Parenting pressures are real.
Pressures that pound in our heads from the conception of our children and continue into adulthood. Pressures that cause us to constantly be ensnared in the comparison trap. We are consciously and subconsciously measuring ourselves against friends, neighbors, that PTA mom, or the “Insta” mom with the curated family photos. Pressures that cripple us and may even make us wonder if God knew what he was doing when he called us into motherhood.
These pressures, if listened to, will cause us to feel insecure, impair our judgment, and may even encourage us to operate in “mommy guilt”. Mommy guilt is this relentless, gripping feeling deep within that you are not a good enough mother, you are not doing this right, or you are going to mess up your child’s life in the long-run because of the decisions you’ve made.
During my season of single-parenting, crippling mommy guilt loomed over me like a black cloud. It influenced every decision that I made. I was constantly striving so hard to make a great life for my girls. I didn’t want them to feel like they were missing out just because our family did not look like their friends’ families. I was operating from a place of regret, guilt, and shame and that was the fuel to the mommy guilt flame.
Once I married my current husband, I thought the mommy guilt would cease. It continued to burn with a fierceness I did not expect. Now it was leaking into my marriage and hindering my ability to willingly share the responsibility of parenting with my husband. Looking back, I now realize that the pressures and this guilt had kept me from setting healthy, necessary parenting boundaries.
God never called us to be perfect parents.
No matter how hard we try to avoid it, we are going to make errors. We are going to fail our children in one area or another on this parenting journey. Accepting this truth will free us from the constant harassment in our minds that comes from striving to be perfect and will loosen the chains that keep us ensnared in the comparison trap. It will also allow us to put a defense up in our hearts to avoid outside pressures to infiltrate and dictate every move we make as moms.
The word of God is our defense. 2 Corinthians 12:9 assures us that His grace is sufficient— it is enough. James 1:5 reminds us that we can ask God for wisdom and he won’t hold back from giving it to us.
Mamas: you are enough in Him. Because of this, we don’t have to succumb to external pressures or to the mommy guilt that is trying to linger internally and dictate our every move.
As told to me by a seasoned and wise parent friend of mine, God’s grace covers a multitude of parental errors. Even though we will fail our children, it is where we fail them that they will have the opportunity to trust Christ. If we were perfect parents, our children would not need a savior. We make the best decisions we can with the resources we have at any given moment or season of parenting.
Your child does not need a perfect mom. They need you. God knew what he was doing when He selected you to parent those babies. Don’t allow pressures, guilt, or anything else to cause you to forget that.
Latasha Ferguson is a fire-lighting speaker, writer, ministry leader and podcaster at the Overcome to Become podcast. Her heart beats for empowering women to overcome anything that dares to stand in between them and who God has created them to be. She’s married to her best friend and mom to four beautiful girls.
Read Latasha’s articles HERE.
Learn More at: www.latashaferguson.com