Y’all, I am SO excited about today’s blog post. I’ve been following She Works His Way for years now and became a member so I could be surrounded by amazing women who are trying to figure out this whole work-hard, love-Jesus, have-a-family thing like me. Now that I’m a mom juggling my business and trying to take care of an 8-month-old while being a good wife and pouring into my friendships and basically all the things, I’m dealing with tons of new challenges.
So when I had the opportunity to talk with Somer Phoebus, an entrepreneur and managing partner for swHw, about how to handle mom guilt and all the feelings that come with being a parent while having a career, I literally jumped (like out of my chair) at the chance. Sommer is one of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met and I knew you guys would also love to hear some words of wisdom from someone who’s experienced the whole motherhood and work/life balance struggle herself.
Not only did Sommer write an AMAZING guest blog post below sharing seven truths that you can reach for whenever mom guilt hits hard (like basically every day, right?), but she also offered to go Live with me on Instagram yesterday to discuss this topic further and answer some of your questions (I saved the live as an IGTV if you missed it and what to watch!).
And now, without further adieu, here’s Somer!
Hey everyone, I’m Somer from She Works His Way. As Brighton mentioned, I’m a working mama who loves Jesus—and I’ve dealt with my fair share of guilt as a parent/entrepreneur.
7 Practical Truths to Reach for When Mom Guilt Hits Hard
Despite our best efforts, mom guilt can often hang like a dark cloud over our hearts…and subsequently, our homes. So from a mom who has been there (every mom has!), here are seven practical truths to reach for when mom guilt hits hard:
1. Don’t confuse guilt with conviction.
Here are a few reminders so that you can identify the difference:
Guilt is from the enemy.
Conviction is from God.
Guilt sends you inward to beat yourself up.
Conviction sends you to the feet of Jesus to become more like Him.
Guilt demands shame.
Conviction demands repentance.
Guilt leads to shame, which feels like bondage.
Conviction leads to repentance, which feels like freedom.
And here’s the big one: Forgiveness won’t relieve you of guilt. And forgiveness is all you need to relieve the conviction.
2. God loves your kids more than you ever could.
You may have given life to them but He laid down His life for them. This truth should help you avoid becoming a helicopter mom. And trust me, not being a helicopter mom will help you avoid unnecessary mom guilt.
3. You can’t take the credit and you can’t take the blame.
God is in control of your kids, which means you are not. For some of us, that is comforting, and for others, that is almost offensive. If you’re struggling with that statement, there’s a good chance you may need to loosen your grip. Let open hands and bold prayers be your parenting strategy.
4. Walk in the Spirit and you’ll parent in the Spirit.
In Galatians 5, we’re told when we walk in the Spirit, we won’t follow the desires of our flesh. We’re also told the fruit of the Spirit comes from God’s work in us as we walk in the Spirit. I promise you, your kids will notice your fruit, just like you will notice their fruit. So if you desire for them to follow Jesus, model it for them by walking in the Spirit and parenting in the Spirit.
5. Have fun with your kids!
Make it a thing to have fun with your kids, and you’ll immediately notice a difference in the amount of guilt you carry! No matter their age — enjoy your kids. Scripture tells us they’re a gift, so unwrap the package and play! Extend bedtime, have ice cream for dinner, let your teenager take a half day to make a memory with you, or go get a stack of pancakes before school. Yes, relationships take work, but don’t forget the work can be really fun.
6. Lower your expectations in the areas that don’t matter most.
Guilt is typically a result of either you not living up to some standard or your kid not living up to some standard. So examine these standards you’ve set, and honestly evaluate if these standards are from God, from you, or from comparison. Hint: God’s standards won’t ever leave you or your child feeling defeated and inadequate.
7. Remember that you are chosen for this assignment so you are enough.
God specifically chose you to parent your children, and He promises to equip us with everything we need to do His will. He doesn’t set us up for failure. Now, He may teach us hard lessons in parenting but the goal isn’t to make our lives difficult — it’s to make us more like Him! And the same goes for your kids. A safe and perfect life is not the target. A life of Kingdom impact is. So we have to be intentional about their trajectory now, which means your primary job is to aim them at Jesus. In disobedience, failures, mistakes — both yours and theirs — it’s not up to you to fix it all; it’s up to you to aim well.
Keep your eyes on Jesus and point them towards Him every chance you get.
Somer Phoebus and Michelle Myers’ prayer in writing She Works His Way: A Practical Guide for Doing What Matters Most in a Get-Things-Done World is for God to set women free from the bondage of trying to be everything the world expects them to be while also aiming to be the woman He created them to be – and that they will just aim to be His. They both share the lessons they learned that challenged culture’s good things so they could find the greatest thing: God Himself. And it can be your story too. You can read Chapter 1 free here, and order the book here.
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