! The drama, pressure, uncertainty, and hormones (both mine and theirs..lol!) are daunting! But, I’m reminded how far they all have come, and what we have done as a family to get them there… the loses, the victories, the joy and the pain….and I find the only thing that matters is being here, in the Now, living it with them for as long as we have them. It is ENOUGH…..
hi anita, your post resonated with me…i am typing with one hand as i try to apply heat & coldto my injured back…please 4give me! i too have two elderly parents that i am trying to care for and my family! there is ALWAYS
drama and my hormones! i always say it…my poor children didnt sign up for a menopausal mother, that is what they got! i always feel like ENOUGH. that is why i really enjoy reading rachel posts! it always brings me back 2 what is important and crutial. i have so much 2 b thankful for and when i do take the time and see and feel it…it feels great! i agree it is hard but i wouldnt have it any other way with any other people! God blessed me with a wonderful family and my job is 2 appreciate them in every way i can and hopefully He can give me the strength to do so(with a amile)! Have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!
Anita Claud says
Hi Kim…..it’s tough to be in the “middle”, isn’t it? Some days, I feel there is not enough Ms. Clairol to cover all my gray hairs, or that my tongue hasn’t fallen off for biting it so hard…lol! But I totally agree with you, this is my garden that God has placed me in to take care of and nurture. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else! Praying that you find healing for your back, that you find peace, and that enjoy a beautiful Holiday Season with your family.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!!
Wow… very encouraging. I’ve been having a hard time recently and I’m not entirely sure why. My daughter is 7 months old, and I’ve noticed I’ve been losing my patience with her, particularly during diaper changes when she resists everything I do to get her cleaned up. At EVERY diaper change. I feel like I’m wrestling an octopus, and I use cloth diapers which are a tad more difficult to get on her just right. This post is very encouraging to me. Please keep it up!
Hi Samantha, your comments struck me. I had a pesky baby too, that it took both my husband and I to hold down for each diaper change. When he went to work, I would look out the window and watch him drive away, and wonder how I’d do it without him. She is now 7 years old, still pesky but in different and more cool ways. Someone told me once “the characteristics that are hardest to parent in your children, are the most admirable in adults”, and it always made me smile in the times when my baby, toddler, and little girl resists. She is strong, passionate, alive, curious, doesn’t go with the flow, questions things, argues, makes hypotheses, runs with the boys, etc. Great, right? Just not easy to hold a kid with that kind of gumption still for a wiping of the hiney! Anyway, I went through a lot of it on my own because I was embarrassed to join a mom’s group and have anyone see me struggle, maybe all of their babies were behaving better.. I totally regret that. I would’ve been nice to have a group to laugh with, or even to help me out.. LOL. Hang in there fellow mama!
Samantha, just something I did when I cloth diapered my wiggly baby. If you can get the diaper on from the back, they tend to allow it more easily! The snappis really helped me get the diapers on fast, too, if you’re using prefolds. Once my daughter could stand while holding on to something, I had her hold onto the front of the changing table while I put on her diaper as she stood there. That was much much easier than trying to hold her down. But keep trying different things until you find the right fix for you! And good luck! 🙂
Rachel, happy thanksgiving week to you. As always your post come right on time, as we are all having the same strugles at the same time. Just last night while I was preparing dinner and doing the dishes my daughter is playing with her Dad, she was having a good time but my husband not so much, she wanted to share every two seconds of every activity with him, Daddy look at the book she would say, Daddy look at this, Daddy look at that, while reading books or coloring, Daddy this is purple, that is blue. She is 2 1/2 years old and learning too fast, but my husband couldnt keep up with her, by the time he started reading one book she would started coloring or play with something else and I just could hear his voice getting annoyed. I found it funny because that is me every day of the week with her, I love when she calls me, yes sometimes I need to finish cooking to pay attention and some days she needs more attention than others. But as I hear him getting annoyed – getting to the point of saying “ENOUGH” I reminded him that she just wanted to play/spend time with him, and that the sound of Daddy in her voice should make him feel lucky, loved, appreciated. At that point he realized that as you stated, in order to get the hugs and kisses he also needs to spend sometimes doing what she really likes and spending quality time with her. Your post just remind me that for us to be able to enjoy the end result we must be willing to walk the journey. Thanks again for your writing.
Thank you, a thousand times. This single mama is often at Enough. I will look for the moments to soften and yield, and I will remember that Love is the most important thing.
Thank you for this. As I read this, I was curled up at the bottom of the stairs listening to my screaming baby in her crib, nearly in tears myself with ENOUGH. Then I was reminded that the other side of those screams are giggles and there are mamas out there who would do anything to hear either. THANK GOD FOR YOU TODAY!
I think we all feel that way sometimes, no matter what our lives are like. Thankfully there are those moments that bring us to the good side of the frustrating things. I don’t have children, but my nephews are good reminders, but so are things like brunch with a friend, being silly with my parents while watching a football game and a million other little things.
Karina A. says
You NEVER disappoint. This hit home like your posts always do. God Bless you. You have a gift and I am so thankful that you can share it. I can’t wait to read your book.
