“I’m a horrible mom.”
“My kids are going to be ruined – I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“How will my kids learn how to behave when I can’t even control myself?”
As moms, we often allow these kinds of thoughts into our minds. Thoughts that condemn us and cause us to lose hope. Thoughts that discourage and harass – that make us wonder if our imperfect efforts really do any good.
“And straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on do not sin any longer.” John 8:10-11
Then in 1 John 2:1 we read, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
When you feel like you are failing, take heart in Jesus’ words. He does not condemn you. Just like when speaking to the adulterous woman, Jesus asks us to sin no more. But when we do fall, He has mercy and helps us to try again. In these moments, Jesus looks at us with His merciful love, picks us back up, and encourages us to try again.
Will you accept our Lord’s mercy in your life?
God loves you for you. He loves you by the very fact that He created you and desires you for Himself. In those moments of self-condemnation, ask our Lord for His help and mercy and then try again. Be honest with yourself about where you need to do better, but instead of using it as an excuse for why you are a failure, use it as a catalyst to do better and carry on in faith and hope.
I love helping my clients work through these areas of difficulty that appear small, but weigh on them heavily with a simple exercise.
Every night for two nights, ask yourself three questions: What went wrong? What went well? How can I do better tomorrow? Write out the answers and ask our Lord for guidance.
As you work through this each day, you will start to form a habit of self-awareness and the ability to overcome those feelings of inadequacy.
What do you have to prove?
You may feel like you need to have evidence that what you are doing is working. Sometimes it is for your own peace of mind and sometimes it is to hold up as evidence when you feel the judgment of others. Know that the only one you truly have to answer to is God, and that it is truly only He who can change hearts. …your own. Those of your children. That of your husband. Those around you. Are you willing to surrender those areas that you don’t have any control over back to God, and embrace the areas that He has entrusted you with?
Your job is to faithfully serve Him, and imitate Him – even imperfectly – to the best of your ability. Then encourage your children to do the same in both word and deed. Your ability to get back up and continue on in Faith, is the biggest witness that you can provide in your children’s lives.
You are not a horrible parent. Your children will not be ruined. It’s okay that you are still learning. If you would like more support in developing this confidence in raising your children well, I invite you to check out Fuel Your Faith Foundation.