Today was completely disastrous. The three young sons I tucked into bed last night somehow became revolutionists in their sleep. They knew what they wanted and they would not be deterred. I wouldn’t control them today, they would resist and revolt with the force of a thousand tantrums.
Sleep deprived and outnumbered, it was hardly an hour before I decided I would be incapable of thwarting the mutiny. I not only agreed to meet their demands of freedom from discipline but also decided to join in their foolishness and tantrum throwing. I gave in to my annoyance and let my mood swing wildly with the ups and downs of the day.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Right? Wrong.
The day was riddled with failures and frustration. I said things I shouldn’t have said, I did things I shouldn’t have done. And I found myself crushed under the weight of my mistakes by the time dinner rolled around.
This crushing feeling is mom guilt. Have you felt it, too? It stems from the belief that every choice a mother makes permanently and irreversibly affects the health and happiness of her child. It makes us feel as if our failures as a mom are unable to be erased and they inflict wounds on little souls that cannot be healed.
Mom guilt demands perfection from you and berates you when you fall short. But if you, like me, struggle to step out from under the dark cloud of mom guilt, I have good news for you.
Though the feelings of mom guilt are strong and the role of a mom does bear significant weight in the life of her child, there is hope for the mother who falls short of perfection: The gospel is for mothers.
Today the gospel was for me in my little home, at my kitchen table, spewing words of frustration over half-eaten lunches. It was for me abandoning graciousness and instead cultivating anger and annoyance in my heart. It was for me, believing that God could not and would not offer his hand of help in my time of need. It was for me unleashing all the fury of my emotions on my undeserving husband.
In every one of these moments, I was making a mistake. I was wrong. I was sinning. And in every one of these moments, the gospel was at work. It was exchanging the parts of me that are dark and damning for the parts of God that are light and salvation.
The gospel at work in us means mom guilt is no more.
Jesus took the full punishment for every mistake you or I will make in the role of Mom. And because of this, God forgives us for every little -or big- mistake made as a mother.
In other words, you can stop tallying your wrongs. You can stop measuring your rights. You can let go of your deepest regret as a mother. The gospel invites broken, failure prone moms to come to the cross and be set free.
So dear mama whose soul is crushed under the weight of guilt, behold the Lamb of God. He will take away the sins of today. And every day that ever has been and ever will be. You don’t have to be perfect because He is. You can rest in the gospel.
“For we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God. Yet through his powerful declaration of acquittal, God freely gives away his righteousness. His gift of love and favor now cascades over us, all because Jesus, the Anointed One, has liberated us from the guilt, punishment, and power of sin!” Romans 3:23-24 TPT