Kate Aaronson says
So beautifully written and so appropriate for Thanksgiving time! Thank you.
Whenever I have those enough moments I think of the alternative. Not having any child at all or having a child taken away from you due to a tragedy. That kills the anger and the gloom. I start to see that though my home will never be the same, it will also never be the same. Disorganized and toy explosions trump empty cleanliness devoid of life. I only have one and pray for more. And though more may be nowhere on the horizon due to difficulties getting pregnant, I try and take breaths and appreciate every moment, even the crazy annoying ones, with my cherished little one.
Happy Thanksgiving. May we all count our blessings even when they sometimes may seem like the opposite. xoxo
Anna Whiston-Donaldson says
So beautiful and so true, Rachel. Thank you. I really can’t wait to read your book.
I had an ENOUGH weekend . . . probably the closest I’ve come to the end of my rope since becoming a mother. Thanks for the reminder that I am not alone in this and that other moms experience the same things that I do. I was feeling like the worst mother on earth but I am now reminded that it’s okay to feel this way. I look forward to getting up every day and trying to get it right again. I may never get it exactly right but my children think it’s all ok. As long as they forgive me for my shortcomings, my life is full.
Oh, MY … this is so familiar, it’s eerie. My daughter and son leave me notes, too, and they always create a tidal wave of regret in me. How could I have been short, snippy, ungrateful. Thanks for reminding me of all the ways one is part of the other, that the “enough already” is just the flip side of “this is enough.” xox
Dani Hottendorf says
Thank you… I really needed to read this today… up with a sick child until all hours of the morning… waking up to a messy house after a busy weekend and a grumpy hubby with a cold… sigh… thank you
I had Enough yesterday and let my family know it with an outburst in the car. Later in the evening my 8 yr old asked me to tell a story at the dinner table and I told one of a mom who needed a spa vacation where she could get massages, eat good food and read books. Both boys said, “that’s you!”
I have your words of wisdom ion my mind everyday, some days I don’t do very well. I think what I’m in need of is some appreciation. I could really use a note on my pillow. 🙂
Aw! I feel for you, one of the hardest parts of parenting, (and being a stay at home mom makes the feeling worse), is how very few times we hear “thank you for all that you do!” I’ve started trying to turn that around by saying thank you more often to my family. Thank you for clearing your place, that really helps me out. Thank you for getting your shoes and jacket on quickly, we will be on time now! Etc. I’ve found that it helps them remember, occasionally, to say thank you back to me. Just something I’ve tried that has had some success! Good luck! And thank you! 🙂
From one good mamma to another!
I will make more of an effort to do this. I appreciate your advice!
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Thank you for letting me know, Missie. That means a lot to me.
Amy S. says
I had a Sunday Night Mama Breakdown last night because it was all just too hard. I needed to read this today. Thank you.
Lindsay Boyce says
Oh Rachel this is it! The feelings I’ve shared so closely lately. Thank you for putting it into such a beautiful, real, story. Thank you for sharing how real you are. Much love Mamma!
Theresa Ceniccola says
Thank you for this reminder!! My “enough” usually sounds like “I’ve had it!” Like I’m ready to give up. And I don’t ever mean it, but it sure feels like it in the moment.
We’re entering the tough stuff. The years when every decision is one step further away from mom. Sometimes I feel so ill equipped and futile to navigate the world of teen parenting. But – to paraphrase you – if I’m not here to let them stumble and fall…I’m not here to pick them up and guide them off again. Thank you, thank you, thank you for that reminder.
Love this! Thanks so much for putting into words what I already know-so encouraging!
Enough days are very difficult for me but I always remember that I should cherish every moment. Thank you so much for your posts. They are such a sigh of relief to know many of us are on the same boat. May God bless you and your family. Thank you!!
I read this just shortly after I learned that my friend lost his daughter this weekend in a car accident. My heart is so heavy, so burdened with sadness for him and his wife and everyone that goes through the loss of a child. This post helps remind me that I am blessed to have my daughters in my life for however long that may be… and to remember the small blessings every day.
Laura D. says
Wonderful post, as always. I nodded through the whole thing. My new mantra for, hopefully, this day forward: I am blessed.
Robin Cockrell says
Beautifully said…Thank you!
Katie Knight says
Or standing at the mailbox and thinking “enough” with the bills, junk, mail… and the realizing that I am lucky to have a home, electricity, and someone who picks up my trash.
Katie Knight says
ooops… typo! and the[n] realizing….
Yours is the only blog I read regularly and it is worth it every time. Thank you, as so many other have so eloquently communicated in previous comments. Your ability to communicate what has yet to be put into words has really impacted my life and I can see my journey continuing.
Martha Garcia-Wegener says
Thanks for the post. I was thinking yesterday that I’m tired of my daughter’s whining. I can’t wait till she grows up and stops it. But then I reminded myself that there’s so many good things daily that will be gone when she grows up. This post was very relevant to me. Thanks for the reminder.
You are truly blessed with your talent for meaningful, thought-provoking words!
