Parenting is hard enough, there’s no reason to beat yourself up about it. The story of how I learned how to give myself grace in motherhood.
Motherhood is so tough, isn’t it? It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done. And probably my biggest challenge in my parenting journey is………myself. I can be pretty hard on myself and I don’t give myself a lot of grace in motherhood.
I don’t know why. Everyone else around me does. My husband is encouraging and loving.
My friends relate to my challenges as a mom. Everyone in my circle says I’m a good mom.
But for some reason, I don’t. And I am not afraid to let myself know it.
Would you talk to your friend that way?
The other day I was having a particularly bad day. I honestly can’t even remember what was happening. But I’m sure it was something along the lines of screaming kids and a messy house. Those two things together tend make me feel like I am doing nothing right.
I remember thinking I desperately needed a break, just a few minutes to myself. So during nap time I took a shower.
And while I was in the shower I cried and asked God why I was such a sh**ty mom.
I just kept repeating this over and over. Why am I a bad mom? Why can’t I be better?
Not exactly encouraging.
And then I had this moment of clarity: would you talk to your friend this way?
And better yet, would they talk to you like that?
If my friends came over and saw a messy house, fighting brothers, a screaming baby, an unshowered mother what would they say?
Would they call me a sh**ty mom? Or would they say “You’re doing great, how can I help?”
I don’t know about you, but my friends would have me showered, my house cleaned, and the laundry folded in no time. (side note: if you don’t have friends like this, you might need new friends)
What would I say to my friends?
Then I started to think about what I might say to my friend if she called me in tears and told me she believed she was a bad mom.
I would tell her to take a deep breath; and tell her that I’m sure she’s doing more than she gives herself credit for. We would talk about how much she loves her kids, how many ways she cares for her family, and I would point out all the ways I know her kids are loved and well-cared for.
She would get nothing but encouragement and love from me.
So why, when I am at my worst, is it so hard for me to give myself exactly what I would give my friends?
Grace in Motherhood
Since that day in the shower I’ve been trying to give myself grace. Instead of allowing myself to believe the lie that I am a bad mom I have given myself grace and permission to make mistakes, learn from my errors, and move forward.
I regularly remind myself that nobody is perfect. And despite what social media might have me believe, nobody is doing it all. Nobody.
I approach each day with a renewed sense of grace, because what is most important it that I am present for my kids. I love them fiercely and I want to be the best mom that I can possibly be for them.
And on those days when life gets just a tad overwhelming, I’ve learned to give myself just a little more grace in motherhood.