25 Jun AM I DOING ENOUGH?
During a treatment session, a mother shared with me, “sometimes I ask myself, am I doing enough?” She went on to share that when she finds a moment in her day to sit down, this sinking feeling of guilt begins.
In the world of children with special needs, her daughter is considered “medically complex” (having more than one medical diagnosis and needing multiple specialists involved in her ongoing healthcare) and her daughter is less than one-year-old. Without going into her history, it is a miracle her daughter is alive today.
This beautiful child has a handful of specialty doctors, whom she has an appointment with at least once a week, she is in three different therapies (each discipline sees her 1 time per week), mom asks for weekly therapy homework from each discipline and each day makes sure her daughter practices the assigned homework.
This makes for approximately 4 medical or therapy related appointments each week and outside of therapy, continued practice on developmental exercises that other children do not have to practice (because it comes naturally to them). Mom also makes, cleans, and preps food to feed her daughter multiple times per day through a tube in her stomach. Keep in mind I’m only telling you what she does for her daughter- she is doing things for the rest of her family the entire day, too. And this woman still asks herself, “Am I doing enough?”
Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have heard a parent ask this question.
I can also relate, because I’ve totally felt this way before, but I hate that she feels this way.
This is not isolated to only mothers of children with special needs. I’ll go out on a limb and say it may be a more prominent question among women and mothers, but as a human race in Western society, people are in a constant cycle of thought that “providing more” and “doing more” amounts to a “better quality of life”. But I don’t believe that “doing enough” means we provide “more” in terms quantity.
I can only guess, but I think this mother was asking if she adds value to her daughters life. Perhaps, she wanted to know if she adds enough quality to her daughter’s life.
So my brain, full of compassion, empathy, and curiosity, turns to the society-enriched encyclopedia of our time: Google. When I typed in this phrase here were the top 4 subjects that appeared in the cue:
“Am I doing enough for God?”
“Am I doing enough for my baby?”
“Am I doing enough for my toddler?”
“Am I doing enough for my newborn?”
So. Many. Parents. Children have a great way of making adults question their abilities.
From my heart and soul, my passion is to help the children and adults whom I work with and interact with throughout my life, to innately feel they are “doing enough”.
This is a fear-based thought that is wasting energy, and on some level, your child picks up on your fear-based thoughts. (Certain times may be more obvious than others when children can sense our fear! For example: think about when your child last had a fall or injury. How did you react? How did they react to the fall? Have you taught them to behave in a certain way around crossing the street? Fear can be used positively in some situations, like crossing the street. But let’s release the fear-based thinking about ourselves that we unconsciously spread to our children.
You are enough, because you are a soul, a human, a provider, and a nurturer. You are love.