Faith | Kids

How I’m Failing My Kids

failingkids

It’s been a tough week in our house.  It’s been a week of pinkeye, double ear infections, more pinkeye, tantrums, more pinkeye, mom’s monstrous cold, and still more pinkeye.  Yep, to say this mama has been frazzled, well that’s putting it mildly! We’ve been caged in the house, me and my littles, for an entire week. I can honestly say we’ve done it all to keep busy and my tiny natives are starting to get restless. I’m growing restless.

With this recent onslaught of mild illnesses, increased tantrums and short tempers, I’ve been questioning my parenting skills.  A lot.

I’ve been battling feelings of failure and wondering if my kids are getting everything out of life they could be. Are they lacking in some area because of my shortcomings?  Having walked the road of infertility and adoption not once but twice, I had a vision of my parenting skills long before I held a baby in my arms.  I always knew the kind of mom I would be and how I would have my “act together”.  I would be crafty, organized and oh so biblical!  I would be one of “those moms” that everyone looked at and thought wow, how does she do it and radiate so much joy at the same time?

But I’m not that mom.  Not in the slightest.

I am the frazzled mom and the disorganized mom; the one who’s car resembles a buffet line because of kid’s food thrown everywhere.

I am the mom that has little time for crafts and would rather head to Hobby Lobby to purchase a DIY look-alike than to spend my precious minutes alone crafting with paint and scissors.

I am the mom that fluffs a load of laundry three times because the thought of folding it and putting it away makes my tired eyes cross.

The list of my shortcomings goes on and on. I look at my long list of “failures”, of who I wanted to be as a mom, and where I am in reality, and realize my weary spirit longs to be refreshed by God’s truth, not my own warped version of the truth..

I flip the pages of my old worn out Bible, longing for solace and suddenly, I am free of the feelings of inadequacy and shortcomings.

Looking at the truth of God’s Word I know that I created the bondage of the “perfect mom syndrome” myself. That is not how God sees motherhood or the charge He gives for raising godly kids. God does not call us women to be supermom, capable of raising kids, while looking perfect and having squeaky clean floors. (Whew!) He knows as humans, how much we utterly and desperately need His strength and His joy in every aspect of life, but especially in parenting.

While the superficial areas of my parenting may need some work, organization and ok, maybe it was time to clean my car, I knew the mother God was calling me to be.

He calls me to share the Truth of the sacrifice of Jesus with my children and to point them towards a relationship with Him.

He calls me to pray for my kids and with them, not just before a meal or on holidays, but in the fits and tantrums of the everyday.

He calls me to teach my kids about Scripture, God’s Words gifted to us as THE navigational tool in life, with the One True God as our sacred guide.

He calls me to demonstrate grace when it is undeserved and to show compassion when my kids are brokenhearted.

He calls me to love others out of the overflow of love Christ has for us, His bride.

He calls me to prepare my children, this next generation, to be a salt and light to a world full of brokenness and shame; to proclaim Jesus as a shelter from the storm and a refuge for the weary.

He calls me to teach my children what unconditional love is and to demonstrate it our lives, in my relationship with them and with others.

He calls me to embrace forgiveness when a wrong has been done, even when forgiveness is undeserved.

psalm226Having reset my internal compass to once again point to the One True North, I realized that when Hubs and I committed to raise our children with solid biblical values, we were going against the grain of society and how the world believes we should raise children.

The world says I need to handle my children carefully as to not damage their fragile self-esteem.  The world says to strive always to be the best and to never settle for anything less than 1st place.  The world says that Christians have to be quiet and not stand up for the principles of God or be labeled as a hate-monger.

While God sees my heart and parenting intentions as trying to glorify His name, the world may see failure, since the Gospel is not always popular.

Looking at the biblical values we are praying we instill in our children, the world says I fail my kids when:

1. My kids are taught right from wrong on social issues.

Although my children are still young, I will teach them to respect and see everyone through the filtered lenses of the grace of the Lord. I pray that as they mature in their faith and understanding of the world, that they will love all with the open acceptance of Jesus, but will not condone behavior and lifestyles that go against God’s principles.

