Jill's blog: Enough

clock Released On 28 May 2024

Jill's blog: Enough

I think we need to remove the word enough from common use.

Am I good enough?

Have I slept enough?

Was that calm enough?

Does that campaign have enough impact?

Did I feed the kids enough vegetables?

Enough has the power to both guilt and relieve a person. But which of the two tends to be the more common occurrence?

This came up as I was thinking about how overwhelmed I feel with the kids sometimes. We’ve got starting school meltdowns, back to school meltdowns, he got more ice cream meltdowns, I don’t like these shoes meltdowns, why do I need to take a bath meltdowns. Meltdowns around pretty much anything you can think of.

And I started to think about how I am doing literally just enough to get by without completely losing the plot. But that’s the thing. I’m not doing enough, I’m doing. Why does it need to be quantified? Why put the added pressure on myself by downplaying all the things that I’m balancing? My capability differs day to day. Depending on sleep, schedule, funds, energy, mental sanity, children’s moods. Yet every day I do. I do what needs to be done while taking into consideration the myriad of things which impact a person’s capabilities. Adding the word enough just ends up making me feel terrible.

I know that my brain will think I’m never doing enough. That I always can be doing more, achieving more. I can always be kinder and quicker and more organised. I can always get more done around the house, in my job, with the kids. I can always spend more time engaging with my family, my friends, myself. Yet I don’t always have capacity to do it all or to do it all to the level that I would like.

Sometimes I need to ignore the laundry and just sit for 10 minutes. Sometimes I need to grab a jar of pasta sauce instead of making it fresh. Sometimes I need to stay home instead of going to that event that has been in the diary for months. All of this is okay. All of this is me looking out for me. All of this is still me doing.

As a quintessential overachiever, I need to allow myself to understand that not everything needs to be given a level of success. Sometimes the test is pass/fail and not a sliding scale. Did you finish the laundry? Yes. Did you do it exactly when you wanted it, including putting it right into the wardrobes? Stop. That doesn’t matter. If everyone had the clean clothes they needed when they needed what is the problem if they took it from a basket rather than from the dresser drawer?

There is so much pressure to do things to what is becoming more and more of an unrealistic standard. As a result of that standard we might tell ourselves well, I’ve guess I’ve done enough. Perhaps changing that internal monologue to simply I’ve done it can help relieve some of the stress of expectations many of us fall victim to. Expectations that do more harm than good and strip away a sense of satisfaction that we all deserve to feel in this life.

Jill is an American ex-pat living her best English life on the border of London and Surrey. She spends her days pretending she knows what she’s doing, creating some fun things along the way. With a passion for storytelling and the gumption of a New Yorker, she’s raising two cheeky, clever boys with deep imaginations and an annoyingly cunning use of language. With a husband, cat and hamster along for the ride, life is never boring. Even if sometimes a bit too stressful.


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