I'm Not A Perfect Mom, But I Certainly Am An 'Enough Mom'

I’m Not A Perfect Mom, But I Certainly Am An ‘Enough Mom’

Jess Johnston

I was going to be the Dr. Oz of parenting. I was going to be a guru, and then I realized that I would probably have to teach my kids to stop acting like wild raccoons at the grocery store. I don’t want to be negative, but my kids are 10, 8,6, and 3 years old, so this is never going to happen for me.

You are not going to get advice from me on teaching toddlers to read or getting your kids to stop gagging on their vegetables. I could, however, offer a step-by-step guide to watching them chew on the same vegetable for two hours until you eventually give up and let them spit it out.

I am not very perfect at parenting, but I do love my kids enough to cuddle with them while they smell like pee, and I feel like that’s kind of a lot.

I’m not perfect, but I am enough — and so are you.

I enjoy them enough. 

Sometimes I smell their hair, and I kiss their cheeks. I laugh at their jokes, and I marvel that I am so blessed. Time stops in moments like that, and everything is perfect and worth it.

Other times, I am unsure if I will survive the hours of 4–8:30 pm, and if one can die from overexposure to bickering.

One can. I’m sure of it.

I enjoy them enough.

I am good enough at bedtime. 

Jess Johnston

Sometimes, we read together. We snuggle on the couch, and I read them Hardy Boys or Anne of Green Gables.

Other times, I race through a bedtime song like I’m Alvin the Chipmunk. I punctuate it with a kiss and run outta there like it is a hostage situation. (Because it is). They cry out after me that their water is old, that their back itches, and their underwear are twisted. This is when I hide behind the freezer door shoveling cookie dough ice cream into my mouth, wondering who will give up first — me or them.

I am good enough at bedtime. 

I am together enough. 

We eat meals together. We love each other, and we laugh together.

I also lose all school papers even though they come in a convenient shade of neon and my 6-year-old daughter just asked me, “If you’re going to come to my school today, could you please wear real clothes?” Then on the way there (in case she wasn’t clear earlier), she asked me if I remembered my pants.

I am together enough.

I am fun enough. 

Jess Johnston

Sometimes, I take every single thing too seriously, like crumbs and clutter and teeth-brushing. I have an out-of-body experience while I am lecturing them, and I wonder if they will remember anything other than me being grumpy.

Other times, I laugh so hard with my kids that my stomach hurts. We play games, we go on hikes, and we dance in the living room in our pajamas.

I am fun enough. 

I’m good enough at housekeeping. 

Sometimes, I pick crumbs off of the carpet and throw them under my couch. Sometimes the downstairs bathroom causes me to imagine the health department coming to my house and posting a D- in my front window. I fantasize that they will shut us down, and we will be forced to eat at our parents’ house every single night from now on.

That sounds wonderful.

Other times, my house is vacuumed and my counters are clean. I’m playing Coffeehouse Radio, and there’s a candle burning.

I am good enough at housekeeping

I am good enough at self-care. 

Sometimes, I cannot recall my last shower. I go to the grocery store with a pillow imprint still on my face and a pair of sweats that the 18-year-old cashiers never wanted to know about.

Other times, I wear makeup and I brush my hair, and nothing — not a thousand rabid hyenas — can keep me away from a ladies’ night.

I’m good enough at self-care. 

I am a good enough wife. 

Sometimes, I’m a great listener and an epic encourager. We laugh together and dream together, and he is truly my favorite person.

Sometimes, he gets all the brunt of my frustration. He gets my snappy responses and my eye rolls. Sometimes, when he needs a pep talk I say, “Why did you do that?”

Which he loves, for the record.

I am a good enough wife.

I am good enough at nutrition. 

Sometimes I declare it a pizza night. We use paper plates, and I share my love affair with ranch dressing.

Other times, I buy large bags of organic carrots and force-feed my children spinach. I plan meals, and I worry if they’re eating too much sugar.

I am good enough at nutrition.

I love them enough.

I love my kids. I love them in all their messy, smelly, ridiculous, and hilarious glory.

I love them, and I love them, and I love them…

And that’s what makes everything else I do enough.

It makes everything you do enough, too, mama.

We love them enough.

Jess Johnston