Enough – by Rachel Macy Stafford

Enough – by Rachel Macy Stafford

Enough – by Rachel Macy StaffordSometimes I find myself sitting behind the wheel of the car thinking,

Enough with the bickering.
Enough with the chauffeuring, the gas-guzzling, the bumper-to-bumper.
Enough with the gum wads stuck between cracker-crumb-filled crevices where nice leather seats used to be.
Enough, I say. Enough.

Sometimes I find myself staring at my reflection in the mirror thinking,

Enough with the wrinkles, the puffiness and the sleep-deprived eyes.
Enough with the loose skin and the unstoppable gray hairs.
Enough with the laugh lines that look anything but happy.
Enough, I say. Enough.

Sometimes I find myself standing in front of an open refrigerator thinking,

Enough with the meal prep: morning, noon and night.
Enough with the picky eater, the slow eater, the dirty dishes, the lack of counter space.
Enough with finding the unachievable balance of nutritious and kid-approved.
Enough, I say. Enough.

Sometimes I find myself gazing at photos of tropical beaches and secluded getaways thinking,

Enough with the perpetual ticking clock,
Enough with the steady stream of demands, the dust bunnies, the missing library books.
Enough with the needs of others that never seem to be satisfied.
Enough, I say. Enough.

But then something happens to pull me out of my negative abyss and set my head on straight.

I arrive home from a school meeting — a meeting that every fiber in my body wanted to skip. But I went because it’s one of my parental duties, to be informed for my children.

I get home, and I creep into the house praying they’ll all be asleep.

“She was really sad, so I assured her you would kiss her good night when you got home,” my husband tells me about our youngest child with an apologetic look.

I huff. I sigh. And then I climb the stairs with lead feet, as if my energy has suddenly been entirely depleted.

I open her door softly. The light from the hall spills into her darkened room. I see tear-streaked cheeks that are still wet. With a visible sigh of relief, she smiles at me and wipes her face, clearly embarrassed by her state of duress.

“I don’t like it when you’re not here to tuck me in,” she offers, as if her breakdown needs explanation.

I open my arms and hold her for a moment. And like an overextended inner tube stretched beyond capacity, my child is the key to releasing all that is pent up. I feel the pressure slowly seep from my body as my shoulders begin to relax.

“There’s something on your bed,” she calls out as I bid her good night.

I promise to go look, but my thoughts are focused solely on taking off my uncomfortable shoes.

But it is there on my pillow waiting for me — a note in sublime kid penmanship, the most exquisite font available.

The note reads: “I am glad that you are my mom.”

Enough – by Rachel Macy StaffordSuddenly. Powerfully. Salty tears begin streaming down my face, and I am reminded.

If I am not here for the bickering and the battles,
I am not here for the hugs and the hallelujahs.

If I am not here for the gray hairs and the grown-up worries,
I am not here for the giggles and the growing old.

If I am not here for the kitchen table sweeping and serving,
I am not here for the dinnertime prayers and praises.

If I am not here for the temperature checks and teddy bear retrieval,
I am not here for the bed tucking and nighttime talks.

If I’m not here for the upheavals and the breakdowns,
I’m not here for the high hopes and the healing hands.

Sometimes when I say, “Enough,” I forget that enough has two sides. My life’s little joys — like morning hugs, sweet lips and mispronounced words — are the soft side of enough. They are the cool side of the pillow on a sleepless night. In one turn, these little blessings soothe away the bad, the draining, and the ugliness of my life.

These small loving gestures are enough — enough to get me back up to do it all again tomorrow.

And although sometimes I find myself thinking, “It’s hard to be here today,” when it comes right down to it, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

Enough – by Rachel Macy Stafford

Rachel Macy StaffordRachel Macy Stafford is a certified special education teacher with a Master’s Degree in education and ten years of experience working with parents and children. In December 2010, this life-long writer felt compelled to share her journey to let go of distraction and grasp what really matters by creating the blog “Hands Free Mama.”

Rachel provides readers with simple, non-intimidating, and motivating methods to let go of distraction and connect with their loved ones. Rachel’s work has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Global News, USA Today, TIME.comMSN.com, The Huffington Post, and Reader’s Digest. Rachel’s first book, HANDS FREE MAMA, is a New York Times Bestseller. Her second book, HANDS FREE LIFE, hits bookstores on September 8th, 2015.

You can join Rachel on her journey to overcome distraction, live better, and love more at www.handsfreemama.com or The Hands Free Revolution on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheHandsFreeRevolution.


  1. Thanks for bringing the tears this morning. As a dad and a grandpa helping to raise a grandchild there are times when you just want to get away. But all those blessings you mention at the end give you hope and love to get through.


  2. I understand forgetting the second side at times when in the midst of daily routines. But as you say, we mustn’t forget the other side which makes this all worthwhile!


  3. I loved this so very much. Often I felt this with my children and now sometimes, I feel it with my grand-children. It seems that life never ‘slows down.’ Then I must remember, I am the only one to say when it is “enough.” Beautiful post. 🙂


  4. Beautiful post. My thoughts exactly…I’ll have days where sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing or why I’m doing it, then those beautiful moments I have with my kids is all the reminder I need.


  5. That was…poetry. My phrase is, “I’m DONE! I’m…done.” Unfortunately, I’m not. The residue of who I am still needs to hang in for a number of years…

    I am symbolized by the completely deflated inner tube. Thank goodness for the strength that’s infused when my teenaged son says, “I love you, Mom”…when it’s least expected…or even, at this point, deserved.


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