Not Enough

By Ro Wan

Not enough, mother
Not perfect
Not adequate for the task

A mothering task
What’s that
You ask

But cannot

Keep you wrapped
In cotton wool
But rather

Encourage you
To be yourself
Wrapped in your own skin.


‘Not Enough mother’ is the term an art critic gave to the artist Eva Hesse’s mother.

A gnawing in the pit of her stomach demands that she ask herself if she too is a ‘Not Enough mother’.
Is any mother enough for her child?
Shaped by our own mothers and along with the afterbirth we give birth to our own inadequacies, fears and ways of being.

He infers she is not decisive nor proactive enough, words like a sword, piercing and twisting into the chambers of her heart.
She does what she thinks is right…listening, encouraging and empowering him to find his way.
Advice scorned and unwelcome
she listens and listens
and waits
as he unburdens himself of his confusion, his anger, his rage and deep deep grief. Her listening cloaked in her own horror of what has befallen him.

Too painful to say right now even writing makes it more real.
Everyday she knows it is real but there is that layer of denial in the background that prevents the floodgates of sorrow and oceans of tears from erupting.

Her task is staying strong for the family who at different times show evidence of their fractured selves
She, herself a mosaic of her former self. Cracked, broken, but still held together.
But is that Enough?
Is she enough?