Mom Guilt

May 8, 2013

Hello, my name is Kristin, and I have Mom Guilt.

If you’re not familiar with Mom Guilt, you’re either not a mother or you’re in denial. Seriously. 
The sources of my Mom Guilt
Mom Guilt is that insidious voice inside that tries to tell you that you’re not good enough. It’s the one that says you’re not doing enough, or you’re doing too much, or your children are naughty or rebellious and it’s your fault, or someone else could do it better. It tells you that you're failing.

It's funny because Mom Guilt actually starts before your children even arrive, back when they are still in utero. Suddenly you can’t eat deli meat or feta cheese or a have a sip of wine without feeling like you’re maiming your child for life. 

But unfortunately it doesn’t end there; it spreads.

And pretty soon you’re wondering if you let your child cry too long or you should have let them cry longer, or if another method of Please-God-Make-My-Baby-Sleep would work better.

And you think about how you should have registered your children for preschool before they were even conceived instead of waiting so long that now there’s only afternoon preschool left, and surely your child will no longer be able to get into their college of choice because everyone knows that preschool makes all the difference. 

And you worry about what your child is eating – are they getting enough variety, will they grow a third arm if there are lingering pesticides on their produce, is it bad if they only want pb&j when it seems like everyone else’s child loves beets and asparagus.

Or maybe it’s that little Susie down the street emerged from the womb with a full set of teeth, crawled at four months and walked at six, and could recite the periodic table of elements by two years old. 

And at the heart of all these questions and worries, as silly as they sound, is the very serious question: Am I good enough? 

Because at the root of Mom Guilt lies fear. Fear that we aren’t doing a good enough job, that we are causing irreparable damage by not doing something right. Fear that our mistakes will haunt us, and that someday we'll look back and wish we had done something differently. Fear that we just don’t measure up to our friends, our church, our society, that there’s something inherently wrong with us that makes parenting difficult for us but so seemingly effortless for others.

And we know that’s a lie, but we still wonder – is it, really? And there’s days where we’re so bruised by life that it feels like a truth we can’t escape. And the Mom Guilt seeps in to the fragile places of our hearts and takes root.

But here is an essential truth that I hope you remember: The cure for Mom Guilt is an understanding of who you are and who God has made you to be.

Remember Psalm 139:13-16?

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be."

We usually think of those verses from the child’s perspective – but what about from the mother’s perspective? God knew our children before they were even born. He knit them together. He placed them with us. And he did it on purpose.

God does not make mistakes. He chose to place your children in your family in his timing and in his way. So are you good enough? Yes - because you are exactly who God intended you to be. 


  1. As I read this aloud to my husband, I felt like you were speaking the words from my heart that I hadn't yet been able to say. Thank you for sharing that it's not just me, that I'm not crazy for thinking those thoughts and for reminding me what the truth is. Sometimes I find it so very hard to let His Truth uproot that horrendous Mom Guilt and allow His Word to take guilt's place in my heart.

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Kate - it's definitely not just you. :) I feel like so often it is easy for us to extend grace to others, but deny it to ourselves. Maybe if we could see ourselves the way God sees us and the way others see us, we would realize what a great job we're doing as moms.