11.15.2013

Could I Be The Worst Mom Ever?

I am so completely spent. I have nothing left to give. What’s wrong with me? I am so afraid I am going to be a complete failure as a mother. Lord, am I going to mess up my kids?

These thoughts have swirled around and around in my heart over the course of my motherhood journey. I’ve spent many a day half questioning myself – half begging God for help through the tears and the doubts.

Over the next 4 weeks, let’s answer the crazy question many of us have asked: Am I messing up my kids? No, I don’t think we are. Join me each week right here on my blog to participate in the conversation. You’ll be encouraged and empowered to be the mom God knows you can be, and by the end of these 4 weeks, I think you’ll agree!

I felt pulled in a thousand directions.

Ashley wanted me to watch her at gymnastics. Hope wanted to be dropped off at a friend’s house. Brooke wanted a friend to come over, and the boys had to be taken to their soccer game. All in one day. It’s not that I didn’t want to be with the kids. I love my children and love spending time with them. It’s just that I was tired.

I was serving from the dregs of my bucket rather than the overflow.

On a scale from one to ten, my stress level hovered around a seven. I wanted to take time to be with the Lord and allow His Word to bathe my parched soul and bring my stress back to a manageable level, but constant time crunches kept me distracted. Feeling tired and underappreciated, I should have known I was setting myself up for failure.

On Saturday morning, I was out the door by 5:45am with four boys and Ashley in tow. About halfway to the soccer game, the kids brought it to my attention that nobody had eaten breakfast. My stress level jumped to a nine and voices of accusation started dancing in my head. What kind of mom sends her kids to play soccer with no food in their bellies?

We didn’t have time to stop before dropping the boys off at the field, but they would have a warm-up time before the game started, which would give me time to zip through a drive-through and bring food back to them. So I dropped the boys off and then Ashley and I went to find biscuits.

When I got to the window to pick up my food, I was surprised by the enormous size of our drinks. The cups were so large they wouldn’t fit in my car’s cup holders. I told Ashley to please hold on to the drinks as they would tip easily if we weren’t careful. I had no sooner turned out of the parking lot when I hit a pothole, and what seemed like gallons of tea dumped onto the floor of my car. In a frustrated huff I raised my voice. “Ashley, I told you to hold on to those drinks!”

My stress level jumped past a ten when Ashley snapped back at me, “Mom, YOU just made me spill the drinks!”

I don’t know from what dark, unbridled corner of my heart my next response came. It must have been lurking there for a while just waiting to pop out and horrify me.

Me, the mom who had taken such pride that she’d never cussed at her kids.

Me, the Proverbs 31 woman with a ministry teaching women the importance of using kind words to correct her children.

Me, the woman who teaches Bible studies, whipped my head around to my daughter and yelled a sentence that included a word I couldn’t believe I said. It’s the same word that is used when referring to the houses beavers make. But that’s not what I meant. There it was in broad daylight…a cuss word that spilled from my lips.

The same lips that read bedtime stories, say nighttime prayers, and tenderly kiss my children good night. The same lips that tell others about Jesus. The same lips that sing God’s praises. Oh, the horror I felt.

After a few moments of silence, I apologized. We drove to the soccer game, and while Ashley delivered her brothers’ biscuits I called a friend. With tears in my eyes, I recounted the morning’s events. Then, before I told her the dreaded sentence, I warned her, “You are going to think I’m the worst mom ever. You’re just not going to believe what I did!” Then I whispered what I’d yelled at Ashley…beaver home and all.

“That’s it? That’s it? That’s what you are so upset about? Apologize to her, ask God for forgiveness, and get over it. So you had a hard morning. Stop letting Satan get the best of you and ask God to give you a new attitude.”

What? She didn’t condemn me? She didn’t agree that I’m the worst mom ever? She didn’t hop in her van, speed my way, and stone me? What freedom. What a gift of grace. What a friend!

I bowed my head and asked God to protect Ashley’s heart from the dart I shot at her, and I asked Him to wipe this whole event from her mind. I asked God to forgive me, not just for my ugly words, but most of all for getting too busy to spend time with Him.

As I mopped up my van overflowing with tea, I realized I’d been living life backward that week. I was letting my to-do list overflow while withholding my time with the Lord. When what I should have done is let my time with the Lord overflow while withholding my to-do list.

It’s a mistake I think a lot of us moms make. We’re slaves to the tyranny of the urgent. But how can we continue to pour out if we aren’t being filled back up on a daily basis? The flood of demands will consume us if we don’t take the time to let God right our perspective, reduce our stress level, and whisper His tender truths of love in our ear.

Have you ever had a “worst mom ever” day? Take heart, so have we all. Take my friend’s advice. Apologize to your children. Ask God for forgiveness. Get over it and stop letting Satan drag you down. Spend time with the Lord getting a new attitude, and He’ll help you leave the dams to the beavers!