Last week was my son’s “Special Week” at school for his birthday. He got to have Mommy in for lunch, Pappaw in for lunch another day, and Mommy spend the afternoon with his class on Friday. I was about as excited as he was for that week…until Thursday night when he pulled out of his backpack a box (much like a McDonald’s Happy Meal box) that was he was to decorate and answer questions on, for Friday!!
I took a deep breath, getting ready to say, “Why are you just now giving me this!, etc”, but instead, I took another deep breath (thanks to your words that constantly pop up in my mind) and smiled (I actually smiled) and said, “Well, let’s see how creative you are.”
He answered his questions (who do you live with? what’s your favorite activity? etc), and then he was to fill it with “prized possessions.” This took alot of thought (and time), but I reminded myself to enjoy the moment and quit looking at the clock. Finally, he showed me all his treasures he put in his box, and told me why each one was in there. When he finished, I told him what good choices he made and I’m sure his class would love to see each item. He kinda made a sad face and said, “But I can’t fit in my favorite thing.” I said, “Oh? What’s that?” He grinned really big and said, “You!”
I swear my jaw hit the floor! Then, of course, I was in tears. I about squeezed the life out him, hugging him, and told him that was the sweetest thing I’d ever heard.
Later that night, as I gathered snack and water bottle for his backpack and signed his homework paper, I sat there and smiled. Then it occurred to me that that night would have gone completely another way had I acted on my inital impulse. I could have said, “Enough with the last minute stuff! Enough with the time consuming stuff! etc…” But I remembered your loving and oh-so-helpful words, and I took a step back and JUST LOOK AT THE REWARD I RECEIVED!!!!!
I love your stories! I love that you share! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Rachel Macy Stafford says
I am crying–tears of joy. To know my writings played a small part in this beautiful exchange makes my heart so full. I am grateful you shared this with me. It reminds me also to “take off the ticking clock.” Look what can happen! Look what gifts our loved ones have waiting for us if we simply slow down and make ourselves available to receive them! You have inspired me, friend. And everyone who has left such beautiful comments today on my blog! My heart is full as I head into Thanksgiving with ALL of your words on my heart!
What an incredibly beautiful story! Thank you!
How true this rings and I agree that right now is a trying time. I will remember this as the next month
goes by and the kid’s busy schedule gets busier as we are racing to wrestling meets and holiday get togethers!
Thank You — I too needed to read this on this CRAZY MONDAY!
DL Ekanger says
Oh, wow. You are good. If we aren’t here for the hard times, we aren’t here for the good times. Thanks for the reminder.
Gigi Regnier says
I just read through all the comments left by the moms you have helped and am so thankful for each one and the families they mother. At 54, I have been where you all are and remember the enough days oh to well. As a Christian, my fall back plan was to sing loud enough to drown them out and lift my spirit. I kept all the pillow notes and pull them out each Thanksgiving and give thanks once again for the sweet memories they evoke and that we have grown into wonderful adults that prefer to be with eachother. Keep writing. There is a world out there that needs your voice. The daily newspapers would increase your sphere of influence if you sent your blogs in to the editors. Much love, Gigi
Wow! Powerful post today, thank you.
Boy, did I ever need to read something like this today, thanks!
My “enough” days are pretty much gone. I am 68, and I am reaping the benefits of those days – which I remember well. No family to give a little respite, just us. But now, my 2 son’s, a dil & a granddaughter have Sunday dinner here every week. (Sometimes that is an “enough” day – LOL) I am deeply, deeply thankful for these times. Young moms, hang in there. You are not just cleaning etc; you are building character and mean so much to those little ones. God bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving!
“And although sometimes I find myself thinking, ‘It’s hard to be here today,’ when it comes right down to it, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
I don’t have children, but I do have struggles and battles of my own. Don’t we all? This thought sums it up perfectly for me. I often tell people that although my life is really, really hard in many ways, I absolutely love it. A majority of days I feel that it’s hard to “be here”, to be in this body that hurts SO MUCH for no apparent reason… to fight through the depression and the feeling crappy so that I can smile and love on the people around me and let myself be loved. But even though it’s hard, there really, really is no place that I’d rather be. I love my life, hardships and all.
SO TIMELY! My husband was just sharing his stress and feeling of disconnect with being so busy with work. How he feels he needs a break (and is on vacation all Thanksgiving week thank goodness!) but if he kept working, more work would get done. I shared with him how we all get that “I have had enough” feeling of being to tired, to stretched thin, to flustered, to overwhelmed. I told him how I get that way with the girls, him, and life in general at times. I think “I have had enough” (of all the things you mentioned–especially the bickering!) and just want to go, go somewhere where it would all be quiet, away, alone, to have my peace. And then I quickly come back to the same thought time after time….I would end up bored, miss my family, miss my sweet girls faces and jokes, miss my husband and his companionship. I eventually get over it and move on and it’s all worth it–the UPS outweigh the ENOUGHS! 🙂
Right on time I need to hear this today, I am missing my family in Arizona very much especially my Grand daughters Thank you God for all your many blessings.
