I often am the hardest on myself. I see this beautiful little girl stand in front of me, praying for God’s grace as I have the privilege as her mom, to BE her mom.
And as moms, we often feel like we screw have royally screwed up, don’t we? I think about the times when my voice isn’t loving and my patience is thin. Oh I wish those times never happen, but they do, and I can get so hard on myself for them.
When I make yet another pb&j, I think oh, I should make her something “nicer” for lunch, but then I remember, wait, she doesn’t love fancy food. So then why do I worry about it?
When Mazy touches my stomach and says, why is it fluffy, I think right? Why is it fluffy? It shouldn’t be!? But then I remember that all but a year ago, life was a fight. And I’ll take fluffy any day now! Oh does it make me chuckle!
When I just start my devotions and am not able to get through them before I hear a knocking on the door, I feel guilty that I didn’t get that “quiet” time in…but then I remember that God knows. God knows my intentions and my heart.
And then this sweet little girl walks out with a pink polka blankie, one of her favorite blankies, that she always grabs for me, EVERY morning so that I can snuggle too. You see, blankies are very special to Mazy. And for her to give up her second favorite one to me, says it all.
I know this girl loves me, even when I am so hard on myself and think I could be doing so much better! Why are we so hard on ourselves? Because I think we let these little lies into our heads, we allow our eyes to influence our actions, and our ears to hear what they shouldn’t. Let me explain.
The reason I think I’m so hard on myself is that it’s so easy to look outward, instead of inward, when it comes to parenting. When I think about all those things that “I could do better…” I will be spending a lifetime trying to perfect them all. And I will fall short EVERY single time!
And that’s why over this past year, I have found much comfort in giving myself the same grace that God offers ME, every single day. Don’t feel bad if your child isn’t potty trained yet. Don’t feel bad if your child is eating yet another box of macaroni. Don’t feel bad if your child is yet again, watching their favorite show. Because you know what? If you are worried about it, it means you are conscious of it and realize that sometimes, it is what it is, right? Mazy still doesn’t poop on the toilet. Mazy eats white bread and macaroni and cheese, that has a powdered cheese. Mazy has favorite shows, which means she watches TV. I used to think that I had to live up to this certain expectation, but they were only expectations that I allowed into my mind and to influence my thinking. And I see and hear mamas trying to constantly do this, getting them nowhere!
Do I strive to do what I can to raise Mazy to the best of my abilities? Absolutely! Have there been times when life’s circumstances have thwarted what we were working hard towards? Absolutely! Shoot, Dan slept in Mazy’s room next to her bed for a month after my surgeries because she was ridden with so much anxiety! And we survived and she’s doing just fine now. It is what it is.
And I know I can go to bed at night, knowing that I loved her to the best of my abilities that day, and so there is no reason to be so hard on myself. Because God has offered HIS grace to us, we too, need to offer ourselves that same grace. For truly, we could not get through any day without Him! So keep looking up instead of horizontally at how our culture says we should parent. It will end in a dead end every time! Hang in there, girlfriend. You’ve got this!