Healing for Mom Guilt

For years I had the same dream several times a week. I lived in a nice house where life was full and happy. There was only one problem . . . there was always a pet, usually a dog, living in the basement. That in itself was not a problem, I love critters, the problem was that I continually forgot to feed her and let her out.

My neglect always led to feelings of guilt and fear of what I was going to find when I went downstairs to check on her. Finally, tired of waking up feeling like a failure before my day even started, I prayed and pondered – what was this dream trying to tell me.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I was living out my own version of Julie Ann Barnhill’s book, Motherhood: the Guilt that Keeps on Giving.

Can you relate?

My children are grown with children of their own, and I still feel like I could have and should have done so much more . . . even though I gave parenting my all and then some.

Praise God! My heavenly Father came to my rescue – Again!

He reminded me that although it is true that I was not then, I’m not now, nor will I ever be a perfect mother, there are no perfect mothers. We are simply doing our best, and that’s what matters.

He reminded me that mothering like every other aspect of my life is covered by His grace and that is sufficient.

He reminded me that my children and grandchildren are His. I have not been called to be perfect nor is it my job to make them perfect. I have been called to love  and guide them by pointing them toward God’s love . . . and that I can do.

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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

It’s been a while since I’ve had a “puppy in the basement” dream. Of course, I still have my mom guilt moments. Sometimes I think they come in the job description. However, now I try to quickly give those feelings over to God’s grace; trusting that His loving forgiveness is sufficient to cover my many weaknesses.

So, take a moment today to remind yourself of how very much the Lord loves you, forgives you, and covers you with His grace . . . then go hug your kids.

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4 Responses to Healing for Mom Guilt
  1. Katie
    January 27, 2012 | 8:11 am

    Your words, “I still feel like I could have and should have done so much more” struck a chord with me since I have thought that many times over the past 8 years since my twins were born. I always feel like I’m coming up short in the mommy department for some reason or another….sometimes it’s financial (we usually can’t afford to do many paid activities with them so I worry that they’re not growing up to be social enough) or sometimes it’s a lack or energy to get involved when I have so many things on my “to-do” list. It’s always something….Anyhow, I enjoyed your post and will try to remember some of your learning points. 🙂 thanks!

  2. Deb
    January 29, 2012 | 7:18 pm

    Hi Katie, I really think Mom’s take guilt on as part of their calling. I’m glad that the encouragement that the Lord has given to me helped you a little, too. Many blessings to you! Enjoy your twins – blessing times two!

  3. Michele
    January 30, 2012 | 8:11 am

    Wow. What perfect timing. This piece has been lingering in my inbox since it was posted a few days ago and I just read it this morning. How pertinent these words are for me this very moment, since I woke up with a heavy blanket of Mommy guilt upon me. Thank you for your encouraging words, Deb. Thank you for reminding me that His grace is sufficient for me. You’d think I’d remember that since my firstborn’s name is Grace! 🙂 Still I forget to rest and rely upon His grace. Thanking God right now that His grace covers all my mess-ups and mistakes. His power is perfect. Now I’m off to hug my girls. 🙂

  4. Deb
    February 1, 2012 | 10:46 am

    Michele, I am so glad this blessed you. My kiddos are grown and I still have my times feeling the weight of guilt. God’s grace is sufficient for those moments when I go back and resurface the past, for my present “I can’t do it all moments,” and for my future failures. His love covers it all. PRAISE!! I praying that you enjoy a blessing filled day!