So Grateful for you Rachel, your ability to be honest with all of us and am super grateful for this Hands Free Journey! You are my little birdy that whispers the advice I need to hear. My soft sides of enough are the warm hugs and strong embraces, the giggles and toothless smiles and the hand holding! There hands in mine, soon they will be to big to let me hold their hands! Again so thankful I found your blog, you help me be the best my mom I can be a day at a time!
Thank you for giving words to all of us… this is a daily refrain running through my mind or sometimes right out my mouth. ENOUGH! followed by the awful question “Am I enough?” Then one of my lovlies reminds me why I’m here and why I’m doing this. Your words remind me as well. Thank you so very much!
How timely….I had one of those “enough” days today and now feel so much better. I so love your blog!
I love your writing; I love your heart. I love that you are brave enough to share your wisdom and insight with other moms. I am a grandmother now; and remember these feelings well. It truly helped to have this type of positive thought in my mind, to remind me of what I really wanted. You are changing the world, one parent at a time. I echo the comment of Gigi R. who suggested a column in newspapers, in addition to your book publishing. Your words should be heard by as many as possible, to help us remember that we can choose our attitudes and reactions. It is not our children’s job to make us feel like good parents, or grandparents. It is our job to help our children realize their own value in the face of a world and culture that may tell them another story. You help us to see the unique and amazing beauty in our children. Thank you.
Just had that thought tonight… This constant delivering of attention is so draining. Like a marathon with no end in sight. How nice would it be to have a day to myself where there are no demands on me. But even if my mom offered to watchtower daughter all day tomorrow so I could catch up on sleep, linger over lunch, or pee as soon as I have the urge, I wouldn’t take her up on it. Where I most want to be is with my daughter.
I LOVE this! As a mom of 2 boys (4 1/2 and 3) about to embark on a Thanksgiving road trip by myself with them I needed to hear this!
Thank you, thank you for this post!! God knew this was exactly what I needed today! I have been saying enough a lot lately and sometimes even questioning my decision to stay home with our kids. Today reminded me why I do it day after day!!!
Sarah NA says
Your words brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your eloquent description of my thoughts and feelings. Our children transform us and encourage greatness. It is evident you are on that path!
Thank you! One mom to another who knows what it takes…I forget these moments mean so much more than we give ourselves credit for. I don’t get around to reading all your posts, but the ones I do stick with me. Thank you and happy thanksgiving!
All I can say is WOW……as a wife, mother of two and and a teacher to 23 8 and 9 year old students….this was so powerful. Thank you….. that’s all I can say is thank you! There was hope, wisdom and optimism in your words and that is what I needed today.
“And like an overextended inner tube stretched beyond capacity, my child is the key to releasing all that is pent up.
I feel the pressure slowly seep from my body as my shoulders begin to relax.”
This is so true for me.
My children literally save me from myself.
The mere sight of them and my stresses, my fears, my anxieties…washed away.
This arrived in my inbox with perfect timing. Every word of it described just how I’ve been feeling the last few days!!
Then after arriving back from school pic up I was routing through school bags, preparing myself for what needed to he organised that coming evening, when I stumbled across a very similar picture my eldest had done for me – a huge heart with, ‘ Mummy I love you so much, you are the best mummy in the world!” I put it back into her back to allow her to give it to me when she chose. I too felt emotional, those little moments when you realise for every hardship there is the most precious little people in the world that make it all worth while. But at times the whole enormity of the love I feel for the children and the wanting to get it all right for them, feels very overwhelming and these are the times when I need a pick me up and your blog always does!
Incase you wondering my daughter eagerly handed me the picture before bedtime and said, ‘Mummy, I did this for you in my choosing time because I love you so much!’
Thank you hand free mama for another great post And keep blogging 🙂
You obviously struck a chord! Such a great reminder. I actually just had a status a day ago that said I was DONE. Much like the enough…illness, holiday stress, work, and day-to-day stuff gets to be so much. But, you are so right. Thanks for the reminder.
I am heading into my kids rooms with a note that reads just that. “I am so glad that you are my son/daughter.” And one for my hubby too. We all need to read that sometimes. Especially when we are worn out!
Thank you for sharing. On the morning of having enough the night before and already at my threshold of enough this morning with one of my teens this is exactly what I needed.
It´s so true what you say, the thing is sometimes my son does so many bad behaviors and all that that I don´t have my little things to hang on. I love him so much. I also wouldn´t be anywhere else that in my house with him and my husband.
I have walked in those shoes many times…. as a mother of 3 I get lost in the daily battle of just getting lunches made, homework done, baths, reading time, laundry, school uniforms cleaned and pressed, dinner, and of course the children want to play. Kissing them goodnight, as I do every night, they hold on a bit longer and won’t let me go. I do my level best to just enjoy that moment as I know, too soon, that will pass. Yet there are times where I am just so tired and I don’t really view these moments as being sweet but rather frustrating. In my mind I can hear myself saying “come on guys, not tonight…can’t we just go to sleep with out hanging on me all the time”. So what if my child wants to hold me for an extra few moments at the end of the day? What do I have that is more important than that – nothing. I listen to a Christian Rock radio station. There is a song written called Worn. The artist wrote it after his wife woke up one morning and said she was just so tired and worn out of all that life keeps dishing out. In reading your story I thought I would share this song. Just as your story touched my heart – I hope this song touches yours. God Bless. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zulKcYItKIA
Robin Chandley says
What a beautiful expression of a mother’s love. Thank you for sharing thoughts that all of us feel as mothers. Some days it is overwhelming and I sigh out loud, but then they smile…….and you do it all over again:) Blessings for a wonderful Thanksgiving. May it be perfect and messy all at the same time.
