5 Times to Give Yourself Grace as a Parent

Last summer, I tweeted, Encouraging all parents out there. Parenting is hard, & if you wanna be a good one, it’s really hard. I had a day recently when I just sucked as a dad. Did everything wrong, said everything I shouldn’t. It’s hard, but encouraging us all—stay in it. Give yourself grace. Love them hard.”

I was preaching to myself as much as to anyone else. Do you give yourself grace as a dad? The pressure to be perfect is real, but the “I can never fail” mentality all but guarantees failure. We are not Superman. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Give it your all as a parent, but understand that coming up short of what you want to be today doesn’t mean you aren’t cut out for the job. Here are 5 times to give yourself grace as a parent.

1. When You Yell

I lose my cool sometimes. All dads do. My temper flares up and I say things I don’t mean. When this happens, I have to give myself grace. Yes, I want to be even-tempered and not yell when things aren’t going perfectly in my house. But perfection isn’t a realistic expectation. I try not to yell at my kids, but when I do, I try to remind myself that I do not have to stay who I was in that moment.

2. When You’re Stressed

There is a lot of stress involved in being a dad. It can feel heavy. It was nice to read some of the comments on my tweet from other dads who are carrying a lot of responsibilities. One guy said, “You have to embrace those days. It keeps you honest and helps you learn what not to do + improve.” So true. Stress makes us say and do things we wouldn’t normally. If you’re stressed today, give yourself some grace.

If you’re dissatisfied, give yourself grace.

3. When You’re Late

I have four kids. We have a lot going on. Getting places on time can be a challenge. We’re going to be late to some things. Prioritizing is a big part of being a dad. Don’t beat yourself up too much for being late to T-ball because you were busy handling dirty diapers.

4. When You’re Tired

My travel schedule is insane in the fall. I’m in different cities every week practically for my job broadcasting college and NFL football. When I’m tired, I know I have to give myself grace. I try not to overschedule myself, but this is a busy season. If you need time to recharge so you can be the best for your family, don’t feel guilty about it.

5. When You’re Dissatisfied With Yourself

This is a big one for me because I want to be the best I can be for my kids. Coming up short of the high bar that I have set for myself as a dad gets frustrating. But, setting a high bar means what I’m doing matters and I take it seriously. If you are dissatisfied, give yourself grace. It’s probably a sign that you’re aiming for a goal worth achieving.

Sound off: Think about your biggest parenting mistake. What did it teach you?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What does it mean to give someone grace?”