Imagine a dream job you wanted, yearned for, even ached for. You’ve tried to get this job for a while but begin to lose hope you’ll ever get it.
Then, one day, you get a call. A glorious, out-of-the-blue call. That’s right, you got the job!
You are shocked, but overjoyed with the news. You’re nervous for the new journey, but you feel ready and confident to take the leap.
As you begin this new role, you realize it is far more demanding than you ever imagined. Of course, you knew there would be challenges, but they now seem beyond your capabilities.
The confidence you once had has nearly diminished. You doubt yourself daily, maybe even hourly. You start to question why you were chosen for this job.
This was my experience after adopting our darling daughter. I wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember, then I finally became one and I hated it. Yes, hated it.
I thought being a mother would come naturally to me, but it just didn’t. I was tremendously ashamed for struggling. My feelings of inadequacy consumed me. As far as I was concerned, I was unworthy of the sacred calling of motherhood.
For way too long, my husband was the only one that knew the darkness I was in. He was wonderful and supportive, but also urged me to see someone for help. I couldn’t grasp such an idea. Shouldn’t I just be a good mom? Shouldn’t I be thrilled that we are finally parents after so many years of trying? Seeking help meant I needed help. “I DON’T need help,” I lied to myself. Seeking help meant I was admitting failure. “I DON’T fail,” I lied to myself. Being a perfectionist is the worst.
I share the analogy of a dream job and my experience of becoming a mother in the hope of reaching anyone that feels the same. You are not alone. Although, when you are in deep despair, you do feel completely by yourself.
So, how does one overcome feeling inadequate as a mother?
I think the answer is different for everyone, but there were three key things that helped me.
1. Be open and honest about the difficulties of motherhood. Find your people and be transparent. Don’t be ashamed EVER for struggling. It’s a part of the journey, because let’s be honest, parenthood is hard.
2. Pray. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in a Heavenly Father (God) that loves me and wants to help me through my struggles. I pray for strength and guidance as my husband and I raise our children.
3. Medication. It’s not for everyone, but it has done wonders for me. After 5 years, I finally took my husband’s advice and sought help. Have I mentioned I’m VERY stubborn? Since starting a depression/anxiety medication, the clouds have lifted. My head is clear. I wake up prepared to face the day. It feels good. I feel like myself again.
Motherhood has been my most humbling experience. It’s one I am grateful for and needed. The lessons I have learned in the last 5 years are greater than any during my first 30 years of life. I pray that I will continue to grow and always be present for these precious souls I’m in charge of.