I had the absolute best Mother’s Day yesterday with my boys. Nothing fancy or special in the eyes of many, but perfect to me. We simply spent the day around the house playing outside, enjoying popsicles, watching Lilo and Stich for the 970th time, and bouncing on the trampoline. Hearing their loud giggles and watching their eyes light up when I chased them around the yard felt so good.
But if I’m being honest, I feel that I should tell you about something that happened to me last week. It’s something that taught me a huge lesson that I really needed at this point in my life, and as always I truly hope it helps someone else out there who is going through a similar experience.
Learning to Show Yourself Grace
One night last week I quite literally had a meltdown. It was just before bedtime, the kids were sleeping soundly tucked into their bed, and my husband had just left for the start of his night shift. As I laid there in the dark just staring at the ceiling, everything in my life started weighing down on me like a ton of bricks. And just like that good ol’ “guilt” paid me a visit and started going to town.
“You said you would play outside with the kids today, but you didn’t. You told your husband you’d cook up that steak in the fridge, but it’s still sitting there. You didn’t get all those projects at work finished and now you’ll have even more to do tomorrow. You didn’t do this, you didn’t do that…”
I could go on and on, but instead of boring you with all of the guilt-trip details, let’s just say I spent quite a few minutes wallowing in all of my recent shortcomings, and letting all of the stress in my life lately just really bring me down. But as I laid there with tears trickling down my face and thinking to myself how much of a failure I’ve been, I heard the smallest, still voice say “You are not a failure, you are a work in progress.”
And just like that I wiped my tears away and realized in that moment that I had absolutely nothing to be upset over. You see, we beat ourselves up over every little shortcoming. Didn’t get that laundry finished today? Fail. Didn’t get that workout in last night? Fail.
But the reality is- just because we weren’t able to do everything we set out to do in a day’s time, does not mean that we’re a failure. It also doesn’t mean that we should sit around beating ourselves up and letting the world’s ridiculous expectations bring us down.
We are all so hard on ourselves these days and most of the time we set these unrealistic, unattainable goals that end up making us feel really cruddy when we can’t measure up. And that’s just crazy.
Stop thinking you’re a horrible mom because you weren’t able to play with your kids every second of every evening last week. If they’re alive, happy, and well, and you know you did the absolute best you could, then that’s all you can ask of yourself.
Stop telling yourself that you’re a failure because you didn’t get that 20 item to-do list accomplished in an hour’s time. It’s enough of an accomplishment to simply make a to-do list some days and nobody can do everything all the time.
Instead, it’s time that we show ourselves some grace. It’s time that we learn to see ourselves for what we really are. We are not failures by any means, but rather we are works in progress. We get up out of bed every single day and we try our absolute hardest to do everything we can. We put others needs ahead of our own and we’re jack of all trades, balancing work, family, school, hobbies, and everything else that this life demands.
So take it easy on yourself. Show yourself some grace just as you show others grace and kindness, and even when you feel as though all is lost, don’t give up. Know that you are loved, you are stronger than you know, and that things are never really as bad as they seem.
I’m so thankful for my wonderful heavenly Father’s love, and the simple reminders of encouragement that he gives me when I feel so very lost with no direction of where to go. And in case you’ve ever had a mini meltdown similar to mine, know that a. you’re not crazy and b. everything’s gonna be alright. We’ll keep trying, learning, and making our way through this crazy, beautiful life.
Remember to show yourself some grace and thanks for stopping by!- Cara