Today I’m giving away 3 Am I Messing Up My Kids? bundles.
amimessing
Each bundle includes two books: one for you to keep and one to give away to another mom in need. Comment below with who you’d give the other book to, and why, for your chance to win!

Comments

  1. Dorian says

    My mother needs this book to free herself from self-condemnation. She was a widowed at 26 years old; and was left to raise 3 children alone (8,7,and 6 years old). Now we are all adults in our early 30s; and she still is being attacked by satans lies. Everything that happens in our lives that may not be ideal- she faults herself. Choices we’ve made outside the will of God are somehow her fault too. It’s time for her to realize that; she did not mess us up but instead did the best she could considering the circumstances. Yes, we all may face regret but that’s why we have the blood of Jesus. I’m so thankful for my mother.

  2. Telesa says

    I would read one for myself and then certainly share with my daughters n daughter inlaw. I would give one to my daughter with 4 yr old twins n newborn who is awesome mom and my youngest has daughter on the way. As a School Psychologist I would love to gain insight from this book to help mothers of children who I am sorry to say are messing up their kids. Then, I would pray fervently that God help me lead a bible study to help these young moms.

  3. Billie says

    This post is such a God wink for me. I had my WORST MOM MOMENT EVER Tuesday night. Said things worse than your d word. I was mortified. Cried all night. Stayed home from work even. I sat my 3 blessings down the next morning and apologized. My 12 year old told me it was ok. I assured her it was NOT and that I would work hard to make sure it never happened again. My 8 year old pulled out a project from last school year and told me I should read it again. It was about her hero – Me! What?!? I contacted my pastor and he said the exact same thing you did: confess, apologize and then refuse to allow satan to beat me up. Knowing its satan is helpful. Knowing it’s not my conscience reminding me of my many failures is such a relief. Off to start another hectic morning getting 3 kiddos and myself off to school. Praying I reflect Gods grace because they extend it to me daily. Thanks for letting me vent.

  4. Billie says

    This post is such a God wink for me. I had my WORST MOM MOMENT EVER Tuesday night. Said things worse than your d word. I was mortified. Cried all night. Stayed home from work even. I sat my 3 blessings down the next morning and apologized. My 12 year old told me it was ok. I assured her it was NOT and that I would work hard to make sure it never happened again. My 8 year old pulled out a project from last school year and told me I should read it again. It was about her hero – Me! What?!? I contacted my pastor and he said the exact same thing you did: confess, apologize and then refuse to allow satan to beat me up.

  5. hcook says

    thank you for this , I have tears in my eyes for the illustration of your openess and your friendship in that person on the phone. So many times I have felt defeated, one mistake or a few and I beat myself to a pulp mentally and emotionally; I have to remember I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me. thank you for reminding me to do so.

  6. DeAnn Hollis says

    I don’t need a book…I downloaded it months ago and absolutely LOVED it. I lead a womens study at a large church in Southern California and was in the process of preparing for 10 weeks of Unglued. As a mom of 5, I had to check out this book…and seriously, I almost canned the Unglued series to present “Am I messing up my kids” to these 150 moms…I’m glad I didn’t because Unglued has been not only a study, but and experience for the 200 women that came. I will, however, be recommending Am I Messing Up My Kids to the women in our study. It was such an easy read, and your stories Lysa, were so funny.

  7. Eternity7 says

    Guess I’m a little late for commenting, but I have done EXACTLY what you described and felt the horror. Raising three kids, at the time were 11, 9 and 6 and I was overstressed and underprayed!! Thank you for your honesty! Would love to share this with a friend of mine who is feeling defeated with a 3 yr old and newborn. God Bless ya!

  8. says

    My 2 grown sons. One suffered drug addiction. One pornography addiction plus a bi polar diagnosis at age 30.
    all must be my fault.
    God is my only hope. God is my sons only hope. I pray my son’s turn to God.

    • shannon bradbury says

      i have 5 kids 12 and under, and have asked that question many times.I would keep a copy.And give 1 to a good friend who also has 5 kids.

  9. Jacqueline Conlin says

    The hardest thing I have to remember is patience in the Lord. I always want to step in and do his role. I end up messing things up and then beating myself up and allowing the enemy to condemn me. I too, have a dear friend Brit that I can call and say I messed up big time. She lifts me up and reminds me I’m not only a mom but I’m a daughter of the King as well and that He knows me and has be in all things. We are iron sharpens iron for each other and she is the first person (next to the Lord) that knows me inside and out…all the ugly and I’m learning how to have a grown up relationship, truth and all and she continues to love me and uplift me in my rightful place with the Lord. Brit would get my extra copy of this book. Thank you

  10. Raymond and Vada Rigolo says

    I would give a copy to my sweet daughter in law I feel I failed at being a mom and now I have a second chance helping our granddaughter Vada Rigolo

  11. says

    Dear Lysa,
    I would give a copy to my daughter-in-law who has two little ones and is expecting baby #3..She is homeschooling her oldest and is practicing being a stay at home mom.