You’re Mom Enough for Me

Dear Mom,

I know it’s not Mother’s Day, but I wanted to let you know something important, and it cannot wait until next May: You are enough. You’ve told me that you worry about this. That maybe you are not enough. You’ve also told me more times than I can count how proud you are of me and my sisters, for all that we have accomplished and the women we have become. When you tell me this, my first thought is, ‘Well, yeah, I had great parents!’

It’s obvious to me, but maybe you need to hear it. So here goes: When it comes to being a mother, you are enough. You are present enough, encouraging enough, available enough, accepting enough, loving enough.

I know that it’s easy to say and much more difficult to believe. You should give it a try, because the evidence is clear. You are enough. And it’s not just me; ask those around you. You just celebrated your 50th wedding anniversary this spring, and our dad thinks you are just perfect enough for him. Your walls are covered with family photographs–four daughters and thirteen grandchildren fill every inch on the wall where our wood stove used to sit. You have deep and loyal friendships with a core group of women. You are a go-to wife, sister, daughter, coworker, friend, mother, and now granny. If you ask anyone who knows you, they will describe you as the life of the party. But, more importantly, they will describe you as loyal and compassionate. Charismatic and vulnerable. Intelligent. A woman of deep faith.

Mom Enough 1

Now that I have a daughter of my own, I understand where you’re coming from. I have doubts every day about whether or not I am doing enough to raise a confident girl. I wonder if I yell too much, play too little, am too distracted. I try to look ahead to her high school years, into college, and beyond to visualize the woman she will become and play the reel backwards to see if my present actions are doing anything too much to screw it up. When I feel this way, I think about you. You wondered this too, but you were always enough for us, even in your darkest personal moments.

I wish I could have articulated this to you a long time ago. Like when I was a teenager hating on you, or as a 20-something trying to figure out just who I wanted to be, or in my mid-thirties when I was about to become a mother. In case you ever wondered, during any of those times, you were mom enough for me then, too.

Mom Enough 2

I’ll bet there are other mothers out there who wonder, at this very moment, if they are enough. We should tell them too:

Mothers everywhere, you are enough.

I get it, this wondering if you are enough. Especially if you are in the throes of young motherhood and your little ones are not yet old enough to articulate the words. Or if you have older, angst-ridden kids who won’t admit it quite yet. If you are present, encouraging, available, accepting, and loving, then you are mom enough. Trust me on this one.


Sherri is a transplant from Oregon who came to be a Hawkeye in 2006 and stayed for the sweet corn...and for the Iowa boy she met along the way! She and her husband (Kyle) have a 9 year-old daughter, Aissa. Sherri earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at The University of Iowa and works for Ruffalo Noel Levitz as an Enrollment Marketing Consultant for colleges and universities. When she's not working, you can find her with her family, enjoying Iowa City and cheering on the Hawkeyes.


  1. This is beautiful! Thank you for articulating what so many of us would love to say to our own Mothers. Thanks for the morning tear duct flush, too.

  2. Sherri that is a wonderful tribute not just to your Mom but to all moms. Thank you. Your Mom is very special not only as a mom but as a friend of mine for over 35 years.


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