The struggle is real. Being a mom is hard. We all have those moments where we are less than proud of our parenting skills. Have you ever punished one of your children for something only to later discover that it was one his siblings? Yep, me too. Have you ever washed your kid’s mouth out with soap because you thought he said a really bad word only to later find out from another of your children that he just said a word that rhymed with it? Oops, me too. Have you ever forced a kid to eat his dinner and then later they got sick? They weren’t being difficult; they were just fixing to get sick. Yep, me too. All of these mistakes just mean we’re human, but yet we hold ourselves as moms to a standard of perfection that we can never possibly attain. Now, add to that the fact that you’re now a single mom, and the stakes get unbelievably higher.
The guilt is stronger because the mistakes are more plentiful. The guilt is stronger because you are also grieving and may also be struggling with regrets. You make more mistakes because there’s only one of you to discipline your kids and see to it that they eat, bathe, get to practices, do their homework, keep their room picked up, and are kind and polite to others. All of this while you still have to clean, do laundry, scrub dishes, tuck your kids in, pay bills, make sure the trash is out on time, and may also hold a full-time job. There’s only one of you to be all your children have. It’s exhausting, and we fail time and time again.
When we mess up, we can use the guilt we feel to help us turn to God and seek his help to be better moms. Or we can feel the guilt and shame and keep entering into a cycle where we are always depressed because we never measure up. That’s exactly where Satan wants us because then we’re focused on ourselves and the mess that is our current life and all of our flaws…when we focus on ourselves, we are most certainly not focused on the Lord nor our children nor what God wants us to be doing.
Sister, you will mess up. You will probably mess up again before the day is over. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t keep a record of your wrongs – God doesn’t. (1 Corinthians 13:5) Seek forgiveness. Change something to keep it from happening again if possible, and move on. Don’t dwell on your failures. Focus on your achievements. Are your kids still breathing? Good job, mama. Did they eat something today? Good for you! Are they moderately clean? Great job! Are they safe? Super! And finally and most importantly, are they loved and being fed with the truth? You go, girl! You got this! In our failures and weaknesses, we can show our children that life is hard, but you keep on going and try to do what’s right and leave the rest up to God.