We often hear how we need to extend grace to others — to our neighbors and friends, to our husbands and children. We don’t often hear how we need to extend grace to ourselves, and this may just be the most important person we need to show grace to, especially as moms.
Voices flow through our consciousness every minute of the day, telling us what a good mom would do, what another mom would do better, that what we did do wasn’t good or enough. We beat ourselves up, tear ourselves down, and at the end of the day, we collapse in tears thinking on how we’ve failed, not only our own ideals of motherhood, but more importantly that we’ve somehow failed our children.
From the moment that we first hold that little one, a thousand thoughts go through our minds about what we’re going to be like as a mom. But the reality is far different. We can’t know what lies ahead. No one in the world has ever done what you are doing, because there has never been another you or another of your child, at this very moment.
Each mother-child relationship only happens once in this universe. There is no benchmark to meet or manual to read, because God has created this to be a once-in-a-lifetime relationship. Only you, with God, can determine what that relationship should look like. Not your friends, not Pinterest, and not your family, as well meaning as they all may be. You and God.
As moms we know we are blessed that God chose us for this child in particular. And the very idea of it is completely daunting, because we often feel as though we have been handed over, sink or swim, to a position that we have no training for. But, if God can show you grace in the toughest job He ever appointed you to, redeeming it all, then I think, that we should learn to show ourselves some grace too.
God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He doesn’t expect us to even know what we’re doing.
The only thing God expects from us is to seek Him, by raising our children to know Him. And that doesn’t mean that we will be judged and graded by God on the relationship our children have with Him.
If we hand it all over to Him, giving Him the power to redeem our mistakes, show our own weakness and failings to our children, and how our only hope for anything good is from God, we have done our job.
Next time you are berating yourself for losing it with your kids, or feeling overwhelmed by being Mom, remember to show yourself a little grace too. Apologize to the kids, hug them, love them, and let them see you on your knees seeking and praising the Lord.