Rooted Mama Podcast
Episode 5: Mom Guilt
Episode #5: Mom Guilt
As moms, we have a thousand different responsibilities when it comes to our children, and when we feel like we fall short in any of these responsibilities, we tend to feel intense guilt: Mom Guilt. In this episode, I talk about the solution that Jesus is to mom guilt; He gives us the grace to overcome our short-comings, he gives us the strength to let go of the responsibilities that aren’t ours to hold, he pours out love that restores us, gives us strength to keep going, and has the power to forgive our sins.
One of the biggest challenges for moms is rooted in energy-management. We have obligations to ourselves, our children, our spouses, our work, and society at large. Add that to the expectations of all parties involved, and you have a recipe for feeling inadequate. That’s where Mom Guilt comes in, and while some guilt can be productive in specific instances, it often turns into shame, which binds us up and keeps us stuck.
We struggled with infertility for years, and I thought that if I could be “good” enough, then we could become parents. Once we began fostering kids, I felt extra pressure to prove my qualifications to be a mom as well as my worth as a mom. This created a scenario of intense anxiety as I felt I was being analyzed at every turn, and it fed into my narrative that if I only tried harder, then I could be the perfect “good” mom.
There is no one definition of a “good” mom. However, most of us judge our parenting by how our children are “progressing,” but our children are autonomous beings. We can teach, mold, and guide them, but we do not have control over the choices they make. That truth is unsettling, but it can help take the pressure off of us, because being a “good” parent doesn’t mean “saving” our children from every negative aspect of life or their own choices. We do not have that power. We are not superheroes.
All of us have a god, be it money, fame, people-pleasing, etc. We all have an authority that we answer to. We have to be intentional about who and what we listen to. I believe Jesus is the ultimate authority as well as the savior of myself and my family. When I listen to Him and allow him to sustain me, I can grow into the best version of myself as a mom, leaving behind guilt and shame as I let God restore me. I don’t have to parent alone. I have God right next to me. When I mess up, I can be forgiven. When I do well, I can thank Him for giving me patience and wisdom. When I’m overwhelmed, I can call out to God for help. I cannot do this job by my own strength or power.
I considered offering solely secular tips and methods for dealing with Mom Guilt, but I realized if I did so, my heart would not be in it. My experience with Mom Guilt completely changed as I let Jesus in to forgive, guide, and restore me. Recognizing that I can’t do this alone and that God is in control of my children–not me–has been life changing, and I believe Jesus can do the same for you, too.
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