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Giving Yourself Grace

Guest post from Kate of Organization for the Type B

A little while ago, Crystal had a lovely post about giving your kids grace, not shame. Today I am writing to tell you that not only do you need to do this for your kids, but yourself also.

How often do you make a mistake? I make them all them time!

I have been participating in the “Early to Rise” Challenege, and the past couple mornings I have not gotten up at my goal time (in fact yesterday, I overslept a whole hour)! My first response was guilt, and I felt very down on myself. We all feel down on ourselves, whether it’s eating too much spending too much, etc.

However, instead of berating ourselves for making a bad decision, it’s time to show ourselves some grace.

Here is what I do:

1. Admit I made a mistake. I should not have ate/bought/did that — whatever it was. We all know the saying, “The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one”. So, admit it to yourself.

2. Make an action plan for next time you find yourself in this situation. Tomorrow, I will set two alarms and promise to text my friend as soon as I get up. Or, I will go to the store and stock my pantry with healthy food. Or, I will stay home instead of going to the mall and tempting myself to overspend.

3. Do it! Feeling bad and shaming yourself will do NOTHING to make a difference next time. Only you DOING it differently will.

God shows us grace everyday, and we try to show our children and other people grace. So it’s about time we give ourselves some grace, too!

Learn to laugh with yourself. When you do, you will find it makes giving others grace easier!

Kate is a full time wife and mother and part time teacher outside the home. She blogs about organization, minimalism, frugal, and green Christian living at Organization for the Type B.

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  1. Lauren B. says

    One thing I have JUST noticed, it really is easier to just do it. I would slack on something, then spend the whole day beating myself up about it. It took so much more time/energy to feel like a failure. For example, with the early to rise challenge, it is “easier” for me to just get up then to sleep in and think about it all day. I should have gotten up. I would have gotten that done. Today would have been easier. What is my problem. I know better. Blah blah. So much energy wasted!

  2. says

    This is a great reminder for me. I know when I fail at something my first reaction is to beat myself up over it. But what does that really accomplish absolutely nothing.

    I have a goal to lose weight this year. Most years by this time I would have given up. But this year I decided to give myself grace. When I mess up with my eating, I just leave it behind and try to do better the next time. I am not making the progress I would like but I am slowly making small changes which I am sure will pay off in the end if I keep going.

  3. says

    Really enjoyed this post. As a mother, I sometimes get very obsessed with trying to be the best parent and teach my children the right things in the right ways. As we all know- it is a process of trial and error and parents often beat themselves up during the process.

    One of the best ways to really teach something is by example. By giving yourself grace and serving as an example of someone who does that for herself, you will not only be helping yourself but also those around you.

    Thanks for the 3 step process!

    Founder, ParentEntrepreneurs.com

    • says

      I always feel like I need to “do better” as a parent. But, I try to tell myself if I am doing best, than I don’t need to do better.
      Thanks for sharing. Parenting is the hardest job there is.


  4. Jessica says

    I have a hard time with this all the way around and am praying to be better at it.

    My most recent challenge is with feeding my baby. I am very pro-breastfeeding. When I had my first child who’s now 6 1/2, I built up an incredible milk supply and donated over 22 gallons to the milk bank in my state, plus shared with friends who couldn’t pump enough while they were at work. I nursed DD for 37 months, until I was suffering from bad morning sickness with my DS. I nursed through foot surgery, food poisoning and a miscarriage. I didn’t see what the big fuss was and figured if I could get through all that, then anybody could successfully nurse.

    Then my DS was born and had birth trauma due to his size. A broken clavicle, shoulder dystocia and facial injuries due to malpresentation meant he couldn’t successfully transfer milk. I was devastated. I felt it was my fault. I was hospitalized due to postpartum depression. It was horrible being separated from my kids for five days but it was necessary. I had to supplement a bit, and I pumped around the clock. I even pumped milk in the psych ward during my hospitalization. Again, I thought if I could manage to pump in a psych ward, anyone could do it. I pumped for him for 3 months and comfort nursed him until he healed and could successfully breastfeed. When he was 6 months old, I was diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid disease which pretty much resulted in me having no thyroid function left. He’s 31 months old and “still” nursing.

