Let’s talk about mom guilt. What is it exactly?
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m not doing enough,” “I’m failing at this” or “Why can’t I just get this right?” Perhaps you’ve wondered “where am I going wrong?” or “Am I’m messing up my child?” Maybe you’ve felt guilty about going back to work after having your child, wishing you could spend more time with them. Or maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom feeling guilty about the desire to get a break from your children. These are just some examples of mom guilt.
These are far too common thoughts surrounding many moms today, including me. Which often leaves us with this sinking feeling like we are not enough. It drives us to worry and anxiety, wondering what we could be doing better.
What leads us to think this way? What can we do to stop it?
First let’s take a look at guilt in general. I believe there are two kinds of guilt:
1. Guilt that leads to God.
It comes with conviction that causes you to re-evaluate your actions to see where you may have sinned. Are there things in your life you need to get right with God and ask his forgiveness for?
This kind of guilt should drive us to repentance. It allows us to redirect our steps to turn towards God, accept his forgiveness, and move forward.
2. Guilt that leads AWAY from God.
This guilt is filled with shame and accusations making us focus on our insecurities and mistakes. It is debilitating and it keeps us from moving forward.
This is where mom guilt fit’s in.
God doesn’t want you to stay in this kind of guilt. In His word he promised “there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). After you’ve asked for forgiveness from God there should be a sense of peace and freedom. If you leave feeling like you have NOT been forgiven, that is guilt from the enemy, who is constantly “accusing us before God.” (Revelation 12:10)
How do we break free from mom guilt?
1. Recognize the lie and replace it with the truth.
(1. Tim 4:2)
God’s word teaches us that we are no longer condemned but forgiven (Col 2:12-14). You don’t have to carry this guilt, you can live with peace and joy because of what the Lord has done (Rom. 5:1, Hebrews 9:14).
A constant lie that mom guilt produces is the idea that “we are not good enough.” But because of the power of Christ we don’t have to rely on our own ability or strength to be a good parent. Instead God will empower us beyond what we can think or imagine (Ephesians 3:16-20).
2. Draw near to God. (Hebrews 10:19-22)
And so, dear brothers and sisters we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.Hebrews 10:19-22
When you start to get a sense of guilt. Go into the presence of God. Seek his forgiveness, seek his power. And trust that he has made you clean. There is no need to walk around in that guilt.
3. Allow God’s grace to move through you.
(2 Cor. 12:9)
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.2 Corinthians 12:9
Once again moms, it is OK to feel weak or need help – you are human after all. Hold onto God’s power and grace to carry you when you do feel weak.
4. Accept God’s Freedom. (Romans 6:18,22)
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness…But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.Romans 6:18, 22
With forgiveness comes freedom. You don’t have to be a slave to sin – or to mom guilt. Let God’s holiness and forgiveness allow you to live in freedom.
So Moms when you start to sense mom guilt coming on – remember these 4 things. Trust that God is working in you and through you to be the best mom to your kids. He’s not demanding perfection – no one should, because no one will meet it. God desires we walk with him through this journey of parenthood. When we walk with God we will see progress, not that we won’t make mistakes, but when we do there is grace and forgiveness and freedom from guilt.