Grace is a valuable tool in the life of a mother. We need it to parent from a healthy place, to model positive life skills for our children, and to have better relationships with others.
The distinction in grace is that it is unmerited or unconditional. You cannot earn grace. You have grace simply because you exist. In the Christian context, grace is given freely by God, all you have to do is believe or have faith in that notion. In a non-religious context, we do not have to do anything to give grace to ourselves and others. There are no prerequisites. Understanding what grace means takes the pressure off of who gets to receive it because the answer is we all do.
So how do we incorporate this into our everyday lives? One way is through affirmations. Positive affirmations are a fantastic way to help the load of motherhood feel lighter. The more confident you are as a mother, the better you will feel. Below are three key affirmations that have given me grace in motherhood.
Affirmation: “Family first.”
This is an affirmation given to me by my mother when my child got hurt at school and needed to be picked up in the middle of the day. I had not been at my job long and the day was jammed packed with work. Instinctually I knew my child needed me, but I was heavy with guilt about leaving work. I called my mom, and she told me not to feel guilty, but to remember that family comes first.
Affirmation: “I’m a good parent having a hard time.”
I learned this affirmation through the “Millennial Parenting Whisperer” Dr. Becky. This clutch phrase has helped me out of spiraling internal guilt after negative interactions with my children. Whether it was me screaming at my son to take his medicine, or me sending him to his room when I am overwhelmed with one of his tantrums. I recite this phrase religiously to build myself back up and repair with my kid.
Affirmation: “I can do hard things.”
This is an affirmation I adopted from author Glennon Doyle. I especially love the phrase because it is practical. It does not sugarcoat how a situation feels, it affirms my feelings and reminds me that I can get through tough situations.
Affirmations can be recited internally, aloud, or reflected on via affirmation cards or shower stickers. As time goes on, you will notice that once you learn to give yourself grace, you are more inclined to give it to others as well. Can we say, Soft Life? It is beneficial to teach affirmations to your children as well. This encourages kids to develop a positive self-image and self-confidence. Personally, I recite affirmations with my son every night before bedtime. He starts by saying “I am” ahead of several positive attributes about himself (strong, capable, loved, worthy). I began this practice with him as soon as he was able to communicate sentences. Over the years I have witnessed him have a moment of relief and reassurance at the end of his days (especially helpful on hard days).
Motherhood is a rollercoaster of precious moments mixed with tough ones. One minute you are gushing over your infant’s coos,’ the next you are navigating the Terrible Twos, the next you are teaching your young adult about the facts of life. No matter what stage you are in, affirmations can provide a bit of light to help make the ride smoother.