Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Give Yourself Some Grace

Way before I became a mom or even met my husband, I had an idea of the kind of mother I would be.  I would never raise my voice and each day would be filled with magic and wonderment.  I would fill every page of their baby books and be there for every milestone.  I would never let my children act crazy in public.   I would just calmly escort them out of the store in the middle of their temper tantrums.  Then I had my boys.

I don't yell at them, but my voice has a way of creeping up an octave or two when my frustration mounts.  Most days I AM amazed and filled with wonderment but sometimes I count down until bedtime thinking, "Okay, only two more hours.  I can do two hours."  My youngest son's baby book is filled out up to three months - about the time when he started opening his eyes for longer than 10 minutes.  And temper tantrums happen in the middle of Target all the time.  I calmly look at the twenty-somethings without children judging me (just as I did them) and think, someday you will understand.

Being a mom is really really hard.  And yet, we all think everybody else does it better.  There's that mom that has a flourishing career and happy kids that makes it look so easy.  There's that mom that makes every Halloween costume from scratch instead of picking one up at Wal-Mart on October 30th.  There's that mom that doesn't have to struggle with a work life balance because she gets to be a mom all the time.  But each of those women have their own things that they are dealing with.  The woman who stays at home may miss the challenge of a career.  The one with the career may feel so much guilt about missing time with her children.  Instead of comparing ourselves and feeling like we aren't doing enough, let's give ourselves some grace.  

Know that what you are doing is enough, maybe even more than you need to do.  Loving your family isn't about what costume they wear.  It's about making the time we have with them count.  You can show love by making eye contact when your husband is telling a story about his day instead of keeping one eye on the kids.  You can show love by picking up their favorite treat instead of pressuring yourself about making it homemade.  If you give yourself some grace, you might just feel more calm, centered and whole.  And that is the greatest gift you can give your family.

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