Self Worth: One Mom’s Personal Journey To Overcoming The Lie

7 comments

How much are you worth?  Are you measured by your looks?  Your money? Your job? Your political affiliation?

I have spent a great portion of my life feeling like I was never good enough.  I was not pretty enough. I was not smart enough. I was not bold enough. I was not making enough money.  I was not doing enough.

My struggle with self worth began when I was a young child.  I blame much of my lack of confidence on the fact that my father was not around.  And thereafter my step father was not around. I never felt like I was enough. I did not feel like I deserved love.

Then at the tender age of sixteen I fell in love.  I thought, this was it.  I found someone who was going to love me and erase all my feelings of self doubt and I would finally feel worth something.  This feeling did not last as I realized my worth was once again measured by what I could do for someone.

Fast forward nearly seven years of staying in an unhappy relationship, numbing the pain with poetry and alcohol, and I finally said enough is enough.

I met my husband.  We started a family.  And for the first time I felt like I had true purpose in life.  Being a mother is everything I ever wanted to be. But over the years I began to doubt my self worth again as I settled into my role as a ‘stay at home mom’.  The questions began to trickle in from family and friends (some innocent, some not) about when would I be returning to work? What was I going to do when the kids were older?

And so over the years I danced the dance of feeling worthless and like I am not enough.  I am raising my children, but I am not making money. Does that make me worthless?

I think not.  It has been a long time coming that I am at the place where I can say I am not worthless.  I am deserving of love. Happiness. To be content with my life and the choices I make.

I know I do not speak for ALL stay at home moms, but I think I speak for most when I say they can relate to the questions and the judgement from other people on our choice of occupation.

I was not enough as an innocent child who only wanted a loving father.

I was not enough as a lovestruck, naive girl who wanted the love of a husband.  I was not enough as a woman working hard to put him through school. I was not submissive enough.

Society now tells me I am not enough as a stay at home mom.  Society also tells working mothers that they are not doing enough for their children.  You really can’t win.

Slowly, after the birth of my third child, I have come to the realization that to society, and to those that would use you and abuse you, the problem lies with them, and not with you.

I am enough.  I have always been enough.  The love and the kindness I always try to share with people, the gentleness of my spirit, my sense of humor, my intuitiveness, my proclivity for being domestic and maternal – none of it is a mark against me.  It is all what makes me ME. It is not the summation of my worth, but it is worth something.

My worth is not contingent on what I can do for somebody or what I do for my family.  Yes, I love my children very much and I take care of them, take care of the house, and try to be a good wife to my husband.  But if I didn’t have children, if I didn’t take care of the house, my husband would still love me. And I would still be worthwhile.

And someday when my children are older I may go back to school and be working outside the home. I may not.  Does that determine my worth? I think not.

I want to close by saying to anyone that struggles with feeling worthless, or that you are not doing enough, or not making enough money, I stand with you, I have been in that place many times of feeling hopeless and burdened with doubt.  I have to tell you that you will only start to see your true worth when you let everything else go. Let go of expectations. Opinions. Judgements. Don’t let anyone take your power from you.

You know yourself.  You know what you have to offer the world.  You know your gifts and talents. You know your worth.  Start living it.  Show everyone exactly who you are and what you stand for.  

Show them how invaluable you truly are.

*author’s note: I originally wrote this piece months ago as a guest post for my friend Vee at http://www.millenniallifecrisis.org please go and check out her blog. She is a millennial like me living in Canada as she navigates the job market and is all at once blunt, humorous, and honest. We are very different, but I can relate to her in so many ways and she is my closest blogging confidant.

Follow me on Instagram @cerrato.mom

7 comments on “Self Worth: One Mom’s Personal Journey To Overcoming The Lie”

  1. Love this! What a beautiful, strong message!
    One of the ways I’ve felt I’ve failed in life in the past is by not having children. My ex husbands and I tried in each of my marriages to no avail. Do I know for certain I can’t have kids? No. Do each of my ex’s have kids with other partners? Yes. Lucky for the alcoholic side of my brain, knowing this gave me one of my ultimate excuses for drinking.
    Today do I know at 37 years + if I will ever have or adopt a baby? No. I’ve learned never to say never; however, I have learned that a child is not part of the plan made for me today and I’ve accepted that fact. It doesn’t make me less of a woman in any way.
    So you just be the best you that you can be and if you need anyone to help kick some hater a$$, lemme know.
    🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree that not having children has nothing to do with your validity as a person or a woman. You are enough as you are. I hope you are able to have a baby or adopt someday if that’s something you want.
      Haha no need for ass kicking. I think people have the right to their opinions and it’s fine. I don’t have to agree with anyone and they don’t have to agree with me. What matters is what works best for your family and makes you feel fulfilled. For me, right now, that’s being home with my kids. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🥰🤗🥰🤗 Fortunately, my cats are reaping the rewards of being my kids. Lol! They’re more than willing to be doted on with wet food and forced snuggles. Now helping them with their homework is another story… 😹😹😹

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love animals too! I have a dog that is my best buddy. He has been with me longer than all of my kids. I think our pets can provide great love and companionship too. Your casts are lucky to have your undivided attention 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I commented on this post when you first published it at Vee’s blog, but I wanted to comment one more time.

    Nobody should blame you for the way you choose to live your life. I know quite well, that in the public’s opinion you are NEVER good enough Mom, but this should not be your concern. One can be a working parent and raise great children. One can stay at home parent and be a horrible parent. You are a great mom, and you live your life the way you like it, and that’s all that matters. I used to be a single parent working mother who raised three great kids (since they are now of ages from 28 to 34, I hope I can say that;)). One of my best friends is childless by choice and stay at home wife (she is working part-time at the moment). She is kind and smart, and creative, and likes the same things I like, and I never can imagine thinking less of her because she is not like me. Only you can tell whether the life you live is good for you or not. And you will decide what will be good for you when the circumstances change. I am sure you will never become an over-controlling mother who calls their kid’s college professors :)))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Hettie!
      I think any woman that raises her children by herself and is working is amazing! You are amazing. That was my mom too raising three kids and working two jobs.
      Thank you for your thoughts and wisdom!

      Like

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