Mistakes – we all make them. Things beyond our control happen – every single day. Some examples come to mind – hurricanes, COVID, car trouble, appointment cancellations, potty training woes, teething. All of these happen and all are beyond our control. What can we do about it? I think learning to manage the unexpected or managing the stress/situation once a mistake is made or an accident happens is the way to go. I think if we treated ourselves as we treat (or try to treat) our kids, we would give and receive grace to ourselves more.
Kids drop things all the time. We generally aren’t overly hard on them. We tell them it is okay as many times as they need to hear it. We reassure them. We let them know accidents are a normal part of their days. Why don’t we acknowledge that we as parents are allowed to have accidents and make mistakes? Moms in particular – why do we force ourselves to suffer? We somehow are conditioned to think we don’t deserve the same grace our kids do. Why do we not believe we are worthy of the same grace we give so freely to others – our kids, our families, our spouses or significant others… We call ourselves names, tell ourselves that we are terrible – but why? We can see the mistake but can’t get past it because we won’t allow ourselves any grace.
Maybe you are feeling down because your kid started school or daycare for the first time (nevertheless in a pandemic and during hurricane season). Maybe you are saddened because you are now quarantined – again. Maybe your kid has COVID – maybe your whole family does. Maybe its something else and your decision resulted in a negative consequence. Maybe your kid fell off the couch or was hurt by your words (or someone else’s words). Know this – even on our best days we make mistakes. Don’t let them define you. You inflict more pain and cause more chaos the longer you dwell in the problem and not on the solution. Even if you are to blame, what would happen if you shifted your thoughts immediately to forgiveness.
What if we extended the same grace and mercy to ourselves as we freely give to our children. I know my hooligan has been spared many consequences to her sass. What about the forgiveness and grace you give to family members? What about co-workers who you give a pass to? What if we stopped beating ourselves up? Mama, how much better would your day be after you had an accident or made a mistake if you erred on the side of grace and mercy for yourself?
After all, God extends grace to us and if we can extend it to others, surely we can allow it for ourselves.