Jennifer Wood says
I said ENOUGH yesterday…the list of to do items is long and the house is a mess, but I grabbed my 11 year old daughter and one of her best friends and we went to a painting workshop and made silly reindeer! I chose to paint one also instead of sitting in the corner working or catching up on email! We laughed and giggled at our lack of painting skills, we chatted about life (11 year old girls can be very insightful) and got paint in our hair, on our faces, and on our clothes – but we had a WONDERFUL few hours!!
Sara D says
How lovely written. Your words speak how so many of us feel day to day. I will be sharing your post on my wall, for my friends to read and understand that they too have ENOUGH, and we should all be Thankful and feel very Blessed that we can say we have ENOUGH. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Enough with the poopy diapers, the fussing, the bickering over who sits where, the tardies, the smell in the bathroom, the laundry, the lack of sleep…
But yes, nowhere I would rather be! Thank you for the reminder that we can’t have the awesome parts without the not-so-awesome parts!
Your writing hits home in my heart and brings me to tears. I have three girls ages 3 months, 2, and 5. Thank you for sharing!! I have been hoping to find a blog like this!
Andy Smithson says
It’s wonderful to read these words and see the train of thought that takes you from a place of frustration to a place of peace and joy. It’s amazing to me how nothing externally has to change but the moment we recognize the moments and appreciate the value of our everyday, life changes and the sky opens up. Thanks for your beautiful words Rachel.
Drowning on the inside says
Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is exactly what I needed today! A reminder of why its not enough….
You truly have an amazing gift of encouragement. My family has had some unexpected costly repairs this thanksgiving holiday, and I was finding it harder and harder to keep my thankful attitude, but I know I have so much to be thankful for. You have certainly reminded me of that.
Enough of the whining and fighting over little things…than I think- Little ones struggle with showing emotion, adults bitch all the time!!! And the little things? That’s exactly what they are!!! Loved this post. Made me take a step back towards gratefullnes!
This was a really nice reminder to refocus on all that we have to be thankful for.
Many thanks! Great post!
Trina Johnson says
Motherhood is the highest job above of other. All your(our) children are precious gifts from God. They are treasure that have no dollar value. All of our time and efforts for others will give us great rewards.
Thank you so much for taking time away from your family to post each week. I savor them like a letter from a friend. Thank you for the reminder today.
I love your blog. Just when i’m to the point when i’m thinking “enough” , I recieved another post from your blog and I read it and it puts everything is back in prespective. It reminds me to enjoy the little moments I would otherwise ignore or dismiss in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Thank you so much form the heads up to remind me what’s important!
That was Wonderful!!
Thanks so much for this. Tears are streaming down my face. I too have realized that this Mama job is the job I really want. I don’t want another one. It is a big job, but its way more than a job. So, knowing that this really is the job I want, I remind myself “on the hard side of enough” that this IS what I love. It really is. I am a very fortunate mama who doesn’t have to go to work somewhere else, like most mamas in the world. I get to just have this one job.
We recently had a foreign exchange student stay with us for a week. I was surprised at how much my mama heart jumped into action for him. 7 days, that was it. On the last day I went to parent/teacher conferences for him. I went proudly and with a fire lit to work with the school to make it the best for him. I realized how much I had grown to love this kid in just 7 days. He left that night to go to his permanent placement. There was a sadness in seeing him go. I’ll never forget the look we gave eachother as he left.
I realized that this Mama thing is what I am made for. Its a great and mighty thing.
Thanks for your post. We all need encouragement.
Erika Steele says
I sometimes feel that I can never do enough for my child, or her friends, to make her happy. This past august, I was in the hospital for a week. My husband brought my daughter, and at least 3 or 4 friends every night during my stay for a visit. Before leaving, every one of these precious girls hugged me and told me to get better, “mom”! Yep, I think it’s enough!
I had an Enough! day yesterday. A really bad one. Tears from all involved. Today I had a great “Enough” day. Today I had my toddler say “Bye Mum, Have Fun! I miss you!” when I went to the bathroom and I had my 5 year old tell me I give the best hugs when I consoled him after he tripped over a rope and was embarrassed. Its funny how those little moments can floor you just as much as the bad ones!
Wow! Thank you so much for this today! I was thinking Enough as I am on day 3 of caring for my 4 year old special needs child who is sick. And while it is hard to be here today, there is certainly I no place I’d rather be…thank you so much for the beautiful reminder!
I’ve had several “enough” days in the last week with my four-month-old. Last night as I was nursing her to sleep, I felt the soft puffs of her breath on my skin. It was something no one else feels, and for that I was grateful.
