Honest Question: Do you ever feel like a failure as a Mom – Or what we call that “Mom Guilt” feeling, day in and day out. A few days ago I had one of *those* days. The baby wasn’t sleeping well and had been up half the night, I didn’t get to shower, the house was still a complete disaster from the busy week prior, and I was feeling extra sorry for myself because it was a Saturday and my husband was headed out to work for an extra long day of work.
I figured it was inevitable. The grouchiness, that is. I made a feeble effort to be kind but it was pretty well just a big ol’ snowball effect of slightly sharp tones, impatiently barked commands, cold cups of coffee, and way too many expectations. By the end of the day, I was nearly in tears. I was mad at my kids and mad at myself. The worst thing of all was the disconnect I felt from them as their little hearts and mine clashed and throbbed all day long.
I posted a status on my personal Facebook account about achieving an “F-minus” in motherhood. Sweet encouragement and words of truth began popping in on my status and in my inbox from mamas who’ve been there and totally get it. As wisdom and truth began to permeate my heart I could feel my lungs constricting slowly, my shoulders relaxing a tiny bit.
When you feel like a failure as a Mom, use these •Mom• truths to help you get your confidence back:
1. Our failures, weaknesses, and sins are not who we are.
So stop your inner talk when you feel like a failure as a Mom. You are an amazing Mom who sometimes has rough spots. Tomorrow will likely be better. Have you ever done the following as a Mom:
- Sometimes I hide in the bathroom
- And there are times I long for a free night with my husband or a quiet evening alone at home
- Think to myself: sometimes it’s…just…hard. Physically. Mentally. And emotionally.
- And when it comes to those menial tasks, it becomes monotonous and mundane. Boring.
- Long for a full night’s sleep or a long hot bath instead of being the taxi driver, washing and folding the laundry that never seems to be caught up, or it may just be that you’re tired of the same old, same old thing.
REMINDER: You are not alone because all Moms feel this way and it IS ok because you are a great Mom!
2. It is easier to believe the lies when you are tired and stressed.
Don’t let your sleep-deprived or stressed-out brain trick you into believing the junk being thrown your way. Stop it in its tracks, and your mood will likely improve. For example, I’ve had some crazy moments happen when I’m just simply out with my kids, such as:
- When someone sees me red-faced, struggling along with my brood, tired, back aching, trying to keep everyone safe as we navigate the massive and crowded pool parking lot, and they comment “you sure have your hands full” or “glad it’s you, not me”, I’m sorely tempted to agree with their assessment of the situation. BUT, I don’t agree with them, in fact, it makes me realize and affirm the beauty and sheer privilege that it is to know and raise up these precious little ones.
- When someone says, “Are they all yours?”, do you smile and say, “Yes, I am so blessed” and really mean it? When a full-time career woman with no children wonders aloud how you can handle being home with your young children all day, are you quick to tell her that you can’t imagine doing anything more fulfilling and that you love spending your days with your kids? Perhaps we need to tell our selves that we love being a mom (I do this in the mirror or when I’m scrolling through last weekend’s pictures on my phone) and we no longer believe or feel like a failure as a Mom.
REMINDER: Just nod your head at the negative people in the world because you are truly blessed (and they know it and you definitely know it).
3. It is the sum of days not just today that shape your kids.
Everybody has an off day now and then but it is the whole sum of a childhood that makes a kid who they are – not one bad day.
We all know that bad days happen, but make them fewer and farther between. Let your challenges serve as lessons, making you a woman of strength, kindness, loyalty, and patience.
Practice mothering with a purpose.
Whether you’ve been a mom for two months or two decades, you know the feeling of things piling up and spiraling out of control. You know the look you give yourself in the mirror, wishing you could wish, feeling like a failure, knowing something’s not right.
When you’re tempted to think you’re a failure, I want you to remember: YOU ARE NOT.
REMINDER: Have confidence in yourself.
4. The fact that you even care means that you can make a plan for improvement.
Instead of having a pity party, use your negative feelings to inspire a better plan for next time.
It isn’t selfish to focus on the things that keep you fueled, excited, motivated. Figure out a schedule that allows you to do one tiring task a day so that it’s not all at once or get together with your spouse and divide duties with him in a way that allows both of you to be motivated and energized.
REMINDER: Investing in yourself will help you feel better, be more patient, and loving to your family.
5. Your failures are a chance to model godly repentance.
Heaven knows your kids need to learn repentance too, right? Ahem.
Learning from your mistakes and doing it better the next time around will not only give you confidence but a chance for your kids to see that you are a strong and humble person. They will too know how to accept their behavior and confidently learn from their mistakes.
REMINDER: Your children will emulate what you do so with knowing that there is no such thing as perfect – and learning from those moments, will be everything your family needs, including you.
6. The Lord is full of grace and he is glorified by you admitting your failures
…and turning to him.“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God. You will not despise.”
Perfectionism is NOT a virtue. Often, we strive to be ‘perfect’ or do things ‘perfectly’, but that perfection doesn’t serve the people we love. Tear down the idol of the doing things perfectly and discover more time for the things—and the people—you love.
REMINDER: It’s ok to fail. No one is perfect.
7. We often fail when trying to do something we are not good at or gifted in.
Do as Paul instructs in Romans to “not think of yourself more highly than you ought”, and take stock of your gifts and personality in order to shape your mothering style. Don’t hop on board the “ought to” bandwagon – it’s plenty crowded already.
For example, I’m not the BEST at cleaning our home so I decided to incorporate the whole family to help out. I did this because I’m good at creating team work around the things we do and so I thought, why not let the whole family get involved. I make sure each family member is doing the task that they are best at and it works every time. We might even get ice cream afterward. haha
REMINDER: You don’t have to be great at everything and continue to feel like a failure as a Mom. Ask for help from your family and make it fun.
8. Your hard is hard.
Don’t berate yourself for “not handling things well” or for feeling overwhelmed. Realize that this season of mothering little ones is difficult whether you have an only child or a mini-van full, and don’t compare your hard to someone else’s. The moment you stop comparing will be the moment you stop feeling like a failure as a Mom
Motherhood is sacrificial: we give up ourselves, our dreams, and our goals. This can be good for a time, but not long-term.
REMINDER: Every Mom has their own battles and hard moments! Don’t let yourself feel alone on this journey. The hard moments will pass.
9. Those visions in your head of everyone else’s house being cleaner than yours? Not true.
Maybe some are cleaner, but certainly not everyone’s. Ahem, *cough, cough* not mine!
It’s ok to clean less or pick up the backyard when you’re in the mood. Let your house be a home. I love it when my parents stop by and say “I remember those days when the toys were sprawled out in the living room and their socks were dangling from the stairwell.” This makes me smile because it reminds me that time goes by fast and I need to not worry so much about keeping up with this fictitional vision that everyone else has a cleaner home than mine – I simply say, who cares. Let’s live and not feel like a failure as a Mom.
REMINDER: L-i-v-e in your house and make sure it’s a home. These are the best kind of homes to be raised in.
10. It’s ok to go to bed super early.
Sometimes it’s best to just bid the day farewell and pull the covers up. Sometimes your best strategy is to get some extra rest and try again tomorrow.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
REMINDER: Sleep is necessary for all Moms! Don’t overdo it and then feel like a failure as a Mom (because you are not, even on your worse day).
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