Silencing Mom Guilt with Scripture
As a mom, I know you have carried the burden of mom guilt. We have all experienced it in some form or another (and unfortunately it comes in so. many. forms!!). In this post, we are going to take a look at how to deal with mom guilt through scripture and focus on growing closer to God so that we can turn it over to Him. Of all the places we draw this guilt from, I want to make it clear that it is not coming from God. The Spirit convicts us, but we are not called to guilt trips–Jesus paid the price for that already so that we can be seen as righteous before God.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
*Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
So, Where Does Mom Guilt Come From?
As I mentioned above, mom guilt comes from lots of places and in lots of different forms. It would be impossible to cover each and every aspect, but I’m going to highlight two general categories. Which are:
Our Own Expectations
Placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves is an easy road straight to mom guilt. It is easy to think that we should just intuitively be good, or better, moms right away. But that isn’t how it works! Yes, some women have really great maternal instincts that kick in as soon as she finds out she is pregnant with her baby, but even the best of the best instincts aren’t going to help us get it all right all of the time. There are so many decisions to make and so much to learn about what is best for our little ones. Our own insecurity, feelings of inadequacy, and self-doubt will just continue taking us to new levels of mom guilt.
We all have different things that we need to prioritize. You probably know by now that I take care of my mom with Alzheimer’s alongside my 3 year old every day, and that comes with its own unique prioritizing and challenges as I know your situation does as well. Maybe you are feeling that on a daily basis you don’t get enough done around the house, you don’t spend enough time with your kids, you can’t find balance between working from home and parenting, or whatever else. The thing is, we can’t feel bad for taking care of something that needs to be taken care of!
Trying looking at how you balance things over the course of a week rather than the course of a day. Maybe you have someone coming over and cleaning the house takes priority one day. Maybe the next day you spend a few hours playing with your kids and teaching them their letters and numbers, so the laundry goes unfinished. Don’t get too hard on yourself to do everything every day. Create a simple weekly schedule that is flexible and stick to it as much as you can, but remember to give yourself grace!
The truth is that God has given us the precious gift of a child, and He is not going to leave us hanging! He is there and willing to help us every step of the way. He knows exactly what parenting entails and how hard it is for us, and He is ready to guide us through. All we need to do is ask! His grace is sufficient, and there is an unlimited supply for us–so we can copy the model He provides and be patient with ourselves as well.
Comparing Ourselves to Other Moms
This is a big one. We are constantly looking at other moms who seem to have it all together and wonder why we aren’t more like them. It is so easy to see someone else’s strengths and compare our areas of weakness to them–rather than recognize that we are gifted in different ways and celebrate that, we choose to be envious and fall into the comparison trap. We wonder why we aren’t as far along as others or don’t have a handle on certain things just yet, but we fail to see that they are falling short in other areas just like we are falling short in that one. None of us are perfect. We can’t be 100% amazing at everything we do. There will be lots of times in life–and especially in parenting–where we will need to learn more, practice more, or try harder.
The mom next to us is not an indicator of how well we are doing.
But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as He chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?
1 Corinthians 12:18-19
Each part of the body is made separate and different with a purpose. If we could do everything on our own, why would we need to grow as a body and edify each other? Why would we need a community of other moms and families? Why would we need to bring God into our parenting at all?
We are all important and necessary to God’s kingdom based on the way He designed us and the spiritual giftings that He imparted to us when we became His children (figure out which ones you have here!). We are also important and necessary to our children, families, and to our village.
We are unique and valuable. We have amazing strengths through our Creator. Lean on God and your Christian mom friends to fill in the gaps with their strengths and help you grow in your areas of weakness!
No, Where Does it Really Come From?
Mom guilt can creep up at any time and may even become paralyzing. We can beat ourselves up over so many things: how we disciplined our kids, what we fed them for lunch, failing to find the time to lose the baby weight.. the list goes on. We talked about two places a lot of that guilt and shame comes from but honestly, in my opinion, there is only one true place where mom guilt comes from, and that is a lack of faith and trust in God.
Think about it–if we truly believe and trust that God has created us with purpose and will provide everything we need to do His work, there would be no doubt that we are capable of being an amazing mom just as we are with His help. And this is His work–children are a gift from God and a calling on our lives that we are supposed to rise up and fulfill. We need to trust that God knew what He was doing when He created us, uniquely, and gave us our spiritual gifts. Raising our children to be Christian and edifying them as they grow in that is part of what our spiritual gifts are to be used for–the growth and edification of the church. God knew what He was doing when He made you the mother of your unique and cherished child.
We may often question why God chose to give us certain gifts or why we couldn’t be better at something else, and when we do that we aren’t seeing and honoring that He gave us our own special gifts for a reason. He is the Ultimate Authority and knows what each one of us needs and which areas He is going to use for His glory. We can’t all be good at everything. We were created to each have certain strengths and weaknesses that will bring us together to grow and get better together.
By saying we aren’t good enough, we are falling short or failing as a mom, or that we should have this gift, or be better at that… we are ultimately questioning whether God is really doing what He says He is doing when He says that He is going to help us get through this and that we can lean on Him.
So, What Can We Do About It?
Knowing what is causing the mom guilt is half the battle. The real work comes in expending the time and energy on growing closer in our relationship with our Creator and changing our perspective to recognize the lies we are telling ourselves in the light of God’s truth. Let’s take a look at some of those lies!
Silence the Mom Guilt with Scripture
- Lie: We are failing as a mom or at keeping up with the daily tasks we set out for ourselves.
- Truth: Where we think we are failing, God is saying He is here to help us and this is what we need to do. There are so many answers in Scripture to whatever it is we are going through or struggling with as moms, and especially for growing in our faith and learning to trust Him to provide when He says He will!
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:16
- Lie: We are not enough, even after spreading ourselves so thin we still aren’t successful.
- Truth: God looks at us and sees us as co-heirs with Christ, and that we are deeply loved.
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- Lie: We are not as good as other moms.
- Truth: God says that we ARE an important part of the body. Each person was created in our own purpose and one person is not better than another. God doesn’t show favoritism or consider one person’s gifts better than another’s, but considers each an integral part of the church.
1 Corinthians 12:12-31 — This is obviously a large chunk to copy here, but I encourage you to go check it out right now and note how we were created to be both individually and corporately valuable within our church family. We are also so incredibly valuable both individually and corporately to our own immediate family unit, as we have amazing influence at home and our family is well within our church family also.
God created us as we were meant to be and He allows us to call on HIS strength, wisdom, and power. He gave us these gifts and He will equip us to handle them. He sees us white as snow (Isiah 1:18). He has given us all of these good gifts–our children, our homes, our lives. He doesn’t want us to feel like we are failing or like we aren’t good enough. God wants us to feel like we can call on Him whenever we need and that He will provide for us, that we have the resurrection power within us and that He will carry us through.
Next time you are feeling like you are not good enough, like you didn’t get enough done, or even when you are ashamed of the way you handled a parenting situation, try to picture yourself how God sees you.
Open your Bible and go to where it says that you are important.
That you have a unique gift.
That you are deeply loved.
That you are a co-heir with Christ ❤
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