5 Questions to Help You Conquer Mom Guilt Once and For All

mom guilt

“You do not have to clean like your mother.”

I held the wrapper before me and burst into laughter. As I savored the Dove chocolate and reflected on the promise inside, I realized how true it was. We do not have to be anyone other than ourselves, and yet so often our self-talk tells us we’re not enough.

We tell ourselves if we were better moms, our kids wouldn’t bicker over petty things. A whisper says if we managed our time better, we would stay on top of the endless pile of laundry.

Maybe my perfectionist nature makes me more prone to those feelings than most, but the longer I mother, the more I see that I’m not alone.

The mom guilt needs to stop.

The next time you want to enjoy a movie with your girlfriends or break the spine of a new book, the guilt may lie to you and keep you from enjoying it. And when it does, remember to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is this coming from God? One sure way to test and approve whether something is of God is to look into scripture. The Holy Spirit may convict you, but he will never condemn you. If you’re feeling like you’re worthless or as though you can never get it together, those thoughts are not of God. You are his chosen child, and he loves you more than you can imagine.
  2. Am I harming my kids? Whether it be spiritually, emotionally, or physically, ask yourself if what you’re doing is endangering your kids in any way. I have met women who feel guilty for taking a night to themselves, but they are not harming their kids in any way by doing so. In fact, our kids are better off when they see that their parents lead balanced, healthy lives and know that they’re not the center of the universe.
  3. Is this helping my well-being? Women who nourish their own lives make better moms, period. It took me a long time to realize it, but when I take time for myself, I mother more effectively. When I am burnt out, tired, and depleted of any mental stimulation, my fuse becomes short. I yell more often, say things I regret, and apologize more than any mom should.
  4. What am I afraid of? Often, guilt is also mixed with fear. We are afraid of letting down those we love. We desperately want to please them and falsely believe that the slightest misstep will backfire into something ugly. Most of the time, these thoughts couldn’t be further from the truth. When we are loved, our family and friends want the very best for us and see past our faults to the person within.
  5. Do I see my kids as separate from myself? Sometimes every negative behavior we see from our kids elicits feelings of shame or guilt. We believe we are somehow responsible, and if we were better moms our kids would not be acting this way. Thinking this way is not only completely unrealistic, but detrimental to our emotional health. Our kids are separate human beings who will make their own decisions, which are sometimes good and other times bad. Correct the behavior and move forward.

Friend, if you’re struggling with mom shame or guilt today can I come alongside of you and tell you you’re not alone? And now, can we pledge to do something about it?

Jesus never intended us to carry the burden of constant guilt on our shoulders. He came to set us free. He came that we may have life to the full.

Let’s embrace the blessings we’ve been given and live in the victory that’s already ours.

 

*Linking up with Kelly Balarie and FriendsHolly Barrett, and Holley Gerth to encourage and be encouraged. Come join us.

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36 thoughts on “5 Questions to Help You Conquer Mom Guilt Once and For All

  1. Abby,
    The scripture I always go back to is Romans 8:1: Therefore, there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (emphasis mine). If our thoughts have even a hint of condemnation…they are from the enemy, not God. Young moms don’t want to hear this, but your first commitment is to your relationship with your husband. When your children grow up and leave the nest (which they will) you will be left with the person that you married. That’s why nourishing that relationship is of utmost importance. Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox lol. Great post Abby…
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    • It’s all good, Bev! We all need a soapbox every now and then. 😉 I love that verse and was actually thinking about it when I wrote this post. And yes, I completely agree that our first commitment is to our husbands, as difficult as it can be with little ones sometimes. Thanks for sharing, friend!

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  2. Sharing this with my friends today, Abby. This speaks to moms of all ages. Let the mom guilt stop today! Blessings, friend:)

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  3. Great words, Abby. This was something I dealt with when my son was younger and I was so afraid to miss a single moment with him. Not sure whether it’s my age and maturity or my sons, 😉 but while I still savor my time with him, I’ve learned to love my time alone too. I think the grip guilt has fades as our kids grow in their independence too…the freedom they need to live their lives affords us some as well.

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    • I agree, Tiffany. When they are little we don’t want to miss out on those moments and I do believe it gets easier as they get older to separate ourselves and take time. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here, dear friend. I’m always blessed to hear from you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great momma post, Abby, I really need to ask “What am I afraid of?” more often and let God’s Word combat that. Thanks for inspiring me on #raralinkup!

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  5. What an intentional, practical tool! Mom guilt is strong, I know, and once it gets a hold of you, you’re in trouble. This helps me prepare and have a weapon against it. Thank you. That last question, especially, will help me- “Our kids are separate human beings who will make their own decisions, which are sometimes good and other times bad. ” Amen! Great post, Abby!

