How to Stop Feeling like You Never Do “Enough”

A busy mom looks down at her phone
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Do you have the answer to this question? Because I had to literally spend time researching to find an answer to share here with you. If you ever wonder how to stop feeling like you never do enough, I am right there with you.

Are you saying all this ISN’T enough?!

Why do we feel like that? Like no matter how much we “do,” we fell short because there’s so much MORE that we still have to do! It’s kind of ridiculous, especially when so many women and moms I know do all these things every single week:

  • Wake up and get ready for the day (that 5 minute hair & makeup routine isn’t gonna magically happen!)
  • Cook breakfast and prepare lunches (for yourself and/or your family)
  • Feed pets
  • Drive to school, work, run errands
  • Put gas in the car
  • Check your bank balance and figure out expenses (if you have a budget, that’s MORE than many others, so you ARE doing enough!)
  • Help with homework
  • Go grocery shopping
  • Prepare after school snacks
  • Start getting dinner ready
  • Take kids to sports
  • Encourage & cheer them on!
  • Give pep talks to your kids or yourself (or both!)
  • Apologize for losing your temper after dinner when there was whining over who’s doing the dishes (no? Just me?)
  • Try a breathing or meditation app to calm down at night to try to yell less tomorrow.
  • Remember to open the mail, reply to emails, call your mom back (or at least text her) and maybe feel guilty because you didn’t post anything on Instagram today.
  • …and I’m sure you could add a gazillion more bullet points to this list.
A busy mom looks down at her phone
This is the story of my life, checking my phone while my kids are playing and jumping around!

I got tired just thinking about and writing this list! But it’s what so many of us run around doing all the time. We do everything we can, to the best of our ability, to be the best women, wives, moms, daughters, friends and co-workers we can be.

But somehow, for whatever reason, we feel like we never do enough.

Should you blame your dysfunctional family?

No, blame won’t solve any problems. But we can start to find a solution to the problem by looking at our childhood, dysfunctional or not. In some cases of dysfunction, for example, in a home where there was alcoholism or abuse, a child grows up trying to “fix” the problems around them by “doing” anything they can do to “help.”

A child may try to clean the house, dance or sing, anything to make their angry or sad parents happy again. They just want to be loved. But when nothing they do “works” to change their environment, they feel like they “failed.”

There is so much more on this topic. One helpful article in Psychology Today discusses this and points us in the direction toward healing past wounds by accepting that we need help (sounds familiar!) We may also need to drop baggage that was never ours to carry in the first place.

“I can say that in all my years of conducting psychotherapy, the biggest break-through I have seen in my clients is when they realize that they are carrying someone else’s baggage on their own back. When this happens it opens a door of freedom. It provides a path to hope, healing, and understanding.”

Karyl McBride, Ph.D, author of the Psychology Today article linked above.

Could I possibly be doing enough … but I didn’t know it?

I have to say, reading that Psychology Today article and browsing a few others online on this subject has me wondering why I have felt like I never do enough. I just thought it was what “tired moms do!”

We are all (apparently) complaining about the never-ending laundry pile, how work-life balance is virtually impossible and how we all need so much coffee just to make it through the morning.

Mom and daughter enjoy Starbucks Holiday Drinks at DIsney Springs Trail of Trees
My daughter was like “talk to the hand!” But once I put the phone down (lol) we enjoyed our Starbucks Holiday Drinks. It was a little mommy daughter date at DIsney Springs Trail of Trees last Christmas! Love those silly wonderful times!

I don’t think it had really dawned on me that there might be something off in feeling like that.

Seriously, wow. I think I may be having an epiphany here.

And I might also need to continue looking into this subject.

What would “enough” look like?

Can you imagine feeling like you did “enough” after a crazy long day? Imagine that you get home after one of those days (refer to the bullet points above.) And you’re standing in your kitchen after dinner. The dishwasher is loaded. You hit the “start” button and the humming sound lets you know you’ve done “enough.”

You glance at a laundry basket a few feet away, but you walk away without guilt. You did “enough” today. There are clean towels in the closet. The dirty ones can wait until tomorrow. And you would much rather go to the kids’ rooms to kiss them goodnight.

Then, you sort through a handful of mail, throw out the junk and leave the rest on your desk. You also voice type a reminder into your phone to “add the bills on the desk to my to do list tomorrow.” And that was enough.

Can you even imagine that you finish your “I’m going to bed” routine, you grab some cozy, fuzzy socks and climb into bed. Maybe you decide to jot a few thoughts in a journal or not. You might use a breathing or meditation app (I love doing that at night!) And you might whisper a few prayers before you fall asleep.

Is that enough?


Laughing thru life,