Being a mom is a remarkable gift from God, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Christian moms, in particular, often find themselves battling a relentless foe known as mom guilt. It’s that nagging feeling that we’re not doing enough, that we’re failing our children, or that we’re falling short of our own expectations. But as Christian moms, we have a powerful weapon to combat this guilt: the transformative grace of God. In this blog post, we will explore practical ways to overcome mom guilt and embrace God’s grace in our journey of motherhood.
One of the primary sources of mom guilt is the pursuit of perfection. We set unrealistic standards for ourselves and feel guilty when we inevitably fall short. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve lived my life expecting FAR more from myself than anyone else does. Christian moms, we need to remember that perfection is not the goal. We are imperfect beings, saved by God’s grace. Embracing imperfection allows us to let go of guilt and embrace the grace that God freely offers.
One thing I heard someone say that struck me HARD is that perfectionism stems from PRIDE. Ouch. When I want to look absolutely perfect and be perceived as having no flaws, I’m trying to have everyone focus on me and tell me how wonderful I am. What a good wife I am; what a good mom I am; how amazing I am at keeping it all together….
This has to be surrendered, y’all. In the process of surrendering our pride, we find such freedom. Perfectionism is exhausting, mama. Let’s work on showing ourselves grace on this.
Many moms feel guilty when they take time for themselves, thinking they should always put their children first. However, Jesus emphasized the importance of self-care when He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). As Christian moms, we need to take care of our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. By prioritizing self-care, we become better equipped to love and care for our families.
I have an entire post on self-care because it’s THAT important. Self-care is NOT selfish, nor is it self-indulgent. When you care for yourself, it truly benefits everyone. When you have taken time to care for yourself, you can then pour into others from a full cup. Check out my post on self-care for fifteen ideas you can use that sometimes take as little as 5 minutes! You don’t have time NOT to perform self-care.
Seeking Wisdom and Support
No mom has all the answers, and it’s okay to ask for help. Surround yourself with a supportive community of fellow Christian moms who can offer advice, encouragement, and a listening ear. Hopefully you are involved in church, but being one of many is not helpful when it comes to intimacy and support. I encourage you to join a small group, or a ladies Bible study in your area. This is where we can truly find support and encouragement from a human perspective.
Additionally, seek wisdom from God through prayer and studying His Word. Trust that He will guide you in your motherhood journey and provide the wisdom you need to make the best decisions for your family. Here are some Bible verses I hope will encourage you in helping you to overcome mom guilt:
1. Isaiah 43:25 “I, I am the one who blots out your transgression for my own sake, and I‘ll remember your sins no more.”
2. Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
3. 1 John 1:9 God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong.
4. Jeremiah 50:20 In those days,” says the LORD, “no sin will be found in Israel or in Judah, for I will forgive the remnant I preserve.
5. Jeremiah 33:8 ‘I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me and by which they have transgressed against Me.
6. Hebrews 8:12 And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”
Embracing God’s Grace in Mistakes
We all make mistakes as moms. We lose our temper, forget important events, or miss opportunities to connect with our children. However, God’s grace covers our mistakes. When we mess up, we can seek forgiveness from God, from our children, and even from ourselves. Remember that God’s grace is bigger than our failures, and He can bring beauty out of our imperfections.
Over the years, I have managed to beat myself up over just about everything in parenting. I’m talking twenty years later, pining away at the fact I didn’t breast-feed my first born kind of guilt! Mama, here’s what I’ve learned over the years, and what I have to remind myself of constantly: You’re only responsible for what you know at the time. When my first child was born, I knew absolutely nothing about what it meant to be healthy. I ate the standard American diet for the most part and didn’t have much support around me from other moms on the importance of breast-feeding. So I just didn’t. Fast forward a decade after I became a health nut, and I felt horrible for not giving him that good start. Not just horrible, but saying the degrading things to myself that only another mom would understand.
But mama, God’s grace is sufficient. He remembers our sins no more. He commands us to forgive others, so let’s move on and forgive ourselves as well. Learn the lesson and lose the guilt, whatever this may be in reference to in your life.
Focusing on Quality Time
This is my favorite tip to focus on because it’s truthfully the one most in our control. In today’s busy world, it’s easy to feel guilty about not spending enough time with our children. Instead of focusing on quantity, prioritize quality time. Make intentional moments count by engaging in meaningful conversations, reading Bible stories together, or simply enjoying each other’s presence. Remember that it’s the quality of the time we spend with our children that leaves a lasting impact.
It’s so important to ditch the distractions. I never wanted my kids to remember a mom that just sat on her phone, so I went so far as to refuse to get a smart phone until 2017! Yep, you read that right- always a decade or so behind! But I hated the trance I see so many people in, and as a homeschool mom who wanted to really focus in on my kids, I didn’t want the distraction. Obviously I caught up and now have a smart phone! But my best advice to young moms is to be fully present in the activity you are doing. Mindfulness goes a long way in helping to manage stress, and that simply means living in the moment. When spending time with your kids, give all your attention to them. One less thing to feel guilty about!
Mom guilt is a common struggle for Christian moms, but it doesn’t have to define our motherhood journey. By surrendering perfectionism, prioritizing self-care, seeking wisdom and support, embracing God’s grace in mistakes, and focusing on quality time, we can overcome mom guilt and experience the fullness of God’s grace in our lives. Remember that you are loved, valued, and equipped by God to be the mom your children need. Lean on His grace, and let go of guilt as you embrace the incredible privilege of motherhood.