Let's Talk About Mom Guilt...
In my early days of parenthood I was constantly burdened with the pressures of perfectionism. I would lie in bed at night and replay the day in my head, ruminating over all the ways I could have done a better job during the day. I beat myself up over the times I lost my temper and often felt like I just wasn't enough for each one of my precious children.
In one of my darkest moments I even questioned whether or not I was the right person for the job, begging God to please keep me from damaging their innocent hearts. I didn’t fully understand God’s grace for me and thus, I could not extend his grace to my kids. It was an ugly cycle.
I have experienced some new freedom in this area. The author of Hebrews urges us to approach God’s throne with confidence. God wants me to bring everything to him. Rather than putting these negative thoughts aside, I can combat them with confession. For example, instead of ignoring my outburst at my kids, I can stop, breathe, and confess my angry reaction. When I confess my sins and shortcomings to Jesus, and ask him to help me in these areas, I can trust that he takes them from me. He died for me too. I am forgiven, free, and exactly who he picked to be the mommy of my four kids.
If you struggle with parent guilt, here is the good news: you don’t have to be a perfect parent! I have to remind myself of this on repeat. Your kids don’t need you to be their Savior because they already have one of those! Only Jesus is perfect, and it is so important for our kids to see that we need Jesus too. You know what else is great news? He chose you to be the parent for your kids! Out of all the moms and dads in the whole world and in all the time periods, he chose you to be the parent of your kids.
Modeling humility and confession is one of the best ways we can teach our kids about confession. God calls us to confess because he loves us and He wants to take the burden of sin from us. Confession is not about verbally expressing how bad we are, instead it is about experiencing freedom from the sinful things that keep us from being who God created us to be (like the parent to your kids).
Next time you notice sin in your life, I challenge you to confess it, especially in front of your children. It will make them more comfortable with the idea and will give them a feeling of security and solidarity knowing that everyone is sinful, not just them. You can also try one of our confession activities to make confession a part of your daily life in a non-intimidating way.