I’m currently eight months pregnant, and contrary to what magazines would have you believe, I feel anything but glowing. Don’t get me wrong—I’m beyond excited and overjoyed to meet my little one. But, can I be honest? I haven’t even had my kid yet, and I’m already worried I’ll be a bad mother.
Whether you already have kids, are thinking about having them, or are pregnant right now, I think all of us already feel a sense of mom guilt. Between all the mommy blogs, the pressure society puts on women to “have it all,” and the idea of being responsible for another human being, motherhood can seem pretty terrifying. For me, my nagging questions start spiraling into worst-case scenario planning and frantic 3:00am Google searches like: What if I mess up my kid? How do I balance working and being a mom? What if my kid hates me? And on and on.
But before you join me on my internet rabbit trail, let’s pause and take a breath. I may not be a mom just yet, but I’m starting to find a new sense of peace about parenthood. My questions haven’t changed, but where I find answers certainly has.
So, here are a few ways I’ve been reframing my fears about being a bad mother:
- Look to God instead of Google. We all have parenting questions, and so many people are willing to give answers. It’s a beautiful thing to have so many amazing parenting blogs, articles, books, podcasts, and yes, Google results available to us. But let’s remember which voices are worth listening to. Wisdom is greater than information, and the source of all wisdom is God. The best news? He gives it to us when we ask Him for it (James 1:5). So, it’s fine to go searching for answers and it’s great to have our go-to resources. But, let’s make sure we’re placing our trust in God, not Google.
- God’s grace is greater than your weaknesses. When I’m worried about being a bad mother, I’m basing my fears on my many weaknesses and inadequacies. Trust me—I can barely keep a goldfish alive, so the thought of raising a living, breathing human being? It’s enough to let panic set in. But God actually promises that it’s in our weaknesses that His strength is made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9). So instead of focusing on my weakness, I’m choosing to focus on God’s strength. He’s in this with us. Don’t allow the voices of doubt to be louder than your Father’s voice. God’s grace is strong enough to cover every parenting inadequacy we have.
- God didn’t choose you by accident. Nothing brings me more comfort about this whole mom thing than thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus. I mean, come on. Mary is just minding her own business when an angel tells her that God chose her to be the mother of Jesus—the One who would save the world from sin and shame forever. No pressure on that mom job, huh? I probably would have lost my mind. But check out Mary’s response. She wasn’t ready to be a mom, but she chose to make God bigger than herself and fulfilled her calling anyway. God also chose you to be your kids’ mom, and He will give you what you need to carry out that calling.
I’m still not sure what this mom thing is going to look like. But I know where I’ll look for answers. Instead of trying to be a perfect mom, I’m trying to learn what it looks like a be a good daughter, relying on God’s peace and strength to make me whole. And while I know I’ll still worry a little about how my kid will turn out, let’s remember that our worst-case scenarios are exactly that—scenarios, not reality.
So, that mom guilt I mentioned? It’s real. And we moms tend to think we have power to mess up our kids forever. But honestly? The best thing we can do to parent our kid is to pray for them and trust that God will always hold them in His hand. Let’s release our control and realize that we’re just not powerful enough to single-handedly wreck one of God’s creations. And when things don’t go as planned in parenting—which is inevitable—we aren’t helpless. We have people around us ready to help us if we’ll allow it, and we have a God who is ready to help us if we’ll simply stop and seek Him.