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  6. HI friend! The interesting thing about mom guilt is…all the things you think you did to mess up your kids, are just that – they are thoughts. When your kids grow up, it’s amazing how they are almost always completely normal (I say almost because there are always unpredictable life events) in spite of us.
    Beautiful words from a beautiful woman inside and out. Thanks for sharing.
    xoxo,
    Christy

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  7. Abby, this is so good and so many women struggle with this. I think I’ve had seasons of this in my life. YES, Jesus did come to set us FREE! I remember a time where I struggled with this guilt. I love how you mention taking time for yourself. This year I have challenged myself to a healthier balance. I have enjoyed taking a little more time to fill my own cup up so that I could give more freely. I have two daughters. One is in her first year of college and the other a Junior in high school. They still keep me on my toes even though they are older. Thank you for this encouragement and I am so excited to know you through the #raralinkup. Blessings, Amy

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    • Thanks so much for visiting and sharing some of your experiences here, Amy. It is always such a blessing to make a new connection through #RaRaLinkup.:-)

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  8. My guilt usually comes when I do step to the side and take a little mom-time-out. I feel like I’m missing out on what my kids are doing. I do try to sneak a little time in the day for myself, but more often than not I allow myself to totally burn out … and then lose it. You have given me some good things to remember, though. I need to take some time intentionally for myself to recharge. 🙂
    Great post, Abby.

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    • I’m so glad that to hear you are thinking on these things, Dana. We moms are so hard on ourselves, but when we recharge our batteries it makes such a difference. Much love to you, friend.

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  9. This really speaks to me right now. I’ve been having tons of guilt over what I can be doing better. I think what was most helpful was that the Spirit will convict me, but not condemn me. It helps me to separate which thoughts come from Him. (And not many do for the moment since there is tons of self-blame going on in my head). I am also a perfectionist. A lazy perfectionist, which is a terrible combination.

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    • I am a perfectionist too so I understand how hard we can be on ourselves. That first point is actually based on Romans 8:1, “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here today. I’m always blessed to make a new connection here on the blog. I’m finding that when I give myself grace, it truly does make a difference for my kids too.

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  10. “Our kids are separate human beings who will make their own decisions, which are sometimes good and other times bad. Correct the behavior and move forward.” Abby, it’s taken me 12 years of parenting to even begin to grasp this, but it is so very freeing! Thanks for an insightful post!

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  11. These are such perfect thoughts for this topic that plagues me so often. I have started taking more time to gather with girls (at least once a month…usually) and it makes such a difference just having some WOMAN time together, without kids. ❤ God made us relational and we need to feed that as much as we need to feed our family. 😉 Love you, friend. I'm sorry I've been absent in reading lately. Your words are also encouraging and spot on. Thank you for keeping it real and always bringing us back to the Word for encouragement. xo

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    • Meredith, I have missed you but I totally understand. No need to apologize. You keep pressing into Him and all He has for you and I know you will soar. I always love hearing from you and am blessed to connect in so many different ways. We truly do serve a great God. Hugs to you, friend. xoxo

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  12. Abby thank you for reassuring me today with encouragement. I feel like you are sitting right next to me and giving me a big hug with your words. I struggle with guilt and not feeling like what I do or who I am is enough. This post hit home. I’m sure I will be reading it a hundred times more.

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    • I am so glad this post spoke to you where you are, Lisa. That is always my prayer. We moms are so hard on ourselves, and our kids see us with so much more grace that we often realize. Hugs to you today, friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Definitely easy to heap guilt upon ourselves for the poor choices of our kids. I remember a pastor once saying that Adam & Eve had the perfect parent and still made the choice to sin. He didn’t own guilt for their decisions so we don’t have to either.

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  14. Abby, while I can’t relate as a mom, I sure can relate to believing the subtle lies of the enemy! I love how God met you right where you were at (wanting some chocolate!!) and blessed you with a word of encouragement that would open your heart to deeper levels of truth! Your questions are so relevant to whatever stage of life we are in and I appreciate their depth. Thanks for sharing some great truths and wisdom!

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  15. Thank you for the encouragement, Abby. I was just watching a video the other day about how children’s perceptions of their mom’s are so different then our views of ourselves. They truly embody unconditional love and it is our responsibility to show them (and ourselves) grace, just like Jesus did for us. ❤

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    • Amen, Kristi. They see us so differently than we realize and God has shown me that numerous times. I need to remember. Thanks for your words of encouragement today, friend.

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  16. Amen sweet Abby! These are freeing words. Love them. We need this burden released off our back and you are helping in this process. I will remember your words the next time that guilt comes to shame me and hold me down! xoxo Cheering you from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.

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  17. Someone I am close to recently hurt my feelings and brought up all kinds of mom guilt. I had to remind myself she is not a mom and does not know how to parent my girls better than me. But it hurt. I am grateful God understands!

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  18. I suffer from Mom Guilt the most when it comes to spending money on myself. We’re on a tight budget right now so frivolous spending money doesn’t come my way often. When my husband says “Get what you want” my brain says “What does everyone else need?”. And once I do finally spend money on myself, I’m literally sick afterwards because I suddenly think of a whole list of things I could have purchased for my daughter, my husband, or the household in general instead of whatever I bought for myself. Once you get into that frame of mind, it’s hard to get out of!

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    • It is true; it is a hard from of mind to get out of. I am praying for you and other moms today, that God will give us the wisdom to discern what is of the Spirit and help us make wise decisions. Thank you for sharing here today!

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