I dedicate this blog to mothers along with fathers that struggle with giving themselves Grace.

So often as parents, we try to meet “the mark”.  These “marks” are ideas created in our own minds along with the help of blogs and articles read or heard about on social media.  The “marks” require parents to be as efficient as possible to love our children, nurture them, correct them, monitor them, as well as ensure they have adequate hygiene while meeting their nutritional needs, just to list a few things.  Along with meeting these necessities, it is a parent's responsibility to maintain a clean, well-run home. Notably, I remember reading about such topics over my years of being a parent, topics that expressed how being organized will help maintain balance, allowing increased time with your family.  Now, I believe this, and constantly I make a good attempt at organizing, with no real success, and feel like a failure in this area. After my experience today, I realize what the “mark” is and it is nowhere near where I believed it was.
Often I look at my home, and especially my vehicle, with absolute disappointment.  With the mounds of toys together with household items that always seems to flood every area of foot space in my car, it is easy to become overwhelmed.  Then, not to mention, there is never enough time in the day to accomplish all my household chores completely. Moreover, I spend plenty of time feeling conquered concerning the lack of organization in my life.  My mind gets held captive with thoughts of stress wanting everything to be in its place, while the realization is that I know I did my best.

Adding insult to injury; visiting someone’s home that also had little children and they had mastered a clean, organized home, or riding with someone in their car and noticing how it appeared as though they do not even have children.  Furthermore, I was baffled by these instances baffled, feeling as though it is possible to achieve this parenting-clean house balance (“the mark”), so I would begin thinking about ways I could do better. All the while, never taking into consideration that circumstances may have been incredibly different in other’s lives compared to mine, that left them with time to accomplish “the mark”.
Indeed, having little ones who are “Master Undoers” of everything you have just done, can leave any parent with thoughts of defeat.  Maybe you have experienced the moment when you have had cleaned one area and all the while they have figured out how to create a catastrophic mess in another.  When writing this blog, I grinned, thinking of all the creative ways my children have become little destructive tornadoes in an instant or the quietest thunderstorms that appear abruptly leaving disaster in the wake of their paths.  Surely, there are other parents who experience these kinds of natural disasters, caused by the pitter patter of eager, curious feet; our children who can bring us to tears of joy or pure exhaustion. Do not misinterpret my words, I enjoy my energetic children, I love them dearly, moreover, I also thank God for them, but often they tag team me and win.

This morning I brought a banana from home for our hour-long commute to daycare/work.  Sad to say, the majority of days, to help save time Jeremiah along with Deandre have their breakfast on the way to daycare, so the banana was breakfast.  Once they finished the banana I had a banana peel that I had no idea what to do with. Please do not judge me, but I threw it out the window. Littering is something I do not like to do or condone, but I was not sure what else to do with this icky banana peel.  Consequently, Due to the guilt in my mind about throwing the peel out the window, I began to ponder all these thoughts; I wish our routine was different, I declared to set goals and adhere to them, I will buy a trash can for my car, I thought to myself… My thoughts were off to the races over this banana peel and needless to say, the banana peel was winning the race.  How could I achieve balance, a clean house, a clean car, while still trying to be a great parent full of patience?

As I arrived at daycare today, I look over as another parent is preparing to take her two children out of her car and I notice her floorboard covered with toys just like mine.  To my surprise, she was holding a banana peel; relief prevailed in my mind, then I began to chuckle. At that moment I realized it is not just me trying to figure out the balance.  Additionally, I definitely did not believe that I was isolated, nor, the only parent flooded with thoughts that I can do better, or even do something further to change the circumstances to be efficiently organized.  Ecstatically overjoyed that I was not on isolation island, I sat in the car thinking intently. A gentle reminder crossed my mind at that moment, I am only human and I can only do what I can do.

Seeing another mother in the same situation as myself caused me to realize, as parents it is imperative that we extend grace to ourselves, especially working parents and/or possibly single parents.  There are literally not enough hours in the day to always have the perfect meals, a systematic home that appears professionally cleaned; it is not always possible to have all of the toys and trash taken out of the vehicle.  

Today I would just encourage parents to give yourself Grace do what you can and keep moving.  In addition, do not become lost in the process of attempting to cause perfection, thus forgetting the important part of being a parent.  Do not become distracted your chores, duties along with responsibilities, or embellish in your own ideas of how life should be, hence drowning out the beauty of having children.  Parents should be able to enjoy learning their child’s personality, capabilities, even as well as their insecurities. Furthermore, these are crucial characteristics need to be nurtured as our children grow to ensure they are stress-free from banana peel worries once they become parents.  

I hope this blog helps you find peace in being a busy parent and that you start extending yourself grace.  Furthermore, I believe walking in grace will cause some balance to appear and pieces of your life start coming together a little easier.  Remember life is difficult enough all by itself. Why stress about a banana peel or toys or organization as much as we may at times?

Final thoughts:
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  

An unrighteous banana peel is not the moral of my final thought, but if Jesus will forgive our sins maybe we should follow His example and give ourselves grace in areas of imperfection.  Whether it is in the form of eating breakfast in the car or going to bed with the house in disarray.

Thank you for reading, God bless.

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