Every mother I know has told me that they have felt some level of guilt at one time or another over how they raise their children. We all want to raise our children in the best way possible. We want to give them the greatest experiences. We want to love them unconditionally with all our hearts. But the pressure to be a good mom is overwhelming at times. And despite all the best intentions, parenting books or family movies don’t always help when they just tell us what to do more and better or show happy families who seemingly have it all together.
Recently, I became a foster mom and one of the hardest parts of being a mom is the guilt I place on myself. I feel like I am never doing enough or doing it well enough. I recently started a new job where I am spending less time with my child during the day and let me tell you that brought on a lot of mom guilt.
Working moms can often feel an extra layer of guilt. If you are a working mom, you have probably experienced the painful blow of having to miss out on some of your child’s events. We ask ourselves if we are making the right choices about going to work every day. And we torture ourselves with real or made-up scenarios thinking through things like what happens when the child is sick and you can’t be there?
Some moms have to work to be able to contribute to the income of the household. Others choose to work because they enjoy the work they do and feel empowered to pursue a career. I have respect for every mom who chooses to stay at home (that is a job in and of itself!) or those that choose to go to work.
Either way, I personally think the decision to work should be made with prayerful thought and consideration. There is no right or wrong answer. Each family is different and knows what will work best for them.
At this time in my life, I choose to be a working mom because my career is something that God has called me to do. But I also know that He has called me to be a foster mom. As a result, it can be hard to find the balance. Whatever the decision is for you, you do not need to feel guilty about it.
If you have intentionally prayed to God and feel like it is something He has led you to do, you can release the decision. You can trust that God is for you and will help you navigate the challenges that come with being a working mom. God will provide for you and take care of all of your child’s needs.
Bible Verses to Overcome Mom Guilt
In order to combat working mom guilt, we must replace those thoughts with God’s truth. Thanks to Jesus’ death on the cross, we were redeemed from guilt. His power can provide more for us than we could ever have imagined. In Him, there is no condemnation or shame. Those who believe in Him are set free. And technically, in God’s eyes, we have been forgiven and are no longer guilty.
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 31:15: She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.
1 Peter 5:7: Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Ephesians 3:20: Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
**All Bible Verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
3 Ways To Overcome Mom Guilt
First of all, I will say there is no one set parameter for what defines a good mother. I will also remind you that you may be a mother but it is not your identity. Who you are is a child of God. Made perfectly and wholly in his image. No one else gets to define who you are or what you do as a mother.
Do Not Compare Yourself
Heather from Lessons from Home gave great advice not to compare yourself to other mothers. Each mother chooses to raise their children differently and knows what’s best for their family. So stop comparing yourself to other mothers who might be doing things differently. You never know what goes on behind the scenes to make them appear so organized and put together. Every family is structured differently and knows what is best for their family. God leads each mother and their family in a unique way.
Give All Your Worries To God
As mothers, we have to juggle a lot of things and learn how to balance it all. Unfortunately, trying to balance it all leaves us worrying about whether or not we are measuring up. There will always be days when our thoughts are consumed by whether or not we are doing good enough as a mother. Mom’s guilt can stop you in your tracks and take over your thoughts.
Satan loves this. He wants to incapacitate us with shame and guilt at all times. He wants us to focus on ourselves by filling our heads with negative thoughts. The last thing we need is to focus on ourselves even more so we are less present with our children.
As a mom, you don’t have time to go down the negative thought spiral. God does not want you to live in that place. Giving all your worries to God will help you experience a sense of peace that only He can give.
Live in the Present
Again, Heather from Lessons from Home shared with me how important it is to live in the present. Be present with your child when you are able to. Be fully present in everyday moments. Don’t criticize yourself for the moments you missed while working and providing for your family. Focus on what is right in front of you and embrace quality time with your child.
For me, during bath time or winding down for sleep, I put my phone in another room. I want to make sure I am living in the moment. Splashing in the bathtub and playing pretend is so fun! Also, putting my child to bed and snuggling him are some of the sweetest moments I have during my day.
Prayer for Mom Guilt
At the end of the day, as a mom, we will all have times where we fall short. Yet, God’s grace has greater power than our weakness. Jesus can bear the weight of our guilt and shame. And even tells us to give Him our yoke (Matthew 11:28-30).
When it comes down to it, do the best you can and rely on God’s unending grace. Because God’s grace is enough. With His grace, He can do immeasurably more than you could ever imagine.
Pray about what God wants you to prioritize. Let the forgiveness on the cross wash over you.
“Dear Lord, I know you have called me into this season but I am weary and tired. When my work schedule gets busy, I feel guilty for not being fully present and available for my kids. Thank you for choosing me to be their mother. Thank you for your unending grace that you have bestowed upon me. Thank you for each new day that is a chance to start again. I pray that you help me to balance work and home life in a godly way. Help me to seek you and your wisdom in all that I do. I rest in knowing that your plan is best. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”