It’s 7:30 pm and the kids are playing no actually they’re fighting, quite loudly might I add, and here I am frustrated, fatigued, and feeling useless because it’s the third time this week that we are having frozen pizzas. Yep, there it goes again: Mom Shame.
Why do we do this to ourselves? As if carrying a tiny human inside of you for months, bringing him/her into the world through painful labor, caring for them day in and day out, wasn’t enough. We STILL feel bad because we can’t cook 4 course meals, clean the house, entertain their every whim, and stay perfectly manicured all at the same time. What in the world are we thinking?
We feel mom shame when we see other mothers doing what we hope to do in our families. We feel mom shame when we compare ourselves to some unrealistic picture of perfection that we create in our minds. Then on top of that WE mom shame others. We judge, hypocritically might I add, we impose our values, and our experiences on others, then gossip about them for NOT living up to our own expectations that WE can’t even live up to. We give up peace, contentment, gratitude, and understanding in exchange for stress, unfulfillment, and shame.
Why are we more inclined to feel shame rather than Freedom?
Freedom IS in fact what we have been given through Christ. But why then do I have such a hard time embracing the truth? An even better question is: What can we do to get rid of our own personal culture of mom shaming and truly walk in the freedom Christ provides even in parenting?
Start embracing freedom in Christ with these 5 tips!
Remove unrealistic expectations: Ephesians 4:22-24
Listen, I know those Disney movies always ended happily and your ideal dream of a family never included bags under your eyes or extreme exhaustion; but sis, we must cut the unrealistic expectations. They set us up to trust in our own abilities, strengths, and resources rather than putting all our trust in God.
Prioritize what’s really important for you: Proverbs 21:5
Achieving the goals of balance, stability, and peace begins with prioritizing them as most important in your life. Yes, we wear many hats and often have so many challenges that it seems easier to be a mama “do-it-all” instead of focusing on a few things. But this is where you will find your sweet spot. Prioritize your self care first which includes quiet time with God, then all other responsibilities in-that-order of priority next.
Remember who you are in Christ: Romans 8:31-39
This one should probably come first, but hey I’ve got crazy kids running around me right now so I can’t think straight:) Knowing who you are in Christ will keep you grounded and focused on purpose. There is purpose in even the most mundane tasks of life. Knowing you are loved, chosen, cherished, and forgiven provides a sense of peace even in the midst of any storm.
Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 22 : James 4:1-3
Our brothers and sisters in Christ are here to build us up, not to make us feel inferior. When you see another person who seems to have it all together just remember everyone often has a silent struggle. We are all in need of a savior and comparison is the ultimate thief of joy. Gratefulness always combats envy.
Live by the Spirit not your own strength: Isaiah 40:29-31
For the hard-headed folks in the back of the room (where I’m standing usually): You are not your own, the Spirit of God lives in you, let Him strengthen you for this race. Enough said.
Remember, if you’re feeling shame, it’s not from God. God convicts our hearts and he reveals sin for the purpose of our growth. There’s a big difference between guilt and shame. It’s reasonable to feel a bit guilty for serving pizza 5 times a week for dinner because you planned to cook more. Guilt focuses on the behavior. The problem occurs when you feel shame; shame says I’m a horrible mom because I didn’t cook dinner this week. Shame focuses on self. God has already declared us healed, set free, and delivered. We are no longer condemned.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2
Pray this week that you can embrace your freedom without shame because it’s exactly what Christ intended for your life. What is your experience with mom shame? I’d love to know how you’ve overcome it. Share it in the comments!