“Motherhood. It is a choice you make every day, to put someone else’s happiness and well being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lesson, to do the right thing, even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself over and over again for doing everything wrong.” – Donna Bell
I recently came across this quote, and Donna’s words struck me like a hammer upside the head.
Mothers strive for perfection.
Yes, I strive for perfection. And, at the end of the day, when I reflect on the road I walked, I often feel defeated. Dare I say it? I feel like a failure. I began the day with perfection in my sights. So how did I end up here?
We mothers of the world want so badly to do right by the little lives we were given charge to. From the second we find out we are pregnant to the minute that child is born, we mothers want to do everything perfectly. You and I worry about breast feeding and if we are doing it right. We worry if “crying it out” is a real thing or if we are causing lasting damage. We worry about the food our kids eat, the schools they go to, their friends, and the clothing they wear. The list is endless. In the end, all these worries have one thing in common–mothers want to make every decision perfectly. Moms want to walk the road of motherhood in perfection.
Why not strive for grace over perfection?
Perfection is at best exhausting, and let’s be honest, totally unattainable. So, why not stop focusing on parenting perfectly, and instead focus on doing the best we can with the tools we have at that moment?
Mothering with grace might not always be perfect.
A graceful mother might not say or do the right thing in every situation. She might look a little disheveled as she carries her screaming little one out the Target toy aisle, after she said no to a new treasure, all the while telling her child how frustrating it must be to not get what she wants. A graceful mother might have not noticed her child’s mismatched socks, but she did notice how hard she worked to write her name. A graceful mom will look sympathetically at the other mom’s child throwing a tantrum on the playground and remember her own hard days.
A graceful mother knows that she may have made some parenting mistakes during the day. Sheknows that she was far from perfect. She strives to do better the next day. Still, a graceful mother also knows that she surrounded her child with love that day.
So which road will you choose to walk, perfection or grace?
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