When Motherhood Isn’t Enough

I was a full-time working mom when my eldest was born, and I couldn’t wait until circumstances would allow me to stay at home with him. Being a working mom just wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to be at home with my kids.

I became a stay-at-home mom when my youngest was born, and I thought it would be enough. It wasn’t. Being a stay-at-home mom just wasn’t enough for me. I had so much passion, and I didn’t know how to properly channel it. I wanted to do something I enjoyed, something that led me beyond my life as a mother.

I have walked both paths of motherhood, and I’ve found them both wanting. They just weren’t enough for me. I wanted more — to do more, to be more. I wanted to experience the fullness of life, and my life just didn’t seem like enough. But I was confused. If I had already experienced life as a stay-at-home mom and as a working one, and I’d been left unsatisfied by both, what else was there? Was I doing something wrong?

I think many mothers are tempted to believe that “the grass is always greener on the other side.” If we’re working, we want to be home more. We worry about what we’re missing. We worry that we’re not doing enough as a mother. We worry that our children will suffer because we weren’t available to them enough. We worry that we’re just not enough.

And if we stay at home with our children, we often feel like we need to do more. We might even want to do more. We worry about what we’re missing. We worry that we will suffer because we have passions and desires that do not fit into our lives as a mothers. We worry that our children will look back and say to themselves, “All my mom did was take care of us and our house. She didn’t have any passions, or if she did, she let them die so that she could stay home with us.”

We worry that we are not enough.

But here’s what I’ve learned as a mom. We will never be satisfied. We were not meant to be satisfied. Being a mom was not meant to fulfill us. Our work won’t fulfill us. Our passions won’t fulfill us. Nothing on this earth will fulfill us. Because we were not made just for this earth. We were made for more. We were made for heaven. We were made for God.

A full life isn’t made by doing more, or being more. It’s not what we do that ultimately matters. It’s how we do it that makes the difference. If we raise our children for God, it will be enough. If we work for God, it will be enough. If we offer up our passions to God, they will be enough. If we live our life for God, our life will be full. It will be enough because He is the more that we long for.

When I thought my life as a working mom wasn’t enough, I wasn’t looking at things the right way.

The same was true when I became a stay-at-home mom. Motherhood was never going to be enough for me. It was never meant to be enough. Yes, there will be moments when we will feel completely satisfied with our lives as mothers, and hopefully those moments will be plentiful. But there will also be moments when we will feel unfulfilled, incomplete. That is what human life is made of- moments of fulfillment and moments of dissatisfaction, moments of joy and moments of longing, moments of peace and moments of turmoil. Human life on earth is never perfect, but it is always good. Life is good, you are enough, and it’s okay if motherhood isn’t enough for you.

You were made for more; you were made for God, and you won’t be satisfied until you rest in Him.

Shannon Whitmore
Shannon Whitmore
Shannon Whitmore currently lives in northwestern Virginia with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, John and Felicity. When she is not caring for her children, Shannon enjoys writing about topics pertaining to marriage and family life for her blog, Love in the Little Things, as well as contributing pieces for websites such as iMom, CatholicMom, and Her View From Home. She has experience serving in the areas of youth ministry, religious education, sacramental preparation, and marriage enrichment, and enjoys reading and running in her limited free time.

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