Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

You Are Enough

NICU Mom Katrina Moline at the Magic Mirror

NICU Mom Katrina Moline at the Magic Mirror

I am pretty hard on myself.  For as long as I can remember I have struggled to quiet the negative voice in my head that chastises me for not being smart enough, slim enough, or creative enough.  The voice that once whispered these messages in my ear began to shout at me after delivering my son preterm.  Suddenly the self-doubt intensified into self-loathing as I blamed myself for his early birth and the tremendous medical challenges he faced.  I was riddled with guilt and felt totally incapable of meeting the needs of a baby born so tiny and sick.

Too often one of the biggest challenges that engulfs NICU parents is a sense of guilt.  Of not being enough.  We blame ourselves for not being able to carry our babies to term.  Some feel like less of a parent because they do not feel an immediate bond with their baby.  This guilt and self-doubt can last for years especially if our child experiences ongoing medical and developmental challenges.

When I first heard the song, “Enough” by the all-woman band The Mrs. and its positive “I’m Enough” refrain, the message resonated with me somewhere deep inside. When I watched their powerful Magic Mirror video, I could not hold back the tears because I know how mentally and physically exhausting and detrimental it can be to carry around self-doubt, loathing and guilt.

The Mrs. created the Magic Mirror so women could see themselves the way others see them… to know that they are ENOUGH.  This message is resonating with women all over the world, and their video has been viewed more than 4 million times in multiple languages.

Hand to Hold was honored when The Mrs. agreed to sponsor our recent Baby Shower Luncheon.  There were many tears as attendees watched the powerful Magic Mirror video and as they experienced the mirror first-hand.  What an amazing, yet simple gift The Mrs. is giving to women regardless of age, size, race/ethnicity, religion, income and other backgrounds.  We are “Enough.”  We may not be perfect, and life may not have gone according to plan, but we are “Enough” and we should appreciate and value the woman we see in the mirror because she makes a difference in the lives of so many and does it with grace, humility and great love.

“The Mrs. Band is pleased to partner with Hand to Hold, an organization that helps families during a time when they are especially vulnerable,” said Band Founder & Drummer, Andra Liemandt.  “We hope our self-affirming messages will resonate with them and give them strength during difficult times.”

Over the past few weeks, I have found myself repeating “I’m Enough” countless times in my head as I have struggled to meet the daily demands of raising my kids, leading Hand to Hold and being the wife, friend, sister and daughter that I want and need to be.  Many days there does not feel like there is enough of me.  But I am practicing turning down the volume of the negative voice and turning up my iPod instead.

I’m Enough.  And so are you!  May you cherish and respect not only the reflection you see in your mirror, but the person you are deep inside.

Kelli Kelley About Kelli Kelley

Founder, Hand to Hold - Kelli D. Kelley (TX) is the mother of two preemies – Jackson born at 24 weeks in 2000 and Lauren born at 34 weeks in 2003. She is the founder of Hand to Hold, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated providing support and navigation resources to families who had a preemie, who had a child in the NICU or with a special healthcare need, or who experienced loss. She has experienced the emotional fallout and isolation that having preemies often causes. As a direct result, Kelli has dedicated her life to offering hope and sanctuary to all parents who have had similar journeys. Contact her via email.

Comments

  1. Wow, that’s incredibly inspiring! What an amazing group and an amazing idea, the mirror. Needed the kleenex for sure!

  2. Kelli, I adore this post!! It is such an amazing truth and important message to share with preemie mothers – with all mothers!! I am so inpsired and can’t wait to share this on my facebook page!! Thank you for sharing!!

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