Children are amazing little beings. They are creative, innocent, loving, smart, full of wonder, and cuddly…but sometimes even the sweetest kids break things and push their boundaries. Finding grace in motherhood isn’t always the simplest task. I have had many experiences with my children that have pushed my buttons and tested my patience. I want to share a one of these experiences with you as well as some advice to help you on your journey to find grace in motherhood.
When the Kids Break Your Plates & Your Heart
My kiddos woke up one morning, played in their rooms for a while, then came downstairs demanding that I feed them. Typical, right? 😉 I fixed up some scrambled eggs and toast for them and an egg & veggie sandwich for myself. They gobbled theirs down before I had the chance to pull my egg off the stove. I am just happy that it went in their bellies instead of the floor.
My sandwich went onto one of my beautiful Pioneer Woman plates and I finished cleaning up the kitchen. Just before I could grab a bite, my sweet and energetic 7 year old son comes barreling through my kitchen like a bull in a china shop. His shoulder hit the plate as he was rounding the corner. My heart shattered right along with my beloved plate.
My initial response was to curl up and cry right there in the middle of the unswept kitchen floor. However, my pride went into override mode as it kicked the crying instinct out and I wanted to yell instead. I calmed that down before I messed up and broke his little spirit. Instead, I asked him to go to the living room so I could calm down and clean up the mess. Finding grace was pushed to the back burner for a little while.
I was still heartbroken and, honestly, pretty livid, but I didn’t want him to see that. Just as I was mumbling to myself that my kids have no respect or value for other people’s possessions this little guy turned around and proved me wrong.
My Finding Grace Moment
About 5 minutes after the incident he came back to me with the entire contents of his piggy bank. He told me that he wanted me to have some brand new plates and that he wanted to pay for them. He has been saving that money for months to buy a new Lego set, but he chose to take responsibility for his actions and replace what he had broken. Bless his little heart. I didn’t take his money because it was an accident and I honestly had too many plates to begin with, but his gesture blew me away.
Most days I feel like I am failing on the parenting spectrum (don’t we all?), but somewhere in his short little life he has learned to own up to his mistakes, do more than just say sorry, and ensure that others are taken care of well.
My plate is still in little pieces, but my heart is whole again :).
7 Ways You Can Find Grace in Motherhood
Becoming a graceful mother with a quiet and gentle spirit has been a goal and a struggle of mine that I have worked hard on for years. These are a few things that have helped me out along the way. I hope they help you as well.
In the moment:
1. Count to four.
I’ll admit, I learned this little trick from Daniel Tiger. “When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breathe and count to four.” Before speaking to your child when you are upset, take deep breathe, close your eyes, and count to four. This will help you to calm down and gather your thoughts before your say something that you might regret.
2. Say something kind about your child.
There is something to be said about a spur of the moment positive affirmation especially right after your child has done something that he or she shouldn’t have. Before you tell your child what he or she has done wrong, you can start out with a few kind words. If your child has dumped paint on your carpet (this happened to me a couple of weeks ago) you could say something like, “I love your creativity, but the paint only belongs on paper…not on the floor.” Then they can help you clean the mess up.
Praying is ALWAYS my go-to. God has pulled me through so many trials…stress & anxiety included. I thank God for the blessings that He has given me (namely, my children). Then I pray that He will help me to care for them the way that he intended and that He would help me to show grace and kindness to them each day.
4. Think about the grace that you have been given.
When you stop to think about the grace that others have shown to you, it allows you to be more graceful. This is especially true for Christians as we think about the grace that God has given to us.
5. Care for yourself.
If you take care of yourself, you will be less stressed and be better able to care for your children in a kind manner. Get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, take care of your skin, establish a morning routine, and do something that refills your cup.
6. Be intentional with your words.
Start thinking about the words that you use with your children on a daily basis. Are they mostly positive or negative? Come up with some good positive substitutions for the negative words and begin to implement them. You will be surprised at the difference this one step will make!
7. Put positive affirmations into practice.
As I mentioned before, there is something to be said for positive affirmations. Make a list of positive & encouraging things that you could say to each of your children. Start saying these affirmations throughout each day. This might feel strange at first, but it will make a huge difference for your children.
You can watch my video post here!
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