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My Failure as a Mom

I remember that time so clearly.

A time of failure and of grace.

Grace through my son’s kindness when I was completely undeserving. I had spent the week preparing for a speaking engagement at a women’s retreat. I was the sole speaker at several sessions. My stress level was high.

The night before I was to leave for the event, my kids endured my short-temper and impatience . . . and all in the name of speaking at a Christian women’s retreat. My husband tucked our kids into bed that night while I finished preparing. I kissed them briefly then dropped into my own bed feeling really lousy about my behavior as a mom.

In the blackness of early morning, the delectable smell of sausage wafted down the hall into my bathroom where I was putting on makeup.

Curious, I walked to the kitchen to see who was up so early cooking breakfast.

There stood my 12-year- old son in his pajamas, ruffled hair, and broad smile. He had made a point to get up 30-40 minutes earlier than normal for school to make breakfast for me.

Sausages sizzled in the skillet and made-from- scratch waffles sent steam rising from the waffle iron. He had carefully chosen the “You Are Special” plate, and prepared a place for me at the table. He had me sit, then served my waffles with love and lit candles.
He said he wanted to make sure I had a good breakfast before I left for the retreat to serve those women.

Grace flowing down. Grace I was so undeserving of.

Needless to say, there have been situations in my life where I’ve personally beat myself up for some of the things I’ve said and done as a mom.

I love my kids desperately and want what’s best for them in every way, but sometimes I fail miserably.
I’ve made mistakes. I’ve allowed weariness to get the best of me – especially when my husband traveled and I handled the  endless demands of parenting alone. I’ve been impatient and lost my temper.

In the process, I’ve also learned some important lessons.

Things to Remember When You Feel Like You Fail as a Mom

#1: There are no perfect mothers.
There never have been and there never will be so you are in good company. You can stop comparing yourself to other moms. In fact, STOP comparing yourself to other moms.  All mothers are human beings. Humans are renowned for their imperfections. (Romans 3:23) God is perfectly aware of our foibles because he designed and created us. That isn’t intended to be an excuse to wallow in mediocrity. (Romans 6:1-4) It just means there’s no need to be surprised when you make mistakes. Your mistakes certainly don’t surprise God. They’re part of your human nature.

#2: Your mistakes don’t define you or make you a wholly bad mother or a terrible Christian.
Don’t give up and admit defeat. Instead, view your mistakes as a beautiful reminder of your need for a Savior. That’s what God wants. He established a standard specifically to draw you to Jesus. (Galatians 3:24) He wants you to depend on him. Jesus graciously came to us because he clearly saw our needs and imperfections. When you fail, fall on Him. He knows your heart. He knows you want to be a good mom. He knows you want better for your children than what you are always able to offer. He is perfect in every way. He came to make us better people. He will develop your character and make you a better mom from the inside out when you trust and follow him. (2 Corinthians 3:4-5, 17-18) So don’t rely solely on yourself. The secret is to rely on him.
Remember your identity in Christ.

#3: There are great things that can come through your failures.
Resist the temptation to hide your mistakes. Your job isn’t to prove to your kids that you’re a perfect mom. Acknowledge your mistakes and regrets. Apologize and ask for forgiveness when it’s warranted. It’s never too late to make things right. You can use your failures as an opportunity to teach your kids real-life lessons about grace.

#4: If you never made mistakes, how would your kids learn to deal with their humanity?
You’re a living lesson for them. Use your mistakes to teach your children about their need for a Savior too. Then allow them to watch you live your life in relationship with Christ. That includes the struggles too. Be transparent and real.  As they grow to become productive, responsible adults maneuvering through life in the real world, the point is to move them from dependence on you to dependence on Christ.

#5: Your kids are going to be okay.
Point them to Jesus. He has a way of filling in the gaps with your kids where you falter. Believe me. I’ve seen him do it in the lives of my children. He is a great healer and reconciler. He will make your kids stronger. He will make them whole. Have you ever failed as a mom?  Thanks for coming to sit a spell at The Warming House. I always appreciate you being here. Please come again. Better yet – subscribe at the top of the sidebar to the right in order to receive instant notifications when new posts are published. If you’d like to share this post with a friend, click one of the share buttons below.

Because families are worth fighting for…