give honor or credit to (someone or something) by one’s presence.
It’s been a hell of a ride since first meeting motherhood at 16 years old, back in 2003. Her strength and demanding demeanor forced me to quickly grow up while suppressing all of my issues. After all, it was no longer about me. By 19, I had become so numb to the issues that I had suppressed, that I walked into an abusive relationship, and ended up running into motherhood again. Only this time, we entered an abortion clinic together, and I was the only one who came out.
At the age of 21, she must’ve learned how to play baseball because she threw me a curve ball I wasn’t expecting. My 5-year-old was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, aka high functioning autism. It was at that moment that motherhood looked at me and said, “you’re not in control of this journey. I am.” While we didn’t start how I wanted us to, she must’ve thought I was doing a pretty darn good job because she visited me again at 22 in the form of a bonus mom. We were a happy family of 4, and life was good.
At 23, motherhood had a private conversation with God and blessed me with the little girl I had been praying for. Life was good. Until the infidelity hit.
The depression had formed it’s roots, my unaddressed wounds were starting to bleed and I was pregnant again. Motherhood had clearly been listening to a private conversation when I said it would be nice to have twins because, at 24, she gave me another little girl. My Irish twins were here. 359 days apart. #missionaccomplished #imdone #tiethemtubes
I started doubting how good of a mother I really was. I thought I was the definition of what society was starting to label a toxic parent. I hadn’t protected my children from the residue that life had left on me. I allowed them to inhale all the smoke from the fires that my unawareness, toxic upbringing, trauma, and lack had produced.
I was so busy filling up “cups of water” (school, work, MY purpose (not God’s) to put out the house fire I unknowingly started instead of filling up buckets (praying, self-awareness, wisdom) and grabbing face masks for them to not be affected.
In 2018, I was introduced to a close relative of motherhood. We had 7 introductions to be exact. Between the ages of 31 to 33, my body had become a playground for hidden bombs, aka ectopic pregnancies, and no one knew what to do. I beat myself about it the first 2 and kept thinking it was my fault. But by the third pregnancy, I decided to give myself grace and haven’t looked back since. Here’s how:
Tap into the source of grace
You can’t give yourself something you don’t have access to in your own strength. So tap into the source of all things and get into God’s word.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Don’t be perfect, be intentional
None of us have it all together. NONE OF US!! No matter how organized my pinterest feed is, there’s apart of my house that isn’t. No matter how pretty the IG filters make me look, there’s an area of my life that I suck at. And guess what? THAT’S OK! The goal is never to live up the false illusion of perfectionism, but to be present and aware so that I can be intentional in growing every area of my life.
Do the best YOU can do
Your best isn’t inside of a magazine article or your timeline. Your best is inside of you. Feed it. Nurture it. Grow it. Embrace it.
If it can wait, let it
Now let me be clear…this does not mean to procrastinate. This means to WIN! Do what’s important now. When it comes to extending yourself grace, you’re not going to be able to do it all and you have to be ok with that. Figure out what your non negotiables are that must be done everyday and start there. If you don’t get anything else done on your “to-do” list it OK!
As moms we put way too much emphasis on being super moms when our kids just want their moms. They don’t care if we attend more PTA meetings than the next mom, cook better than the neighbor or wear the latest trends. They just want and need us to be present and apart of their world.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
How are your children suppose to learn how to overcome if they never see you fail? Resiliency is caught not taught.
Celebrate ALL of your wins, no matter how small you think they are
If you tune into my #freedomfridays on Instagram, then you know I’m HUGE on this!! I don’t care if your win for the day is you got out of bed. It’s still a win!! Celebrate it!
Get a support system
This is why I created this space and I’m working on building out an intentional community for us. YOU’RE NOT ALONE and you don’t have to do life by yourself. Find you a support system that will encourage, inspire and motivate you to fight yourself, for yourself.
Find your identity outside of your kids
It’s easy to get lost in the journey of parenthood. But you’re more than just a mom and it’s time you discovered/re-discovered who that person is.
Don’t leave room for you, MAKE room for you
How many times do you have to see the phrase “you can’t pour from an empty cup” to really start operating in that?! You are an instrument designed for a purpose. You can’t leave yourself for last. You have to carve out time to make yourself first (second to God of course) in order to effectively operate in that purpose.
BONUS: Be unapologetic about it
Don’t let anyone try to make you feel bad about showing yourself grace. As long as you remain in order, those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.
I pray these tips help you set the foundation that you stand on so you can start extending yourself some grace.
Drop some suggestions below of additional ways you can extend grace to yourself. I would love to hear from you!
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