    I had my third child in December. We got off to a great start nursing. My thyroid disorder was under control during pregnancy, as it can be a huge risk to the baby if it is not. Well, things went haywire and within a week after delivery, my levels got out of whack and caused my milk supply which had been abundant, to plummet. I nearly dried up. My baby continued to lose weight. We were under doctor’s orders to supplement. I had to offer nursing then pump then give the pumped milk as the first supplement then formula after that.

    With that feeding routine, baby went from 14th percentile to 57th, but my heart broke again. Here I had been the milk goddess with my first child only to have to need formula with my third. It was no fault of my own. I was following all doctor’s orders on my condition and taking my medication as required.

    Within a week or two, my baby refused to nurse any more. She’d scream. Fight me. Would not latch at all. I consulted with several lactation consultants, several of whom are also LLL leaders and published authors on lactation manuals and texts. I started taking supplements like fenugreek and blessed thistle and mother’s milk tea and even a prescription for domperidone.

    I couldn’t do the 10x daily pumping like I did for my DS. With three kids now, I just couldn’t do it. I pumped 6 times daily at first. My milk slowly increased and is holding steady now at about 20-22 oz daily, at 3 months postpartum. It’s still not enough to nourish my child and I still have to supplement with formula. It still hurts my heart to buy cans of it, open it, prepare it and feed it to her. But I know she needs it to thrive and I love her enough to do it, because it’s what she needs.

    I’ve finally made my peace with God over this. It’s nothing I can control that my thyroid disorder went nuts. All my caregivers knew about it and no one suggested I’d have a problem with milk after delivery.

    I now am pumping 4x daily and continue with the domperidone and tea. I’m doing my best to care for myself and my children.

    I do often feel sad about the situation. My first was a nursing addict. My second, so is he and he still asks to nurse (I make him wait until I’ve pumped so that most of the milk gets out for the baby).

    I just have to give myself grace and get past the feeling of loss of the breastfeeding relationship I so desired. I am thankful that pumps exist and my baby is getting everything I can give to her and I’m thankful that formula exists so that she can receive enough nutrition.

    We have received some donated milk, but buying milk from the milk bank at $5 per oz is not within our budget, and since she has no health problems, we aren’t able to have insurance cover the cost. So the situation is what it is. I don’t understand why this would happen, but it must be in God’s plan for a reason.

    • says

      Jessica, where are you located? Have you looked into Eats on Feets? They have Facebook groups in most states to facilitate breastmilk donation.

      As a mother who pumped exclusively for my first child and now for my second, I understand the feeling of failure when labor and nursing don’t go as planned. Know that the passion and desire you have for doing what’s best for your baby shows more love and selflessness than many children even begin to experience.

        • says

          I have some nursing failure stories to share with my son, and my situation was not nearly as difficult as yours! My son was born with multiple food allergies, had latching trouble, and I had a nipple infection- anyway it is so easy to beat yourself up, but trust me- don’t let others judge you. What you feed your baby is your on personal business and their are people out there who were fed formula who are surviving and thriving, myself being one of them!! Good luck!


    • Amanda says

      If you heard this story from another mom I bet you’d admire her for trying so hard, and want to give her a hug. Managing to nurse at all is a triumph, and giving some formula does not negate that, nor does pumping. If you have everything stacked against you and push through anyway, you’re a seriously tough, dedicated mom and there’s really nothing that can take away from that.

      Try to consider how you’d treat a friend before feeling you’ve failed, and give yourself the same kindness. It can be a lot easier to put things in perspective that way.

  5. Alicia says

    Love this article! I agree that the ONLY course of action is to “regroup” and choose to do better the next day. If we give into negative thoughts, then we will really accomplish nothing. So counter productive!

    We were just reading in our family devotions the other day that if we humble ourselves (admit a failure or weakness or ask forgiveness) then God will give us grace.

    It is amazing how such a seemingly small choice of which attitude to dwell in has such big consequences.

  6. Lora C says

    I really needed this reminder!!! I have been unhappy about falling off the wagon in a few areas. Time to regroup, set my course and move forward!! Thanks for the reminder!!

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