When will I have time, I have the kids? How long have they been in front of the tv? What if they get hurt while I’m gone?
The opposition was apparent as I attempted to balance ministry and motherhood. Satan whispered lies that no one else was able to care for my kids the way I did, so I never asked for help. Messages from the world were constant reminders I wasn’t a good enough mom. At night, ridiculous made-up scenarios convinced me my lack of persistent presence would be the cause of my children’s doom.
Maybe you’ve experienced mom guilt while trying to balance kids and other responsibilities too?
One day, God heard my desperate prayers for deliverance and comforted me with a story from the Bible about David. While David wasn’t a mom, he knew a thing or two about balancing being a caretaker and serving in other capacities. He knew the winning battle strategy against defeating lies was standing on the word of God.
In 1 Samuel 17, the Israelite army was in a face-off with Goliath. David’s older brothers had already left and followed King Saul to battle, but the Bible says that David went back and forth from serving Saul to tending the sheep at Bethlehem (1 Samuel 17:15). The following morning, David was sent back to Saul to take food to the soldiers, and the Bible states he left the flock in the care of another shepherd (1 Samuel 17:20).
Lastly, note that David’s brother wrongly accused David of leaving his sheep in the wilderness when he showed up to serve (1 Samuel 17:28). Despite everything David believed God at His word and defeated the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17:45-50).
Similar to moms, David went back and forth between shepherding and serving in other places. It’s okay if we have other obligations that pull us away from our kids for a time. Stop believing we aren’t good moms because we juggle both motherhood and the demands of life.
Like you and me, David eventually had an opportunity arise that required time away from his current duties to serve God in another role. So he elicited help. Moms aren’t irresponsible for needing an extra set of hands now and then.
We live in a world with unlimited opinions on the “right” way to mother. We can expect that someone might try to accuse us wrongly when we don’t meet their parenting standard, just like David’s brother did. Moms don’t need to feel guilty when they don’t measure up to the world’s expectations. We are free from worrying about anyone who wrongly accuses us of not caring about our kids—even if that someone is us.
We don’t have to have an all-or-nothing mentality, we can be good mothers and engage in other Kingdom-building responsibilities. The truth is God often uses motherhood to equip us for future tasks, stop feeling guilty, rest in the knowledge that we have done our best. Let’s refute the lies about motherhood from the world, the enemy, and our critical thoughts, and let’s claim victory over the battle by using the following three tools to battle mom-guilt.
Mom guilt showed up in my life as I began pursuing ministry. I started to believe that God was disappointed in me because I wasn’t giving all my attention to my children and I believed that somehow this was going to screw them up. God gave me a story about David that made me realize that motherhood didn’t need to be all or nothing and it wasn’t wrong or it wasn’t going to ruin my children if I also pursued other Kingdom responsibilities alongside being a mom. the Bible reminds us of God’s standard, and it is your number one tool to battle mom guilt.
Godly Community and Counsel
Reading or listening to what other people have written about the lies that the world and the enemy or our own critical thoughts really helped me learn how to cancel out the inputs that were fueling my guilt. My friend Laura Bailey wrote a great book called beyond the Noise and we did a podcast together about battling inner conflict and yielding to Christ. It’s from Season 2 Episode 19. Give it a listen and check out her book Beyond the Noise: Silencing the Deceiver in a Loud World of Lies.
Journal Lies and Memorize Truth
My final tip is to jot down some of the loudest lies you’re believing as it pertains to motherhood and think about where they may be coming from. Is it the world feeding you those lies (social media, expectations from people around you)? Is it the enemy ( is he whispering lies to you that condemn you or tell you you aren’t good enough or is it your own thoughts ( maybe you’re your own worst enemy and you have placed ill-fitting expectations on yourself for how motherhood is “supposed’ to look? Really take some time to think about those things and then find 3 scriptures to memorize and combat those lies.
Grab my resource below to begin battling against mom guilt today.