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Giving Yourself Grace

Grace is one of my favorite words. I love all the different meanings it has, and that it gives me a happy, positive feeling when I say it, or read it, or hear it. I think on one level, it’s also because it reminds of Audrey Hepburn (who doesn’t love her?) and I like to think I strive to live my life politely, and with simple elegance.

But in today’s post I’m only referring to the act of grace — towards yourself. See, here’s the thing — in today’s world, we chase perfection. Something that simply does not exist. We think we need to do it all (especially if you’re a mom) and we’re constantly juggling all of these balls in the air. I have mountains of laundry, my to-do list is literally never completely checked off, my kids are constantly fighting over my attention, my husband often gets sidelined in order for me to accomplish all of these other things… and at the end of the day, it’s hard not to feel like a failure. Right?

As women, I feel like it’s so so important that we remind ourselves that we are human. There are only 24 hours in a day. Yes, there are chores to be done around the house, but they’ll still be there tomorrow. Our kids won’t stay little forever; they won’t care about our opinions and lavish us with kisses and hugs and snuggles forever. I don’t want to think about a day where my kids won’t want to snuggle up in bed with us at night, or a day where my son doesn’t run up to me when I pick him up from school and attach himself to my leg. I live for those moments. But I’ll admit, sometimes I let the “to-do’s” get in the way of those moments and I don’t appreciate them like I should.

I set a huge amount of goals up for myself at the beginning of this year. I created a vision board with 100% intention (something I used to scoff at) and I’ve tried to be as purposeful as possible about meeting those goals, or at least working toward them. I like to think I’ve done pretty good so far. But I have bad days. I have days where absolutely nothing goes according to plan, and it messes up my ability to check off those small goals that lead to big goals. In the past, I was guilty of throwing in the towel when I got off track because in my search for perfection, one bad day meant failure. I wasn’t willing to look at the bigger picture and see that one bad day only allows for failure if I let it. Not every day is going to go according to plan. Not every day is going to mean I eat all my meals, get in my workouts, check in to all my social media, keep my house clutter-free, keep my kitchen spotless (ha!), have all my laundry done (double ha!), and get everybody in bed on time while also snagging a decent amount of sleep for me. It’s just not going to happen.

I’ve enlisted the help of planners (yes, I have more than one), alarms on my phone to remind me to stay on task, a habit tracker to develop new habits, writing out my schedule, meal planning, personal development books, and devotionals. While that may seem excessive, it’s what is working for me. It’s keeping me in a more positive mindset, and letting me focus on my progress, instead of my idea of perfection.  I still fight it, because I have this grandiose idea of what my house should always look like, how effortlessly my day should flow, but I’m teaching myself to just let the perfection go. Why is that so hard, y’all? We give our children grace all the time. We give our husbands grace. Why is it so hard to do the same for ourselves? Why do we have to set the bar so high for ourselves, so that we constantly fall short?

I don’t have the answer for that. Perhaps it’s the lack of transparency on social media. Perhaps it’s all the picture perfect ideas on Pinterest, and the constant competition between moms to outdo each other. What I do know, is that we all could use a little grace. We deserve to slow the pace of our rushed, hurried lives and the frantic “I have to get it all done” mentality we’ve all adopted, and be human. Take that moment that could be used to do just one more chore, and snuggle with your kids tonight. Take that moment when you could be checking off just one more thing on your to-do list, and unplug with your partner. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and embrace the precious moments. Remember, tomorrow is a new day.

 

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