Are you feeling like a failure as a parent? For some of us becoming a mother was natural. As little girls, we dreamed of marriage, kids, white picket fences, visits to the park, and night time snuggles. We had plenty of practice with babysitting on weekends or even watching our younger siblings so our parents could have a weekly date night. We seem to have been born to be a mom, we are nurturers who walked into motherhood effortlessly.
When You’re Feeling Like a Failure as a Parent
There are plenty of us, however, that battle with feeling like a complete and total failure as a parent. Maybe we had the same dreams but soon found out that reality looked drastically different. Somewhere between, teething, screaming babies, tantrum-throwing toddlers, emotional tweens, and unreachable teens we lost sight of that dream we once held dearly. And when this happens, you begin to feel like a failure as a mom.
Then add in homeschooling, mounds of endless laundry, breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal plan, prep & clean-up, housekeeping, unexpected sickness, lack of money, and all the other demands of life.
That’s when we begin to question our abilities to mother and homeschool. We question if we truly have what it takes to successfully raise up and teach these little gifts that God has entrusted to us.
Why do I feel like a bad mother?
Don’t allow condemnation to take hold when it seems like everything’s falling apart. When our kids don’t grasp a new lesson right away or seem to be behind their peers, it’s ok. If someone quizzes them and they don’t have the answer don’t immediately assume you are failing your kids.
Uncertainty happens when the voices inside our heads scream that we aren’t sufficient. Uncertainty is a cousin to fear. When we try to step out in courage, fear or uncertainty keeps the “what if’s” before us.
- What if I say I can teach my kids, only to find out I really can’t?
- What if I let my child down?
- How do I know if I’m a bad mom?
- What if they don’t get into college?
If we aren’t diligent in keeping the “what if’s” in check we will find ourselves frozen in fear.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
Certainty in Christ When You’re Feeling Like a Failure as a Parent
What does God say about motherhood? When insecurity keeps us locked up in fear, certainty in our Savior is the ultimate tool to break the chains of fear that binds us. Fear says, “I can’t.” Certainty in Christ says, “I can because God is with me!”
Genuine certainty is truly “God-certainty.” It’s less about trusting ourselves as it is about having faith in what God can do through us. It’s changing the message that is replaying inside our heads from “I can’t” to “God can!”
It’s renewing our minds to His Word. The Bible affirms this in Jeremiah 17:7: “Blessed [with spiritual security] is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the Lord And whose hope and confident expectation is the Lord.” (AMP).
Certainty follows a divine design. You and I are made to do life in relationship and partnership with our Creator. Our imperfections are covered by His Grace. When we start to see ourselves through God’s eyes, we can embrace our imperfections and begin resting wholly in His perfect Love and Grace.
This also happens when we accept who God made us to be, as opposed to regretting our identity. Uncertainty keeps us taking part in the comparison game. We’re left yearning to be like them: more inventive, more creative, more patient, more educated.
The list is endless.
Nonetheless, certainty happens as we learn to embrace our weaknesses right along with our strengths. We grow in faith through our weaknesses as we allow God to be glorified through them. We become content with who we were created to be, not who we weren’t.
Count it All Joy When You’re Feeling Like a Failure as a Parent
Each time our hopes and dreams or lofty expectations of how motherhood and homeschooling is suppose to look doesn’t mirror real life, we have a decision. To push ahead with joy or throw a carnal fit and again feel like you are failing.
How we respond to “expectation derail” is 99 percent of what the outcome will be. These moments are key to growing in Christ ourselves and also building character in our children. Slow down, take a breath and think before you react because our reaction can either make us or break us.
Anger can get set off by the simplest things when they pile up. Child A fusses every time you are working through math together, child B won’t sit still during the read-aloud time and child C lost his shoe again and we are running late for co-op again.
But, when we are consistent with prayer and time in the Word we start to become aware of the physical and emotional cues before lashing out at our children.
What does God say about motherhood?
Where does our strength as parents come from? The strength to resist the urge comes from the moment we took to read our bible and hide His Word within the innermost parts of our hearts. The anger is a bubbling, steaming, overwhelming fury that wants to detonate accusations against our children. It is the enemy of joy, but God is there with us. His Word rises up and then joy and peace win.
Eventually, we begin to acknowledge that we are deciding how we react in the battle. We have control over the way we see things and that ultimately happiness is a choice. Contentment is a decision. This is tied in with choosing joy when the going gets tough—or when things get hard humbly count it all joy.
It is knowing that we are growing in patience and training our kids’ character when we choose joy. It’s not easy when we try to do this on our own, but with His Word stirring in our heart, it becomes so.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” –James 1:2-4 (NKJV)
My friend, the Joy of the Lord is yours for the taking! Grab it! Hold on to it! Passionately interlace it with certainty in Christ and all those dreams you once had as a little girl, you may just see some become a reality. At the least, His peace will reign and the feelings of failure will fade.
What do you do when you feel like you’re failing as a parent?
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Forest Rose is a God Loving, Blessed Wife, & Relaxed, Eclectic Homeschooling Mama to 3 girls – 7, 9, & 11 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She blogs at Kingdom First Homeschool and hosts a Homeschooling 101 Community on Facebook. She’s passionate about lifting moms out of the homeschooling trenches that are discouraged, overwhelmed or feeling alone or isolated. Her hope is to point them to Christ and equip them to rise up with a new found hope and joy within that He alone can provide.[magicactionbox]