I have something to say, from one Momma to another.
Give yourself some grace.
In this world of comparison and endless expert opinions at our fingertips, we can be our own worst critics, can’t we? Why can’t I do better, why can’t I be better? Why do I always lose my patience, why can’t I enjoy every moment? Why won’t they listen, why are they acting that way?
What am I doing wrong?
Us mommas may be great at giving our kids grace, (it’s ok that you broke my favorite glass when you were helping with the dishes, I know it was an accident), but when it comes to ourselves, well, we can be vicious.
You shouldn’t have snapped at her, she’s just a little girl. You’re always forgetting the important things. You’re never on time, why even bother?
You’re such a bad mom.
Those thoughts circle and nip at the edges of our hearts and minds, beating us down, accusing us, and eating away at our self-worth. They wake us up at 3:00 in the morning, they dog us as we’re dropping the kids at school, and they sneak under our guard when we’re least expecting them.
But we need to give ourselves grace just as much as we give it to those we love.
When you’re twenty minutes late to church (again) because a shoe was missing, the cereal got spilled and the five year old came out dressed in a tutu and swimsuit and refused to change – give yourself some grace.
When you come home from gymnastics practice after a long day of work and you have to wade through a pile of discarded army men, there are no empty places on the counters to put your purse, and you realize that you forgot to turn the crock pot on before you left that morning – give yourself some grace.
When you have to scream into your pillow because if you don’t you’ll lose your ever-loving-mind when you hear your name called one more time (Momma…Momma…Momma…Momma Momma Momma MOMMA!) – give yourself some grace.
When you say yes to one more episode of Daniel Tiger even though they have already been watching it for two hours (ok, three) and you know Daniel Tiger isn’t really as good as Mr. Rogers, but you finally got the dishes done that had been sitting there for two days, the laundry is put away that you’ve been working on for a week and you just want to put your feet up for a few minutes – give yourself some grace.
When the baby starts crying for the fifth time that night, and you’re so exhausted that the only thing you can do is rock and rock and cry along with him – give yourself some grace.
When your husband comes home from a long day and you’re still in your pajamas, you can’t remember if you brushed your teeth that morning, the living room looks like a toy store threw up in it, and the first thing out of your mouth is, “can we order pizza?” – give yourself some grace.
Because this job doesn’t come with vacation time. You don’t get sick days or flex days. You don’t get accolades from your supervisor or recognition from your boss for a job well done.
Your performance review is whether the picky eater ate six bites or two, and your pat on the back is when your daughter says, “thanks Mom” after you help her until 10pm on that project she forgot to tell you about that’s due tomorrow.
There’s no end of the year bonus for meeting your goals. Your bonus is that extra, unexpected “I love you” for no reason other than you’re you.
So give yourself some grace. Because this job, this Momma job, it matters. You’re the whole world to that little one you’re rocking. You’re the only one that can do the things you do, say the things you say and give the hugs you give. You’re the person that will always be there, even when the world is going sideways and upside down. Your lap is soft and your arms are strong.
You’re loving these little humans in your care more than you love yourself. You’re doing the best you can with all that you have. You’re the Momma they need, even in those grace-needing moments.
So from one Momma to another, give yourself some grace.
Sandra Samoska is a writer with a love for Jesus and a love for family. When she's not chasing around her four kids and doing all the things, you can find her writing about the ways God shows up in our every day lives.