Real Life Mama: Realizing our own worth

During a round of our dinner table “highs and lows” this week, Maylie quietly expressed that her low for the day was that she didn’t feel like she was enough. At nine years old, she didn’t feel like she was enough.

Immediately, I jumped into fix-it mode. Enough for what? For whom? What do you mean not enough? I needed more details. Answers.

Instantly, I went into how amazing she is – how she is more than enough. And she hit me with, “you have to say that. You’re my mom.” Ah, I can actually distinctly remember saying that to my mom as well.

As I tried to continue on about how it was true and not just me saying it, she quietly asked if we could not discuss it at the dinner table. Respectfully, I obliged but made note that we would be revisiting it when we were done with dinner – just her and me.

As we finished up, my mind went wild preparing for our discussion. How could she think this? What happened? Why is she feeling this way? What am I doing wrong? What am I not doing enough of as a Mother?


While trying to prep for a conversation with my daughter about how SHE isenough, I was literally criticizing MYSELF for not being enough. Apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, huh?

But, I am a grown woman with major pressure and responsibilities. I need to be an amazing mother, work full time to provide for my babies, keep my house clean, pay all the bills, put food on the table, fold some laundry, pack lunches, run each child all around town and so on. I had reasons to not feel like enough.

But she is nine (okay, almost ten, but still). Why would she possibly feel like she was not enough?

Before I went in to talk with her one on one, I prayed for guidance. And while I was in there, it hit me. In this world, none of us are enough.

Sure, she only has 9-year-old problems, but there is a lot of pressure on kids these days. And those problems, while they seem small and insignificant to me, are big in her eyes. Was so-and-so just talking about her? Is her outfit cringy? (Yes, that is apparently a word these kids use). Did she say the right thing – or the wrong thing – and now she looks stupid? Does she have the fanciest shoes/phone/accessories? How does she compare to those around her?

It is the same thing my brain does when I let it wander. And it is especially intensified when I jump on social media and compare my life to those of my “friends.” Yes, I know, comparison is the thief of joy – but that’s not what I felt come over me to explain to her that night. Instead, my heart took a different route.

That night, I told my daughter that in the eyes of the world, we will never be enough. I explained to her that her value of herself had nothing to do with what anyone else thought of her, but rather, what was done FOR her.

Then I went on to explain that her worth was measured not by worldly eyes, but by a man who came down from heaven, sent by His father, to die for her. THAT is how much she is worth.

Realizing that I needed the same reminder, I let her know that there will be times where we forget that, our worth. That sometimes, we have these negative thoughts that stew up these feelings of unworthiness and, well, that is part of being human, but that it was up to us – ourselves – to bring ourselves back to the One who gave us our true worth.

I told her that I was proud of her for coming to me – saying something – when she didn’t feel worthy. That at times, I feel the same. And while I let her know that I would always be there for her to remind her of her worth, I also made her aware that knowing her own worth sometimes has to come from her.

Together, we talked about reading our Bibles and devotionals, praying, using encouraging post-it notes (written by ourselves) and daily motivational apps that can keep us focused on our own value.

As hard as it may seem at times, we discussed how we have to work to remind ourselves of our own worth – tearing down negative thoughts about not being enough, building up positive thoughts and bringing them back to Jesus where our true worth resides.

Because only then will we truly realize that, because of Him, we are enough.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.