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
This is something I am having to remind myself of consistently. When life gets moving quickly, it can be easy to get caught up in trying to do everything a certain way. Thanks for reminding me that there is room for grace regardless of how I think things should be done!
You’re most welcome. It’s something I think we all have to re-remind ourselves of.
Thanks for the pep talk!! I am always too hard on myself over the silliest things. Glad to know I’m not the only one.
You’re so welcome! We all need to give ourselves more grace. 🙂
Even I have this bad habit of being very critical on myself although I know that I am doing the best I can at any given moment. I used to think that I am crazy to chase perfection in everything and then put myself down if I am not able to meet everyone’s expectations.
You are totally right though! We all need to cut ourselves some slack. Tomorrow is another day!
I’m so glad you had a nice Mother’s Day! I def beat myself up when I am not able to check everything off my to do list each day. I really feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day! I hate how much time I have to work in order to be able to live financially. Work takes up so much of our lives and leaves very little time for everything else! Europe has the right idea on work/life balance.
Thank-you! I can completely relate! And yes, I wish the U.S. would copy what European countries do when it comes to work/life balance. The work week is shorter, they get more vacation time, and overall I think they’re a lot less stressed. Nevertheless, it’s all about trying to find that delicate balance. It’s not easy, but in the end I’m trying to let go of the silly things that don’t matter. We had a birthday party here yesterday and typically I run myself ragged cleaning before hand, but this time I didn’t kill myself and you know what nobody even noticed/cared. lol
I Love this and appreciate you being so honest. Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves and put so much stress on ourselves. Grace is a beautiful thing and so needed. I am currently reading a book that has been a big help to me, Grace Not Perfection. You are an amazing mama and I am so glad you enjoyed your Mother’s Day!
Thanks Sierra! I’ll definitely have to check that book out! 🙂
Cara, thank you so much for writing this and being vulnerable. I so needed this reminder rn <3
Glad you related to it, Rachel!
This post really resonated with me. Thanks for such a wonderful post. I loved it and I have been navigating my way through a very dark and low phase of my life. Your post serves as a kind and gentle reminder for me and all those out there who might have come across this post through God’s grace. I am extremely grateful to you.
Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I’m so glad to hear this post resonated with you and that you are doing better. Giving ourselves grace is always so important to be mindful of. Have a wonderful week ahead!
Such good words. I feel like this quite a bit too and it is honestly exhausting trying to chase perfection each day. Why is it that it feels so much easier to show grace to others but not ourselves?
Thanks for sharing! This is always something good to remind ourselves about!
I definitely know what you mean! It can be really easy to listen to that voice of reason when it comes to others and their life situations, but in our own it’s harder to take/apply our own advice. Glad you enjoyed the post!
I’m definitely guilty of feeling that debilitating guilt of all the things I didn’t get to or didn’t get done. It’s the worst visitor, EVER. My husband tries to help me focus on all the things that I do get done, but it’s so easy to fall into the trap of dwelling on the things you didn’t get to. I like the idea of using a list to keep track the things that I did get done – and it helps organize me for the next day!
Yes, a list is a great way to focus more on your accomplishments! I’m learning more and more to listen to my husband who always gives me that nice dose of reality. So thankful for that!
This is SUCH a good reminder and message. I had to teach myself to be easier on me- I’m so tough on myself and always have been. I don’t know why, and it got to the point where I just couldn’t do it all every day and go to bed happy. I had to make a change. Today- my house couldn’t be more disorganized but I also couldn’t be happier. Sending you positivity and love- you’ve got this Mama!
Thanks Emelia! We’re all human and we need to quit thinking we’re robots on the Jetsons haha! Hope you’re having a great weekend with your sweet family! 🙂
I have had to tell myself multiple times that no matter what, there will ALWAYS be something on my to-do list. Balancing a new relationship, job hunting, blogging, and just being a human, I feel like I drop the ball a lot but I know where my heart is and that’s what matters.
That’s a great way to look at it. There will always be more to do, but learning when we need to allow ourselves rest and simply be thankful for the things we are able to do is so important.
Cara, this brought tears to my eyes! I SO needed this. I don’t have kids yet but I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I felt like a “Failure.” For not getting the laundry done. For not working out. For not accomplishing things on my wedding to-do list. And when I really sit and think about it….for what? For what am I breaking my back over to accomplish these things? I’m not perfect. I need to allow myself some grace. Thanks for the beautiful reminder. And thanks for always being in my corner when I need the support. I really appreciated reading your comment on my latest blog post! <3
Aw, you’re most welcome Chelsea. This is exactly why I love having a blog, because I want to help others out there who go through the same things I do. Have a wonderful Sunday, girl! 🙂
I really needed to read this today. I had felt so motivated after this weekend and I wanted to get so much accomplished tonight but I just feel so exhausted and have a splitting headache. I’ve been too hard on myself about it and need to allow myself to be tired and relax tonight.