When Jesus walked the earth, He ate with and befriended some questionable characters; the woman at the well, the prostitute, Zacchaeus. He loved and accepted these low-lifes and these degenerates with open arms.  He didn’t judgmentally turn away because of their behavior or lifestyle, but pointed and steered them to God’s truth. He loved them where they were, but didn’t allow them to be complacent in their sinful ways and stay in a lifestyle that did not honor Him.  He beckoned these to follow Him and to turn their back on the ways of the world.

My prayer for my children is the same.  That they will welcome and love those who are lost and searching for hope and peace, but not condone their sin.  May my children learn to see through eyes of grace and the heart of Jesus, but point those with a wayward lifestyle to truth and encourage others to follow Jesus and abandon their sinful ways.  May my children learn to compare the lifestyles and values of this world against the Word of God and in love, not judgement, take a stand for what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

2. I say no and don’t give in to demands.

This fall marks the start of my 15th year of teaching.  Wow!  When did the time fly by?  But I am saddened at a continuing trend in our children.

We are in the age of entitlement where kids feel they deserve everything they want because they are OWED something.

In actuality, we are all owed nothing except death.  Christ died for us so we could experience life with Him eternally and therefore, when we have a relationship with Him, we are given the free gift of eternal life which we could never ever earn or deserve, even on our best days.

Parenting with that truth, changes everything and in our house, we don’t give in to every whim and demand.  When my children get older with a long list of wants, we will make them earn and work towards wants so they can appreciate hard work, the satisfaction of earning and to learn to not store up treasures here on earth. Just as we are all entitled to death because of our sinful nature, we deserve nothing here on earth, including fancy gadgets and toys.

3. I pray for my children be sexually pure until marriage.

Wherever you look and around every corner, there are evidences of sexuality and promiscuity being glorified.  I am mortified at how our culture glorifies what is to be a sacred, holy and pure union between a husband and wife. I long to shelter my children as much as possible from this. I want my children to be educated about sexual experiences from a biblical worldview, not the views of the world. But a biblical worldview on sex, does not mean ignorance or lack of education in the home.  I want to teach them to honor their bodies, because they are temples of the living God and that sex is a deeply fulfilling, spiritual aspect of marriage, but that outside of marriage, it’s a road that leads to destruction and heartache.

While I am not a parenting expert and don’t even have the toddler years all figured out, I know I want to raise my children to love and honor the Lord, no matter the cost.  My biggest parenting prayer is that my children would come to know the Lord as their Savior and live a life glorifying and honoring to Him.

So if that makes me a failure as a parent in the eyes of the world, I can live with that. My car may always need detailing and my laundry may need a couple of cycles to fluff, but as long as I continue to lay my children before the Lord and to do my best to raise them to love and know Him, I have done what God has called me to do as a parent and I am not a failure.

Have you ever struggled with feelings of failure as a mom?  How do you reset your mind and heart, ready to continue the good fight of raising your babies?

This post was linked to Juana Mikels and Titus 2 Tuesdays.

Joy Dare Blog


About Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann is a perfectly imperfect wife and mother, and is thankful for the saving grace of the Lord. When she’s not busy folding yet another load of laundry or comforting a crying child, she enjoys studying God’s Word, writing, and spending time with authentic friends. She's passionate about equipping women to live with intentional faith, family, home, and habits at Proverbs31Mentor.com. Join her for biblical encouragement and practical lifestyle tips to help you live on mission for the glory of God.

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28 Comments

  1. Sarah Ann – I enjoyed your post – I am well on the other side of the mommy-stage you are in, but I remember it very well. Many days are just as you describe but they won’t be quite as exhausting when you look back on them. You will marvel as you see God’s hand throughout every tantrum, illness, messy mess and situation. You will marvel that God loves you and those babies so much that He was right there with you in the trenches. You will miss some of it, too. What a wonderful thing you and your husband have committed to do by raising your children following God’s lead, and not the world’s. I pray many blessings for your family!

    1. Thanks, Kelly! I am beyond thankful that He is with me in the trenches and could NOT do it without Him by my side. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your wisdom.

  2. I SO enjoyed this post! I just love the line, “how does she do it and radiate so much joy at the same time?”! Ha! I have definitely struggled with how I view myself as a mom, and I so relate to what you said. Thanks for this today! Blessings! See you Saturday! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Michelle! I think we can all relate to having unrealistic expectations of motherhood and ourselves. 🙂 I’m so glad I am not the only one!

