Why is it so hard for most moms to give grace to themselves? Especially when God has abundant grace for us? But most of us find it so hard to live in His goodness for us. 

I came into motherhood after years of heartbreaking infertility. Holding our first newborn son in my arms filled me with tearful joy and a determination to be the best mom our son could ever want. 

High expectations, anyone?

Mothering my way

When our boys were toddlers, a wise older woman encouraged me to lower my expectations. But as a mom who covered her insecurities by striving for perfection, I had no idea how to do this. 

So, we set up routines and steady schedules for our boys. And they thrived. When they were young, the “terrible twos” lasted from eighteen months to four years old.” And we endured. We cuddled, loved, disciplined, and loved some more. We talked with them, read to them, and got them outside daily to run off that excess boy energy. Looking back now, I sometimes wish I’d let go of the structure for a little while and given grace to myself to relax. 

The importance of giving grace to ourselves

We’re each “born” into motherhood with our unique wounds, ideals, and plans of what we will or won’t do with our children. Many of these come from our upbringing. Most of us map our own path, determining what kinds of people we want our children to be when they grow up and how we believe we can get them there. 

How God's Grace Helps Moms Give Grace to Themselves—We’re each “born” into motherhood with our unique wounds, ideals, and plans of what we will or won’t do with our children #tellhisstory #momlife #givegrace Click To Tweet

I’m not talking about raising children who are engineers or pilots, or presidents. I just wanted to see our sons walk with God, be young men of integrity, be contributing adults, and love others well. 

Giving grace didn’t fit with the pressure I put on myself to be the mom who led by example—loving our boys the best I could. Reading the Bible with them. Talking with them about God and how much He loves them. We disciplined for deception and discussed how to make a different choice next time. 

By the end of most days, I almost fell into bed, questioning if I’d done anything right in the mom realm. And (too often) answering, “Nope!” 

Especially in the early days of mothering, I struggled to live into the truth that God knows we are but dust. Truth: His grace never looks like condemnation.  

Mothering well is impossible if we don’t invite God into the process. Yes, I prayed, but I did things as if our boys’ future relied solely on the choices I made each day. 

Learning to see my need for God’s grace in mothering took a long time. And choosing to give grace when I messed up took even longer.

An image of a mother deer and two fawns . . . a reminder that mothers can give grace to themselves
How God's Grace Helps Moms Give Grace to Themselves 5

Grace for mistakes

We’ve all made mistakes in our mothering. We’ve yelled at our children. Been too quick to discipline before getting the whole story. At times, we’ve hurt our children’s hearts, usually unintentionally. 

Our loving Father has so much grace for mothers. He knows the heartbreak of parenting. Look at what His kids have done. 

When we come to our Father and confess our errors to Him, He is quick to forgive. God offers us grace for each day. The question is, will we reach out our hands to receive it? Sometimes, it’s as simple as praying, “Lord, please give me your grace as I talk with _____ about _____.”

God offers grace for our mistakes. And, He’s made our children to be (usually) quick to forgive when we admit we were wrong and ask for their forgiveness. This is His grace offered to us, soothing a balm over our grief for whatever we did. Knowing we are forgiven enables us to give grace for our mistakes. 

Grace for living out our relationship with God

We need to draw near to God in every season of life, but perhaps especially in mothering. He promises when we draw near to Him, He’ll draw near to us. Our children watch us live out our relationship with God. They watch how we do this. They may not choose to follow God in that moment, but our modeling a relationship with our Father impacts them on a heart level. 

As we spend time in His word, our children observe. When we pray with them, they absorb everything. When we pray with them for others, our children see us place priority on our relationship with God. They’re watching and learning as we walk through hard seasons in life. 

Truth: when we can’t spend much time with God when our devotional times span five minutes, God still offers us grace for living each day well. He knows our struggles, and He knows our hearts. Because of this, we can give grace to ourselves too. 

How God's Grace Helps Moms Give Grace to Themselves—God knows our struggles, and He knows our hearts. Because of this, we can give grace to ourselves too #tellhisstory #givegrace #momlife Click To Tweet

Next time, let’s talk about grace for loving well, especially when it’s painful, and grace for letting go of our mistakes. 

An image of colts in a field with adult horses, a picture of family
How God's Grace Helps Moms Give Grace to Themselves 6


I’m still learning to give grace to myself and release my expectations. I once heard a speaker talk about God’s grace as a shower that’s always running. We just need to step into the stream of water and be bathed by it. But it’s up to us to step into that stream. Want to step into the water with me?

What about you? When have you seen God’s grace in your mothering? What has helped you give grace to yourself in your mothering?

***Next week, we’re meeting over at Donna’s place: Serenity in Suffering. See you there!

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