Give Yourself Some Grace Mama

Nine years ago our family was blessed with our third baby, a little girl. What a joy to receive such a gift at Christmas time. Yes, she was a gift. But this postpartum season was different from my others, as all postpartum experiences are different. I now have a special place in my heart for moms who give birth around Christmastime. Because I know what a struggle it was for me to train my heart to seek the true meaning of Christmas in the midst of changing hormones, transitioning to a family with two children to three, and feeling the pressures of being a “good mom” and doing all that we allow this world to tell us we should do during this season.

After Megan’s birth on December 5th, I felt overwhelmed by all the expectations I put on myself for Christmas. I had wonderful plans for my little 4.5 year old, 18 month old and me. I wanted to take them to see a LIVE nativity, take them to zoo lights, go driving around looking at Christmas lights at Peacock Lane, and oh how I wanted to enjoy making Christmas cookies with them. But Christmas doesn’t wait. The Holiday season doesn’t wait for one recovering mama, does it?

I will share the rest of this story another day, but for now I want to talk to you sweet moms out there who are expecting and getting worn out by all the Christmas cheer and activities, to all you mamas who have just had your babies and are desperately trying to enjoy and savory every moment while also doing all you had on your agenda for Christmas.

Mama, give yourself some grace. 

To the mama who just gave birth, give yourself the time to heal.

To the mama who is expecting, give yourself the time to rest and be ready for the birth of your baby.

Give yourself the permission to say no to all the party invites, or at least a few, and rest in Him.

Cookies

Two Truths I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me

1. Ladies, we need to remember that Christmas cookies are NOT eternal.

Yes, the memories we make can be a catalyst to growing a legacy that glorifies the Father, but if that is the point, you can do that without making Christmas cookies and the big mess too this year.

Sit and read to your toddler, cuddle and watch a Christmas movie, take that drive to look at Christmas lights, but only if it isn’t too stressful. If baby doesn’t like the car seat today… scratch it. It’s ok. It’s really ok.

No one is going to judge you, or label you as a bad mom if you don’t make Christmas cookies or go to see Christmas lights. And family and friends should understand if you just need to rest or cut out of the family party a little early too. And if they don’t, here is your opportunity to gracefully share how you are doing and that you just need to rest in the Lord. It’s ok.

2. Don’t compare yourself to what others are doing.

You are setting yourself up for a trap that can cause more harm than any other, in your marriage, your family, and your walk with the Lord. The Lord loves you as His precious daughter and He wants to embrace you just as you are, just as you are embracing your sweet baby now. Rest.

When you are in the season of having just had a baby, or maybe you have a lot of little ones, or maybe you are pregnant and are just worn out tired from this awesome work your body is doing in growing another human life… REMEMBER that traditions are not eternal. It’s what the traditions teach, instill and reinforce that can be eternal. You can teach other things and instill other memories during this season without doing Christmas Cookies.

it's ok When I had my third, my little ones we were young, but one was old enough I felt I just had to do cookies. Why did I put so much pressure on myself? Why do we as mothers think we have to do it all? This was the thing, the one thing that broke me and I began to experience some of the first signs of PPD. My mom was an angel; she had been staying at our home that week, which was a huge blessing. I remember the moment she asked me if she could make Christmas Cookies with the kids. A flood of emotions welled up inside me. I felt like an emotional volcano about to erupt.

I wanted to do it, but knew standing on my feet probably wouldn’t be the best idea. I could feel it. I was thankful she was there, because I knew without her, there would be no Christmas cookies this year. I was happy for my children, but feeling like a failure. All of a sudden, all the household chores flooded my mind. How was I going to do all of it, by myself when I can’t even make Christmas Cookies!!!

This transition was going to be harder than I thought. Two I could handle, but three? I only had two hands.

Sisters listen, you just had a baby {Or you are about to have a baby}! It’s ok. It’s ok to let someone else make Christmas Cookies with your kids, or bring Christmas Cookies to your Home. They are just cookies. What ever your inner battle is, I want to encourage you to ask yourself if it is eternal. And then tell yourself, this isn’t eternal. Preach it to yourself over and over again. In this life, there are so many temptations to get bogged down and feel miserable about ourselves and focus on all we are not doing. Sometimes, what we need is to step back and have a little perspective. Find the things you are thankful for and focus on those. Embrace those.

And remember, your hormones are all over the place. Rest, eat well, and don’t over commit yourself to too many things. Allow yourself to recover or prepare for the birth of your baby.

cookies

“Christmas Cookies are not eternal. That back side of your Christmas tree will never be seen. Your real friends won’t judge you if you don’t get your “hair” colored and you have 2 inch or 5 inch long roots.{Click to Tweet}

Give yourself grace. And focus on what is most important… what is eternal. In this life and the next it’s the relationships that are eternal. So as you are sitting and reading that little board book to your 2-year-old for the 99th time, remember that her giggles will be reflected in your relationship 40 years from now when she is caring for you. And it’s not even about that… it’s about her knowing how loved she is. Be confident in Christ’s call on your life enough to say no to dishes in order to have the 40 min conversation with your 9-year-old or the 2 hour conversation with your 13-year-old. Give them your eyes, your ears, and your heart.

Share with them the love of Christ, the grace He gives, and give His grace to them, your husband and YOURSELF. Receive it. Embrace it. Live in it. Abide in it. Don’t listen to the world’s expectations of you at Christmastime. Listen to the Holy Spirit’s whisper and obey Him. Read the Bible. Listen to the Music, worship Him, cuddle your baby. And yes, even be ok with skipping making Christmas cookies… even if it’s just this one time.” Angie Tolpin, Redeeming Childbirth Facebook Page

My prayer for you this Christmas is that you embrace His grace fully and live free in it. That your children feel and see the Holy Spirit in exude from your life, from your spirit.

Merry Christmas!

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Angie Tolpin

I would love to hear from you. And we would love to be praying for you! If you have a special prayer request feel free to leave it in the comments below so others can be praying as well, or feel free to reach out to our prayer team here.

About Angie Tolpin

Angie is married to her best friend Isaac and is a homeschooling mom to seven children ranging in age from 5 months to 15 years old. She loves to encourage moms and wives and thrives best when accompanied by her husband as they speak together. She is the author of Redeeming Childbirth, The Growth & Study Guide, and the online Bible Study: The Quiet Fight Between Women.

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  1. […] I wrote this post to my sisters who were having their babies during the holidays because I had struggled when I had my 3rd child on December 5th! I had struggled with my first case of the postpartum baby blues, as they call it, because I felt like I was failing as a mother simply because I didn’t have the energy to make Christmas cookies with my 5 year old and 18 month old. God gently reminded me then to remember what is eternal, and Christmas cookies are not. Read this post here—> Give Yourself Grace Mama […]