I’ll never forget it. I was having one of those weeks where being a working mom was weighing on me heavier than normal. I felt like my Facebook timeline was full of my friends’ pictures of play dates while I couldn’t get my task list or my phone notifications cleared. Not to mention, my mind was constantly racing with every mistake I had ever made in motherhood.
My oldest son was in kindergarten, and on the way home from school, he said, “Hey, Mom. This is career week at my school. Do you think you could come to my class and talk about your job?”
I didn’t hear the innocent voice of my son who was proud of his mom and wanted me to share my career with his class. I heard a shaming inner voice that said, “He finally thinks there’s something you can do for his class… and of course, it has to do with your work.”
Out of guilt, I agreed to go. So the next day, I showed up an hour early before dismissal, prepared with a few of my books to talk to Noah’s class.
Noah’s teacher said, “Noah, would you like to introduce us to our special guest?”
My son took my hand and proudly walked me to the front of his classroom. “This is my mom, and she has the best job in the whole world. She tells people about Jesus all day long. And when I grow up, I want to do what she does.”
My eyes instantly welled up with tears (which is not normal for me!), and I silently prayed to thank God for using my son as His voice of truth.
I had allowed guilt to take over. And my friend, guilt is a feeling, and feelings are real.
But just because feelings are real, that doesn’t always mean our feelings are true.
The guilt that I was feeling… that I was a bad mom… that those other moms were better than me… that my kids weren’t proud of me…
Those were lies.
My friend Somer Phoebus lovingly pointed out in one of her she works HIS way teachings a few weeks ago: “There is a big difference between guilt and conviction, and as believers, we must be able to discern the difference.”
And every mom shouted “Amen!”
Guilt is a constant cycle of shame that taunts you, reminding you of past failures, simultaneously paralyzing your present. Conviction is truthful correction that brings you to a place of repentance and forgiveness.
So here are a few things I do now to help me make sure that I put an end to the guilt cycle, while simultaneously remaining open for loving correction.
Here are 5 ways to knock out mom guilt when lies creep in.
1. Seek God first.
Conviction comes from God, so if we want to position ourselves to be corrected by Him, we must seek Him. Matthew 6:33 reminds us: “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”