Mama Needs Grace

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Mama Needs Grace

  Anytime we talk about grace-based parenting we, or maybe just I, think of the grace we need to extend to our babies…and we’re right. But I’m learning these days specifically about the grace I need to give myself for the sake of my babies. And the grace they’ve been given the opportunity to give me. Oakley is a gift from God, clearly. I don’t struggle with the fact that I’m a ‘special needs parent’. I’m so proud of who she is. She has such a powerful impact. But that doesn’t mean I don’t seriously struggle day to day meeting her needs and the needs of my other kids while meeting her needs. She downright wears me out. And I get to an ugly place now and then. Ugly enough I have to reach to my husband the moment he arrives and ask him to take her away from me for an extended period of time so that I can find her cute again and can be fun with our other kids again. I hate that place. I even hate myself for ever getting to that place. I feel shame and guilt for holding her back, for not having anything left to give even though she deserves it. And that’s where mama needs grace. I’m learning to recognize when I’m approaching the end of my limits. I need to accept that I have a limit, not hate myself for it, so that I can head it off for my sake and everyone else’s in this family. I’m also learning to prepare ahead of time for it. Prepping means not feeling awful for planning a day out with my other kids and planning a fun outing for Oakley and her caretaker, or vice versa. It’s okay. It’s beautiful, actually, coming back together at the end of the day and enjoying each other’s stories and company. Mamas, I repeat…its okay! I also need grace from my other kiddos. That certainly isn’t something I deem them responsible for, in fact, quite the opposite. I take up responsibility in teaching my kids and being super transparent with them. I explain that I forget sometimes what normal expectations are in our house, I lose my patience and I run dry. I need their forgiveness for my behavior. I give them permission to pray for me to be a mommy with more grace! I’m always quite astonished and humbled when I see them respond. Even at 4 years old, this concept is not out of reach. Any opportunity to tell them what I do really expect from them and how precious and beautiful and individual they are and that they have the freedom to be upset with me or even pray for my shortcomings seems to bring them a breath of relief. Mama needs grace because sometimes my ‘littles’ are more mature and patient than I am! And that’s okay too! Its no surprise we need grace to offer grace, isn’t it a breath of relief for each of us that we have received more grace already than we can ever give. The source of any of the grace we give is Jesus!  It’s okay when we fail, it’s okay to be honest and transparent with our babies, and its okay to pick up where we fall and keep walking. Praise Jesus…this mama needs it.

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