I think a combination of new motherhood, sleep deprivation and emotionality has me constantly asking this question lately. Am I doing enough? Am I helping make sure Clare develops enough? Are we talking to her enough? Are we giving her enough tummy time? I’m home with her the majority of the time, so I’m always wondering – am I giving her enough stimulation? Am I giving her too much? Am I doing it right?? Should she be getting more sunlight? I’m sure full time working moms have different “enough” questions. Am I spending enough time with my baby, etc. With our strong belief in attachment parenting, I’m always wanting to make sure I’m meeting all of her needs. And I start to worry that I’m not when I can’t always soothe her right away. Maybe moms without clinical anxiety approach motherhood with less apprehension…but I do know it’s some modicum of normal to feel this way.
On top of all of the new mother “enough” questions, I’ve been reading so many books and health articles lately about how terrible added sugar is and how basically sugar is what’s causing the obesity epidemic in America and killing us. (No, I haven’t seen the Fed Up documentary yet, but I want to!) And no I’m not exaggerating. I’m reading a memoir called “A Year Without Sugar” right now and it’s really eye opening. Mind you, we eat pretty healthy around here. The majority of our fridge is fruits, vegetables and organic dairy. Chris gets good quality meat. I eat quality fish and try to eat less refined carbs. We check labels. We don’t eat fast food. I don’t put sugar in my coffee. When I do eat sweets, I eat quality sweets. (see organic dark chocolate, organic ice cream from whole foods, etc) All good things right? I have always had a sweet tooth, and not only that, like much of our society, have equated sweets with happiness, celebration and love. Eve mentions this cultural issue in the memoir as well. And now while trying to curb that has me constantly asking “Is it enough??” Am I doing enough?
In my sleep-deprived haze when all I want is another cup of coffee…or a chocolate bar…or 5…or maybe a donut…I ask that same question. And then I spiral…beating myself up for not losing the pregnancy weight quicker, for not finding time (and energy!) to exercise enough. In essence…for not being perfect enough. I try to tell myself when this happens that I need to give myself a break. I need to be proud of what I DO accomplish on a day-to-day basis with Clare in tow, of how much healthier Chris and I eat than we did just a few years ago. And that just by worrying about all of the above parenting things, I AM doing enough.
Sometimes in the haze of the infant days, I forget to be grateful. I forget balance. The better the sleep I get, the clearer my head is on all of this. But since Four Month Growth Spurt / Wonder Week Leap Four / Whatever This Is makes that a little harder to come by…I’m going to just have to keep reminding myself that whatever I’m doing right now….is enough.