10 Things Every Mother Should Stop Feeling Ashamed About

mom working holding baby, things mother should stop feeling ashamed about

Children are a gift. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3-5)

While we believe this, we also know the reality that motherhood is hard. The technical work of parenting—of diapering, wiping, disinfecting, and pureeing, of disciplining, grounding, and hearing the same sing-song cartoon play over and over—can be tiring, but the emotional and mental aspect of motherhood is much more exhausting.

A friend of mine with a newborn texted me and asked, “When do I stop worrying so incessantly over my child?” And I replied with a simple “you don’t.” From worrying about their health as newborns to fretting over their first time to drive a car, a mother’s concern for her child never goes away. Those mothering instincts God has given us are a blessing, but without proper guidance, they can easily turn us into our own worst enemy. Factor in the stress of social media, the constant comparison trap we moms find ourselves in, and shame and guilt start tapping us on the shoulder quick!

God didn’t intend for us to parent from that position. Rather, He equipped us with everything we need to shepherd our kids according to His Word. Kicking guilt and shame to the curb is one of the first steps to parenting well. Rather than focusing on our own inadequacies, we need to shift our gaze to our Heavenly Father and His sufficiency.

Here are 10 things every mother should stop feeling ashamed about:

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  • mature woman thinking in coffee shop

    1. Taking Time for Herself

    Mothers spend so much of their emotional and mental energy taking care of everyone else around them—and that’s good. After all, God wired us that way. Yet we are not an unending well. We must take time for ourselves to refill. This can be engaging in a personal hobby, taking some much-needed quiet time to read or enjoy a phone call with a friend, or attending women’s events at the church where we can socialize with other moms. Never feel guilty for taking a break!

    Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

    I want to teach my daughters the healthy balance of being generous, nurturing, and hospitable to others, while still taking care of themselves and refueling in the things of the Lord.

    2. Telling Her Children “No"

    As moms who hate to see our kids be disappointed, sometimes the best gift we can give them is the gift of saying no. There is no shame in disciplining your child or telling them they can’t do or get or have what they want. In fact, the Bible speaks of the opposite—disciplining, which includes saying “no” even when it’s hard, carries with it a reward.

    Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.” (Proverbs 22:6)

    When saying no and providing godly discipline, it’s important we have the right heart posture. Ephesians speaks of the difference between making our children angry in a fleshly way versus the discipline that comes from the Lord that is good. Ephesians 6:4 (ESV) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

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  • Husband and wife holding hands

    3. Dating Her Husband

    So often mothers feel guilty for spending time with their spouses. But we must remember that our first priority is to our relationship with God, then with our husband, and then with our children. This isn’t selfish, rather, this is how God designed the family unit. Don’t feel guilty in having that date night! After all, you’re modeling for your children the way they should be treated when they’re dating.

    4. Having Emotions

    It’s easy for moms to beat themselves up over having “negative” emotions. But there are no bad emotions—just plenty of bad responses! It’s crucial to recognize the difference. It’s okay to be mad, frustrated, or upset—after all, Jesus experienced righteous anger. But He was our example in not sinning in that anger.

    Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” (Ephesians 4:26)

    Walking through the unpleasant emotions in front of our kids doesn’t make us bad moms—it provides us an example to help them properly navigate the same ones. So, don’t be ashamed of the irritations that rise during the day, of the aggravation of interruptions, of the frustrations of messes and noise. Simply confess and repent where needed, apologize where needed, and start over—just like you’ll teach your child to do.

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  • morning mom tired pouring coffee onto table falling asleep at breakfast, things mom should stop feeling ashamed about

    5. Not Being a “Pinterest” Mom

    In today’s social media-obsessed culture, it’s hard not to judge our success as a mom based on what everyone else is posting. Some moms are gifted in cooking healthy meals, cutting fruit and snacks into adorable shapes for lunchboxes, making homemade goodies, and sewing their kids’ Easter dresses. But none of that is an accurate gauge of success. If you’re not that type of creative mom, don’t be ashamed. You’re gifted in other areas—and you’re able to bless your children in those ways, even if they’re not always Instagram-worthy.

    If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Ephesians 4:26)

    At the end of the day, the gift of a listening ear, a soothing tone, and a calming touch is much more valuable to your child than a star-shaped cookie or a hand-stitched dress. Don’t be ashamed of the hobbies and talents you don’t have!

    6. Not Keeping a Perfect Household

    Confession—I’m a neat-freak. I enjoy a clutter-free house—it helps me feel peaceful and settled. I enjoy keeping the main areas of the house neat and making my bed every morning and training my children to do the same. But there’s a lot of moms out there who aren’t naturally wired that way, and that’s okay. There’s no shame in having “that closet” where everything gets shoved when unexpected company drops back. There’s no guilt in not being Pottery Barn ready at any given moment. Don’t let other moms with different personalities try to tell you otherwise.

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  • 7. Not Homeschooling Their Kids

    7. Not Homeschooling Their Kids

    There was a season in my life where I felt like a failure of a mother for not homeschooling my kids. I was a single mom and working full time, but so many moms I knew were homeschooling—and their kids were thriving. I felt guilty that I couldn’t provide that opportunity to my child. Never mind the fact that I hadn’t asked to be a single parent and couldn’t control any of the obstacles keeping me from doing it. I still felt guilty. Which brings to me my next point…

    8. Not Sending Their Kids to Public School

    A few years, a wedding, and a new job later, the opportunity to homeschool became available to me for the first time. And wouldn’t you know it—the doubts began to hit about whether the kids might do better or have more opportunities if they were back in public school! The moral of the story is every mom doubts regardless of which side of the schooling fence they’re on. You’re not alone, Mom. Pray and make the best decision you can, and let the guilt go.

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  • mom playing with daughter in room

    9. Not Being a Stay at Home Mom

    Another shame-inflicting debate among mothers is whether they should stay at home while their kids are little. Some moms aren’t given the chance because they’re the only source of income for the family (like my position as a single mom years ago). That’s okay! Other moms maybe went to school for a particular degree and enjoy the accomplishment and ministry opportunities that their career gives them. There’s nothing wrong with that, either! Don’t let shame and guilt dictate your decisions for your home. Pray, discuss with your spouse, and move forward. The good news is, most decisions can be reverted at any point as God leads.

    10. Not Being a Working Mom

    The reverse can also be guilt-inducing. Some moms stay at home to homeschool or just be with their kids during the day and worry that perhaps the financial sacrifice is robbing their kids of opportunities that their peers have—sports, dance, other extracurricular activities. They struggle with not feeling shame in driving one car or living in a smaller house than their friends. You can only make the best decision for your family and ignore the pointing fingers of doubt from the enemy.

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    Betsy_headshotBetsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of more than fifteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her hubby, two total-opposite young daughters, a vast collection of novels, and an impressive stash of Pickle chips. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she’s not sweating it out at Camp Gladiator or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. Look for her latest novel with Revell, Tacos for Two, coming October 2021. You can visit Betsy at http://www.betsystamant.com.