  3. Sounds like you have had a very rough week to me…instead of worrying about cute crafts you should pat yourself on the back that you have survived double ear infections and pink eye..yuck! Have you read Jill Savage’s book No More Perfect Moms ? its a great book specifically about the perfection infection.

    1. Great suggestion! I will have to check it out and am in need of a good book. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. I am sorry your week was so rough. I know what you mean about feeling like you are failing your kids. I too am no the mom I thought I would be. I try and try. I know I can do better but right now I am still working at it. I believe you are doing a great job. Not everyone enjoys crafts. You are not alone in this feeling. Thanks for your honesty.

    1. Thanks for your encouragement! Everyone is on the mend and so are my spirits! But, I appreciate support from sweet blogger friends like you. I hope your week is going well!

  5. Right there with ya Sister! I am not even on Pinterest because it would make me feel bad. This is a great reminder of instilling the right things in our children, every day. That is our job.
    That and restarting the dryer 😉

    1. I had a feeling you would agree! We really do need to do coffee sometime! 🙂

  6. We all have a long list of shortcomings, Sarah Ann :). We have to try to focus on all of our positives. I know that is SO much easier said than done. I’m a “frazzled and disorganized” mom as well. I feel your pain there! I reset my heart and mind by LOTS of prayer. It is the only thing that saves me some days. Praying your week gets better! Never forget, no matter what, you are absolutely not a failure!

    1. Candace,
      Thank you for the encouragement! I totally agree that prayer and soaking in the Scripture is the only thing that helps me. I’m so glad you stopped by!

  7. Fabulous! Bravo! You’re kids are blessed…and you will reap blessings from what you are sowing.

    1. Jackie, You are so kind and I truly appreciate your encouragement. God bless you!

  8. Oh yes, I feel like a failure most of the days! Yesterday I felt like I was constantly getting onto my son and they were things I didn’t want to back down from – he has to learn! But the only thing that got me through the day was praying that the Lord gives me strength and wisdom.

    1. Chastity,

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like a failure! Yes, prayer is the ONLY answer. Best wishes as you lovingly parent your son. I am struggling with my son too and am wondering if the tantrums will ever end. With God’s help, we will make it!! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Love this post! Love your vulnerability and honesty. So glad to hear from other moms like me! Also…love your approach. God-centered! Thanks for linking up to What You Wish Wednesday. Please come back this Wednesday.

  10. Similar thoughts were running through my head this morning and I felt the gentle reminder that when I am striving for “perfection” I am doing it all on my own. Is it my works that make me perfect? No way! Its Jesus living in me…all the rest is just a reflection of that. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement!

    1. Hannah,

      Thank YOU for reminding me I’m not the only mom out there who feels this way!! It’s such a comfort to know I am not alone! Thanks for stopping by!

  11. I am not “that mom” either. I have come to learn not to punish myself for being perfect. But I have found value in the way that I parent and the relationships I have with my son. As long as we are doing the best we can do with our children, then to them we are perfect.

    1. I’m so glad to know there are others out there like me! Great advice on not punishing myself for not being perfect. I am learning that but still have a long way to go!

  12. Oh, we ALL do! I question every decision and wonder if I’m ruining them. Then I realize that His power is made perfect in my weakness, and that my weakness are His strength! When I surrender to my helplessness and ask for His guidance, some of the guilt and pressure subsides. You are in good company, take heart!
    Sherri S recently posted…Ultimate Portable Tool for Fitness on a Budget!My Profile

    1. Thanks, Sherri! Great visual about the pressure subsiding. I do feel like when I am living in the power and strength of the Lord, there is where I find true peace. It gives me the strength to get through those tough mommy moments!

  13. I’m a teacher, Christian and mom. I taught for 17 years before staying home to raise my daughter for a couple of years at least. It was really hard for me to take on the house as my job and not strive for perfection. I about put myself in the looney bin. I had to realize God’s perspective was not mine. HEAVEN not Harvard became my mantra for what my purpose in parenting was, really my purpose for myself too – God’s goals, not the worlds. I’m still a work in progress, but you can’t eat off my floors anymore and my daughter asks to pray when she gets upset. I think the clean floors were overrated. 😉
    Jennifer DeFrates recently posted…Day 366My Profile

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