I love your blog, I read it all the time, but have never commented. Your words speak volume! Just yesterday my 6 year old wouldn’t get out of bed for our nanny. (m&d already left for work) I had to return home yet again and I had ENOUGH of her awful mornings. I raced up stairs to start the “talking to” she was about to get and she had tears rolling down her face. I stopped and asked why are you doing this? She said “I was waiting to see you this morning.” Ironically she had ENOUGH of not seeing me and her dad in the morning. Something we never thought of… we just thought she was being rebellious and not wanting to go to school. But it was simple. She just missed us. As you can image my heart broke. We have fixed our morning routine and despite her missing an hour of sleep, seeing us and spending time talking and getting ready is the best part of my day! I am thankful for you encouraging words that reset me! Thank you
Enough with the Christmas decorations and Christmas music and Black Friday ads and sale catalogs in my mailbox!! I love Thanksgiving and it is more than enough for me to be with my family and friends, for just one day to only think of the things I HAVE and not for the things I WANT. 🙂 Lovely reminder, my friend.
Just discovered your blog from a share on my friends facebook page of your “Enough” entry — this is EXACTLY where I am in my life, too! I am going to write a big note that says “Hands Free” and tape it to my bathroom mirror so it is the first thing I see in the morning, throughout the day and last thing before bed. Maybe it will help me to remember to stop and breathe! Following you, now! Thanks
Karro och King :) says
This was so beautiful—it’s all about perspective and having eyes to see what’s good, what’s right, what’s true. Thank you so much for putting this out
Kamya (Australia) says
Thank you for reaching right into my heart and putting on paper exactly how I feel! You are a gifted writer and I am blessed each time you post !! As is my family with the perspective you give me. There is no greater calling and privilege than to be a Mum !
Emily A. Baumann says
That was the most enjoyable and lovely read truly putting words to my experience as a mother. What a talented writer and a great gift to the world! Thank you.
You have just brought peace to my heart. I am a stepmother to three beautiful children. They have brought me so much joy, yet many times I have said to myself, “Enough. I can’t do this anymore.” This is too hard. They’re not my kids. My life would be easier if….and then, like last night when all I could do was cry myself to sleep because I was feeling the effects of my depression….the two youngest come into my bedroom and hold my hand, rub my back, and kiss me softly on my head while whispering, “we love you, Jess. It will be okay.” Exactly the actions I’ve taken with them a million times before, and will do one hundred million more times in their lives. That’s the “cool side of my pillow,” my “hugs and hallelujahs,” and the breaths that keep me alive every day.
Thank you for sharing this….and I’m thankful that I found this site when I did.
I recently found your blog and I have to tell you that you are life-changing. Keep the inspiration coming.
On this Thanksgiving day, I am taking a moment to thank you for your insights and wisdoms that touch me everytime I open this email. I am a stay at home mother of four boys and sometimes the state of our home, cars, garage, yard, my brain- is absolute lunacy! There is no way around it, this is the hardest job in the world. And the greatest. Truly, a gift, but man do I relate to every single word as somedays I am barely hanging on. I cry everytime I read your posts and feel refreshed and energized, like I am not alone. Thank you for that. Thank you for verbalizing this constant state of trying to achieve balance. It is a daily struggle, and then I read things like this that center me, give me that extra resolve not to scream when the 18th wrestling match is about to go down in my family room:). Or to slow down and enjoy snuggling instead of attacking mount laundry that never goes away. You are a gift, your words are heard and they change people. You help us all make the balancing act a bit sweeter and bring things into focus when the world is swirling about us. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and all in your world:)
Thank you for this lovely, encouraging message! Such a great reminder what a gift it is to be a mother though it also helps to know we’re all human and forget sometimes.
I hope that your Thanksgiving Day was a truly blessed one. You give so much of yourself to those you don’t know and haven’t met, and I for one am truly grateful for your words. Your honestly and openness is such a breath of fresh air.
All the way fron Australia! Sally xx
Kimberly Packard says
Thank you SO much for this. I needed it. It makes me feel less guilty because I feel like I’m the only one who feels like that at times.
Eventually, I will run out of room on my computer from saving all of your posts! They always reach me in exactly the place I need to be reached and I thank you so very much for writing this and the rest. I refer back to them frequently and the good they do for me as a mom is immeasurable! Thanks again!
your am amazing woman to be able to convey those thoughts & feelings so eloquently. As a mother who’s told her 5yr old to go back to bed 4 times since 5:30 this morning this hit a nerve! Thank you for the reminder of what is the MOST important thing, my babies & NOT the cyber Monday shopping I was going to do! I’m going to go hug him & forget about the rat race for a while!
Carrie Gann Tyer says
I am a single mom of 3 beautiful daughters & I feel so alone sometimes but this is a reminder to me God is always on my side helping me care for my children my blessings I wasn’t suppose to b able to have children but God blessed me with 3 healthy amazing daughters!!!
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Thank you for letting me know you are here, Carrie. Thank you for the important work you are doing. Together, we are not alone. Honored to share this journey with you, friend.
