Learning How To Give Yourself Grace

Learning to Give Yourself Grace:

I am my own worst critic… Anyone else out there love to just beat themselves up?  As in, you tell yourself all these lies about how you don’t live up to people’s expectations and you’re horrible at this, that and such-in-such?

Seriously, my husband is constantly having to lift me back up after I have pulled myself down and convinced myself that I am just no good.  It’s a viscous cycle.

I briefly mentioned this in my letter to my past self.  Before I was married I would make all these proclamations as to the type of wife I would become.  I would make all these declarations as to the type of mother I would become.  There was this belief that becoming a wife or mother would force me to be this person that I envisioned or wanted to be.

I would not be a “crunchy” mom but I would exclusively breast feed.  I would always wear my babies and they would never watch TV.  We’d stay away from bright, loud, plastic toys and have classic wooden toys that inspire imagination.  I would stick to a schedule because babies and toddlers thrive when in a routine.

You get the picture.  Any mommas laughing right about now?

Then, I had my baby and realized… I can’t do this.  Seriously.  Like, I am just barely hanging on to this wild ride and the one thing I need more than anything (more than caffeine) is GRACE.

Grace upon Grace upon Grace.

I couldn’t breastfeed my baby so by eight weeks old she was fully on formula.
I had to give Grace.

Sometimes the wrap takes too long to put on.  Or Gemma falls asleep in her carseat.  It is easier to just let her sleep and click that carseat into the stroller than risk waking her up to carry her in a baby carrier.  She also only tolerates those when I am standing and walking around.
I had to give Grace

As for no TV… yesterday I let Gemma watch TWO movies… as in full length feature films because she is teething and has a diaper rash and wanted nothing to do with anything except laying in our arms and zoning out to the brightly lit screen.
I had to give Grace

We have an exersaucer and play mat and Gemma’s favorite toys are her bright fisher price rattles and the baby Einstein radio that plays music and lights up.
I had to give Grace.

As for the schedule… Somedays I have to toss our schedule out the window and just make it through the day without losing my cool.  Dallas makes it home after work and I’m wearing the same clothes I slept in, our house looks like it’s imploded and when he asks what I did for the day I can’t remember.  I, uh, made it to six o’clock.  That’s what I did.
I have to give Grace.

It has been the hardest most crucial lesson I’ve had to learn.  I am in desperate need of grace.  I will never live up to the perfect bar that I have set for myself.  You know what?  That is okay.

Because my daughter does not need a perfect mother.  She needs a mom who is honest about her short comings.  A mom who shows her that no one is perfect.  Everyone is human and every single person is in need of grace.  And there is grace to be found at the foot of the cross.

Praise the Lord.

So, if you feel like you are overwhelmingly inadequate, just take a step back and give yourself some grace.  Know that no one is perfect and every one has moments of extreme shortcoming.  That’s what makes us human.

If you don’t know how to give yourself or others grace, I would suggest starting at the wonderful, abundant grace we’ve been given through Jesus.

Happy Monday Friends.

-Brittany Smith-


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