Of all the questions I ask myself daily, and there are many — “Where is my coffee? What day is it? WHERE IS MY CHILD?!” — the one that weighs most heavily is “Have I done enough?”
A mother’s work is never done, so it is senseless to assume that I, a mere mortal, could do more … but there always is more. Even after all of the socks are neatly paired and the kitchen is swept clean, meals eaten and leftovers put away, there are still three little hearts and minds in my house. The list of things that could, and probably should, be done is endless and exhausting.
I have limits.
My husband is working a lot again. And at the end of the day, after retrieving the last cup of water and tiptoeing down the hall for what I hope is the last time, I look at myself in the mirror and wonder if I’ve really, truly done enough.
Have I loved them enough? Did I silence their fears with my presence? Did I answer their questions appropriately, feed them adequately, give them enough of my time?
Did I look each one of them in the eye? Did I let her know she was valued and important? Does he know that even though I’m busy, I am still listening to what he says?
Did I balance their needs with my own? Did I neglect too much of myself? Have I still managed to be a good wife and friend?
If my children ever have a question in their minds about my priorities, I want to lay it to rest right now. The answer is that I gave being a mother all I had, every damn day. Even when I’m multi-tasking badly and yelling and everything is a complete and utter shit show, my kids are my priority.
Even when I’m cutting corners, running through a drive-thru, pulling up to the school last-minute with baked goods that were bought in a panic, taking 10 minutes to lock myself in my bedroom so I don’t come unhinged … I give it my all. Every single day.
I have no idea if I’m doing it right, if I’m placing emphasis on the right things, picking the correct battles, or exhibiting proper behavior.
I just try until the day is over. I tell myself it was enough.
So at the end of this long road, if what I have managed to do is a complete and utter failure, it won’t be for lack of trying. My headstone shall read: