4 Ways to Show Yourself Grace

No matter how hard we try, there will be moments of failure in our lives as moms.

The key to learning from, and moving past, those tough days as a mom is to recognize your mistake, make it right the best you can, and try again tomorrow.

1. Take your own advice. You’ve undoubtedly had to walk each of your children through the process of owning a failure and learning from it. You probably told them something like: admit what you did was wrong, say you’re sorry, and don’t do it again. So simple a child could understand it, right? Then do it, mom. We promise you’ll feel better.

2. Understand the difference between fiction and reality. You’ll never be happy with yourself as a mom if you set the bar unreasonably high based on the avalanche of parenting advice and news we hear. Most of these tips are designed to give you an ideal picture to aim for, knowing that you’ll never accomplish the goal completely. For instance, you want your child to be the best student he can be, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be the class valedictorian. So don’t count it a failure when he’s just a good, average student. Spend more time celebrating what has been accomplished and less time lamenting your/his failure to reach the ideal. The same principle can be applied to your own efforts in home management, family nutrition, etc. Use your energy to move in the right direction every day, rather than looking for a finish line.

3. Don’t believe the hype. We all have those moms in our midst who come to every class party dressed like a model and bearing a tray of hand-decorated cookies. She makes us feel bad, doesn’t she? But remember, all you see is what she wants you to see. If you had access to her whole life, you’d likely see several areas where you’re more efficient or productive, or a flat-out better mom.

4. Accept forgiveness. That same forgiveness you give to your child when she does wrong is available to you, too, from a gracious and loving Heavenly Father. When you’ve confessed and apologized, trust Him enough to just accept the forgiveness He offers and use it as inspiration to live a life that’s pleasing to Him going forward. Guilt is not your friend, and it doesn’t make you a better mom. Learning and growing does!

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