Love! Love! Love!!
Rachel, you have a knack for posting exactly what I love to hear exactly when I need to hear it. This is a beautifully written, heartfelt, sensitive post. It most certainly resonates with me as I navigate the world of parenting 3 little girls – ages 9, 4 and 10 months old. I constantly grapple with the push-pull of speed-up-to-fit-in-all-these-memorable-moments-before-they-are-teenagers and the slow-down-to-breathe-in-and-enjoy-these-“do-nothing”-moments.
Thank you for your gentle reminder to focus on what’s most important.
Rachel Macy Stafford says
You are a light in my life, Amy! Thank you for taking time to tell me how you felt about this story. It means the world!
Thank you God. This is just beautiful!
Thank you. This is just what I needed today. I’m feeling pulled in 15 different directions, exhausted and sick. This reminder gave me the lift I needed to get through the rest of the day and really look forward to some time with my boys this weekend. Rather than see my life as a series of “jobs”, you’ve allowed me to view it from a different perspective. The 40 minute drive to lacrosse three times a week will be rewarded by seeing my sons enjoying themselves and coming off the field sweaty, smelly, hungry and happy. The hugs, smooshy kisses and cuddles are often enough. But sometimes we all need to look at things from another angle. Thank you for the reminder. I really needed it.
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Thank you for taking the time to let me know this touched you, Laura. I need these reminders and it is blessing to know I am not alone in my struggles. I wish you peace today.
Leticia Scaciota says
I’m a Brazilian teenager and sometimes I’ve no time to read your updates because I need to study, or work in some project etc. then I say: enough, I need a break, a time to myself, I need to read your posts! They inspire me so much! I want everybody to know this blog, this way of life, and most of all, I want to be able to live hands free!
Rachel Macy Stafford says
You are so awesome, Leticia! You have truly made my day! Thank you, friend.
Your site may just save my family. I identify with everything you are saying. I’m in my own emotional puddle right now as Christmas approaches and I just can’t do it all. Than you for your words of truth and hope.
Christy Schwoyer says
Please notify me of new posts, via my email.
So beautifully said!
Thank u for your beautiful honesty and encouragement. I’ve had a “more than enough” day or week or month. But the two angels I just kissed goodnight are “more than enough” to make it through another lifetime. Your words about you being hard on your oldest daughter also rang so true to me. My daughter is such a people pleaser and sometimes I find myself impossible to please. She is perfect to me, why am I so hard on her. I want the best for her, but I want the best of me for her as well. I hope I can make the same changes you have and be a better mom to her and my son. They won’t be this age forever. I want to appreciate every moment, never dread it again. Blessings to u and ur family. And thank u. You have earned another follower and touched another heart.
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Thank you for such loving words. I am so glad you are here joining me on this life changing journey!
Thank you. You have no idea how this has helped me. My new goal: Hands free Mama!
Rachel Macy Stafford says
YAY! I welcome you to this life changing journey with open arms!
Thank you for being so honest. I needed this. We have 5 children, one of which is autistic. I am a stay at home mom and get really overwhelmed sometimes, and my attitude needed an adjustment. Thank you. It is so reassuring to have a “sisterhood in motherhood”. Wishing you continued blessings.
jodi friedman schultz says
you are absolutely amazing!! I just discovered this tonight through a friend and I am so amazed that I can’t find the words to say other than you touched my heart and soul and I look forward to reading all of your stuff
Love this! My word for 2013 has been enough! This was a wonderfully written post that totally sums up how I feel so often! I really want to work on not getting to the point where I say Enough and lose it!
Jill Eden says
WOW, I’m so happy that you took the time to write this and to share it with all of us in cyberspace. I love that this wonderful piece will be rippling throughout time far beyond when you were inspired to put it together. It made me cry.
THANK YOU!! Blessings to you and your family.
i so needed this today. its not the first time you’ve written what I was feeling I LOVE this post!! thank you !!
“my child is the key to releasing all that is pent up”. Definitely. Too bad we all so often forget that until they wrap their arms around us and the pressures of the day simply melt away. Thanks, as always, for the reminder of how precious our children are, especially when we have had “enough”.
I really needed this today, after a rocky week of being terribly sick with a bad summer cold, and having the kids start school at the same time. It’s been nothing but messy house and bickering, but there have been some nice moments, too. Thanks!
Dawn Marie says
I don’t know if you will see me here, but I thank you so much.
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Yes, I see you, Dawn. I read every comment, every message. This is my daily fuel to keep writing … even when my hand shakes over the publish button. I am grateful for you being here today.
Claire McFeely says
Wow! This brings back so many memories of raising my 3 sons (now 29, 25, and 21). It was exhausting, and I admit to saying “enough” many times…. But then (without your wonderful words to hep me see it all) I would just ‘melt’ as one of them would reach back in some kind, loving, and caring way. Oh how I miss those days now! I’m ever grateful that I didn’t walk away from it all in a state of exhaustion!
Today I had an ENOUGH day, it started already early this morning, and went on and on and on. Thank you for this post, I so needed it, and I so value your uplifting posts. Strange how we all go through the same stuff, and how we (all mums) need uplifting.
