Giving Myself Grace

23 04 2015

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now. I’m at a point in my life where I have to realize that I can’t do it all. As much as I would love to feel like I’ve done my best work on everything I’m expected to do, I know that I can no longer hold myself to the standard I set for myself before I had kids-plural. Back when I had more flexibililty to take care of my pets, train to run a marathon, scrapbook, call people, and make handmade cards for every occasion. Handmade cards. I can’t even imagine.

I feel like I’m always running late these days. There are so many variables that could go wrong in the mornings that even if I think we’re on time, the baby needs a last-minute extra nursing session and then spits it up all over me just as we’re taking our 5th load out to the car before 7 AM. Julie nailed it this week with her post. Oh and then there’s this. YES.

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We have so many unfinished projects around the house. I have stuff I’ve bought that is still in the original packaging and sometimes it doesn’t even make it out of the Target bag. This has been my half-bathroom for days:

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And we’ve had the pallets for this nursery project in our YARD since before the baby was born. They’re still there. He is almost 7 months old.

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I have visions of a beautiful homemade farmhouse table. And homemade growth chart rulers. Projects that will have to wait until summer. Until then, I’ll stare at the hundreds of crumbs wedged between the inlaid glass and bamboo of our current dining room table that drive me CRAZY and just relish in the company around the table, my cozy family. They really are the best.

The pile of clothes in my closet that needs to be hand-washed drives me crazy. But I ran out of Woolite and who remembers to pick up Woolite??

I’d love to plant a(n edible) garden full of rich tomatoes and basil, but at this point, I’m finding grace in the tiny sunflower my son planted at school and brought home to me. As long as I’m remembering to wash my hands at the sink, I know it’s getting watered. That’s about all I can muster.

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My memory is terrible these days. It’s true. If I don’t write it down, consider it gone. I usually forget something at home, usually some part of my Medela pump – the ice pack, the bottles, even the SHIELDS the other day. The baby’s wet bag. This week I ate my salad with a spoon because that’s what I packed instead of a fork. I’m losing my mind. Blame nursing. A couple days ago I left our doggie bag of YUMMY EXPENSIVE leftovers in my car overnight. Perfectly good meal – into the trash. Just a smelly car to show for it.

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Recently I’ve been co-hosting a few family bridal showers, which I love doing; they’re right up my alley. Then I remember I don’t have the kind of time I’d like to devote to them because of my typical day. And then I’m called-out because I relied on Pinterest as a shortcut to creativity. But whatever, because I’ve learned that even when I use my own ideas, people will assume they came from Pinterest anyway. SHAKE IT OFF.

Sometimes I remember at 10:30 Sunday night that I need to write a preschool lesson for Monday morning and I HAVE to come crawling back to Pinterest. Or rob Peter to pay Paul – use part of next week’s lesson tomorrow.

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(I really do love Pinterest.)

Making the same recipe over and over for different events. How many times have we made Peanut Butter Fingers this season?

Let’s not even talk about marathon training. Lately, exercise consists of walking laps around the cafeteria during my 40 minutes of lunch duty. No, seriously. It’s dizzying.

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We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. I’ve tried hard not only to give myself grace, but also others. Like when my employer accidentally docked FIFTEEN extra days off my sick leave than they should have after my maternity leave. (PLUS docked my pay for them.) Oops! I showed them so much grace in the process of getting it corrected. Or when daycare left the baby’s lunch out all afternoon instead of refrigerating it. GRACE.

And 30 years of perfect dental history (minus 4 wisdom teeth out) shot after my 3rd pregnancy robbed me of my enamel and cost me 4 cavities in 6 months. Grace.

And Wednesdays, when I can’t possibly squeeze in an afternoon pumping session, and the empty bottles I bring home make me cry because I know I’ll have to dip into my precious freezer stash to get by for Thursday. Grace.

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See those shopping bags on the floor? Grace. A child who’s long-since outgrown his Rock n Play, but we haven’t made the switch to the crib yet, despite the pediatrician’s best pleads. Grace. A toddler who stumbles into our bed around 4 each morning after a solid night in his own bed and we don’t send him back – grace. IMG_2691

But then my little one wakes up from his first night in the Pack n Play and whimpers, and with a few touches of my palm to his back and warm kisses against his neck, he settles back down for a few seconds. They get my best, and that’s the best I can give.

I lean on my husband so much more these days, even though I know his plate is already busting at the seams. He gets up around 4 AM to start his day with a run and never slows til the kids are bathed, bottles washed, lunches packed.

I’m also remembering to seek the Holy Spirit amidst the busy-ness, because let’s face it – in a toddler world there is no quiet. In the car listening to Christian radio, in the dentist waiting room, during my lunch, while I tuck my toddler in at night.

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God gives me more grace than I deserve. This is one verse I read in the waiting room at the dentist’s office, the very chapter our minister asked us to read this week:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (NIV)

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6 responses

23 04 2015
Kristy

Beautiful.

24 04 2015
RunningMOMentum

Thank you! 🙂

23 04 2015
Amanda

These are hard years. You’re doing great!

24 04 2015
RunningMOMentum

Thank you 🙂

24 04 2015
Emily Bailey

Love this post. I think my favorite that you’ve ever done.

24 04 2015
RunningMOMentum

Love you, Em! 🙂

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