Definitely, girl! It’s always good to know our limits and not push ourselves too hard. You’ll get there with what you want to accomplish- but give yourself time to relax. 🙂
The sweetest post girl and a really important lesson for all of us!
Thanks Claudia! I think we all struggle with this from time to time.
I had one of those nights last week, where I holed up in the closet and cried. I’m always so hard on myself, but I always have to remind myself that my daughter is healthy, happy, and well-adjusted and that I have played a part in making that happen. I really need to be better at offering myself grace.
It’s so easy to beat ourselves up over all the “bad” but we need to all learn to focus on the good more. The fact that we have raised tiny human beings that are incredible and loved and as you said, we played an integral part in that. Enjoy this beautiful day with your daughter! 🙂
Love this!!! Giving myself some grace has been something I have struggled with really bad since having Zoe. I have let other things slack in my life and I have to remind myself that all of that will still be there tomorrow and I need to cherish the moments I get to enjoy spending with Zoe and just living instead!!! This post is the perfect reminder!!! And a way to show that we all have these struggles and the feelings are normal.
Definitely! Sometimes I could kick myself for obsessing over cleaning and doing other things that don’t matter instead of playing with my boys, but it’s all about finding a good balance. 🙂
Great Post! Just remember this you have accomplished so much and very proud of you and your family. Love you
Thanks, love you too!
Thank you for reminding us that we need to give ourselves grace. I too am thankful for God’s grace:-)
You’re most welcome. It’s so refreshing to know that we have someone who loves us unconditionally. 🙂
I love this! Definitely the perfect reminder on a Monday morning, or any day for that matter. It’s so easy to feel guilty over the little things we don’t do but what about the things we accomplish every day? Great post girl! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes
Thanks Pamela! I heard the quote the other day about learning to see flowers, not weeds, and it really resonated. Focusing on the good is so much better than worrying about the things we can’t control. Happy Sunday! 🙂
So well written my sweet friend 🙂 I am with you – we ALL need to show more grace to ourselves. So glad that you had a wonderful Mother’s Day! xo
Thanks Jessica! It was wonderful and I’m trying to not worry so much about the insignificant things and focus on the good. 🙂
We can be our own worse enemy in so many areas of life.
What a beautiful reminder…
Thank you so much for this, Cara! What a great reminder for all of us.
Glad you enjoyed it Laura!
Thank you! I have so much I want to do but I feel like I am not getting there. Taking a step back and letting myself relax and realize that I am making progress, no matter how small, is something to be proud of.
Yes, reflection is great! Sometimes if we’re so down and hard on ourselves we can’t see the progress we’ve made. So it’s good to take that time to really reflect. 🙂
i never beat myself up over things i didn’t do etc because i look at my daughter who is happy, healthy and always smiling and it’s not because of the things i didn’t do but because of how she’s being raised – in a loving home and that’s good enough for me!
That’s a great outlook! We all seem to kick ourselves over things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, and I’m trying to let go of that mentality more and more.
I needed this reminder today! I’m so hard on myself and I need to remember that I’m not perfect. Thanks, Cara1
So glad it was helpful to you! None of us are perfect and we’re all simply doing the best we can! 🙂
Thank you. I really want to thank you for sharing this right now.
Yesterday I was lying in bed in tears at how difficult life is, how I’m failing, how everything is getting on top of me – the house isn’t neat enough, I’m still in contract work, how my weight is getting on top of me, etc etc etc.
But all of these expectations and pressures are placed on me BY me, and as you say – I need to show myself a little grace. It’s ok not to be perfect all the time, it’s ok to trip and fall and pick yourself back up. And it wasn’t until this moment, reading your story, that that realisation actually truly hit home.
So thank you so much for sharing this moment with us x
Aw, I’m so glad to hear that Bry! That’s exactly why I share my stories on here, because I know that I can’t be the only one who feels the things I feel sometimes. We all need to show ourselves more grace. We’re doing the best we can! Hope things get better for you and enjoy the good with your family! 🙂
This was the perfect Monday morning reminder! I think so many of us are so hard on ourselves. I always say let go and let God and he shows us the ultimate Grace so why can’t we show grace to ourselves. Definitely something we all need to do and I am over the moon you had such a beautiful Mother’s Day, you are so deserving!
That’s a great saying to live by Andrea! And thank-you it was truly wonderful! Same to you, sweet Mama! 🙂