I’m amazed that human emotions are the same no matter where we’re from.. N it makes me feel so wonderful that u can put into words what I never would have thought to though it’s so true for me n in that sense for so many others too .. Lovely!!
Yes. Hard to be here. No place better.
Kate Vanskike says
Truly lovely. Thanks for the precious reminder.
Thank you for this! I just love you and this beautiful post!
Glennis Boyd says
My eyes are leaking as I read this and i type it with blurry eyes……took me back to what really counts and to the most precious gift I have in my life…My husband and our only son! THANK YOU!!!!!!……I SO appreciate your words of life!
This made me cry. I need to read it daily to remind myself of the big picture.
Thanks for this. 🙂
Dads are parents too.
I have one thing I want to say to you for putting into words all this. THANK YOU. And if you’d be right next to me, my thank you would be followed by a big hug. What a good, genuine and heartfelt read. Thank you. ❤️
gina chick says
A year ago on Monday, my three year old daughter, my only child, the most wonderful thing I have ever done in this life, died from cancer.
I miss the Enough moments. I miss them like fire in my blood.
Blaise taking so long to decide which stripy socks to wear, then getting her toes caught in the fabric but not wanting me to help her, and me with a doctor’s appointment in a few minutes. Wanting that extra story in bed when I was done done done for the day. The incessant ‘mama’ ‘mama’ ‘mama’. ‘Come and help me do this, mama.’ ‘Why is the moon, mama?’ ‘Let me do the groceries in the checkout all by myself, mama.’ Her glorious will, exerting itself on the world, and on my routines, my schedules, which crumble in the face of the wave which is her. Her spectacular honesty, no matter to whom and about what. My gritty-eyed sleeplessness, haven’t seen a movie or read a book in months, cleaning up vomit, or poo, or food, or toys, or crayons, or clothes, or all of these joys tangled together into some technicolour concoction of play, now discarded in favour of a dragonfly’s wing, held up to the light, reflecting jewels in the sun.
I have spent 12 months missing everything about her, but especially these things, these little everyday mundane expressions of mama-ness. The ordinariness. The total spectrum of experience, the warp and weft of the fabric of love.
And yes, with them the butterfly kisses, ‘I love you, mama,’ skin like milk and eyelashes like feathers. The heart-streaming joy of watching her impact the world. Her light radiating and bouncing and skipping out in all directions, and me dying every day into that love, into those myriad perfect moments.
Seeing the world from her height. Dancing in the street with her, no matter who is looking. Watching ideas explode into her mind and take root in such fertile soil; this passionate creature, always inquiring, tasting the world on her tongue and finding it beautiful. To witness that, to truly SEE the unfurling of a human, this daily miracle, before my gritty, sleepless eyes, what a privilege; feeling that little body curl up on my tired bones, knowing she is half me and half my mate and completely herself, not mine at all, my job is to patrol the boundaries and steer the boat but her life is hers, I can’t save her from it. I couldn’t save her from it.
I miss all of it.
I would trade anything to have those Enough moments back. To come home to that card on my pillow. To have, just for one more day, all the frustrations and joys of that shape of motherhood. A great tsunami roared up the beach of me and washed it clean of all those structures, and although I will always be her mama, I am now a different shape entirely. I have time to read on the couch. Go for a walk. Have a shower. Not cook if I don’t feel like it. All the things I used to wistfully long for, if only I had a little more time…
Sitting on the couch now, feeling the imprint of that little body as a memory, like the fragrance of a pressed flower, delicate blues hanging in the air, just enough scent to tantalise me with the thread of the ache of a feeling, I can wonder at all the mamas out there who love so fiercely and so invisibly that they keep turning up, every day, through the dirty washing and cleaned out bank accounts, doing the most sacred job there is.
All of it.
Bless you, mamas.
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Gina, my words are inadequate, I know. But I must tell you, your words have stopped me in my tracks and opened my heart and my eyes wide open. Thank you for taking the time to write this beautiful treasure of details about loving precious Blaise. Your words are a gift to those who read them. I celebrate you, Blaise, and the sharing of a soul in a way I have never quite experienced. I wish you peace, dearest one. Bless you.
Bless you Gina. Bless you and your sweet angel in heaven. Thanks for your words and for reminding me how precious my gifts are. I will hold my children closer tonight and will be praying to never lose them. My heart breaks for you. You are unimaginably strong.
Oh my goodness – this was beautiful. and perfect. and so needed (for me) right now.
I don’t know why this older post showed up in my newsfeed, but I am very thankful it did.
Elaine @ Following Augustine says
You have written it so beautifully… enough.
But there can never be enough of love a mother can fill in her home for her kids and in all the people’s lives governed by her. But nobody can do ever do it better than how she does.
[…] it. Then I read some excellent stuff this week – namely Holdin’ Holden, Full Metal Mommy, and Hands Free Mama – and I realized that I wasn’t being honest enough. With myself, or with you. And I went […]
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[…] http://www.handsfreemama.com/2013/11/25/enough/?utm_source=feedly […]
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