You feel like a failure as a mom. But, you’re only a failure if…
I have the answer to that and also a few reasons why you struggle with feeling like a failure as a mom.
The Look Makes You Feel Like a Failure
It was a regular Winter week in Michigan—stuck at home for days because of #WinterStormJayden.
Honestly, despite the weather, I was feeling like it was a pretty good week for me. Until, I got The Look.
Here’s what happened. After being inside all week, we decided to go out to eat for dinner.
Our son, naturally, was a little restless. I’m sure you can relate. He was just so happy to be out of the house and was even more excited when he saw other kids being seated around us.
Standing up in his seat, he grabbed a chicken tender and waved it around like it was his microphone. While he was starting to sing his little song, all of the sudden I felt like someone was right behind me. I turned around to see a woman laser focused on me, giving me The Look.
The Look is Hard to Ignore
Why is it that when I say “The Look”, I don’t really have to explain it to you?
Because as a mom, you know what I mean.
You’ve probably been given The Look too, and have you ever noticed that it’s always a woman who gives it?
It’s pretty hard to ignore her because it kinda feels like she is jabbing her finger into your mom belly jelly.
You know—that extra “baby” fat that you’re still working on getting rid of—from when you had your daughter.
SHE has to point it out—then go a step further and jab her finger in it. And you can forget about defending yourself with any progress you’ve made losing a little weight the past couple of months. It doesn’t matter—because SHE doesn’t care. SHE demands perfection.
Turns out that I often feel like a failure most when I don’t measure up to her. Who is she?
Well, I don’t really know who THAT woman in the restaurant was—but I do know this, all women who give The Look are communicating the same thing:
SHE is The Perfect Mom. And YOU are not.
The Pressure to Be The Perfect Mom
The pressure to be a perfect mom is all around us and it makes us feel like a failure as a mom.
It’s no surprise that you feel that pressure to be perfect. A recent study said,
“While 84% of moms believe the stereotype of the “perfect mom” is an outdated standard, nine out of 10 moms still feel pressure to be perfect, new data shows.”
1. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/04/07/perfect-moms-dont-exist-real-moms-do/100163418/ accessed on 12/9/2017.
You know there is no perfect mom, but the pressure says, “Be perfect or you’re a failure.”
What Then…Are You Really a Failure?
Okay, so is it true or is it false?
Are you really failing as a mom—or do you just feel like a failure?
Let me ask you this, what does the voice of failure sound like? Is it from within?
Do you ever catch yourself saying “You’re such a failure as a mom!”
Or have you actually repeated the phrase “I feel like a failure,” to yourself because you felt like it was true?
When You Feel Like a Bad Mom
Lysa TerKeurst talks about when she felt like a failure—how it sounded to her. She shares about the time her son was called into the principal’s office in When You Feel Like a Bad Mom.
In her head, she knew it was a moment when her son was “being shaped”. But at the same time, she also wrestled with the thoughts, “I’m a bad mom.”
So what did she do?
She did what she had done many times before that moment.
- Recognizing that she was struggling with those thoughts, she stopped herself.
- Then with honesty, she prayed to the Lord sharing with him how she was feeling.
- She prayed about her vision and the situation—that she would see what God wanted her to see.
The Real Problem When You Feel Like a Failure
Maybe you’re not telling yourself that you’re a failure, but in your situation, others keep saying that phrase to you over and over—either directly or with The Look.
Either way—if you are not stopping those thoughts, like Lysa did, then you are allowing yourself and others to tell you that’s who you are—a failure.
The real problem, is you feel like a failure because you are believing it and repeating it.
But, YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE—and here’s why.
How to Know You’re a Great Mom When You Feel Like a Failure
Girl, if you’re reading this—you are not a failure. You are a great mom!
You are looking and learning how to better yourself—how to be the best mom you can be. And it doesn’t matter if you bottle feed your daughter or nurse your daughter. For reals.
Everyone will tell you that to be a great mom with two kids you MUST HAVE—a City Select stroller or a HaloVa Backpack Diaper Bag. But, no one knows how to be you—and YOU are the best mom for your kids no matter what brand of stroller you choose.
I’m so glad you’re here—because it tells me that you genuinely desire to do this mom thing right.
So…let’s get to what really will help you be a great mom. Let’s crush those self defeating thoughts and start changing the way you feel as a mom. And most importantly—let’s stop it from repeating over again in your life.
Stop the Negative Thoughts
Remember what I shared about Lysa’s story? When she felt like a bad mom, she did something, but it wasn’t the first time. She did what she had done before—she stopped her thoughts and prayed.
Today, you can start that same habit.
- Take notice of when you start thinking those thoughts—I’m a bad mom—and then stop them.
- Next, simply pray. It doesn’t have to be super spiritual or anything—just talk to God like you’re sharing your struggle with a trusted friend.
- Then, ask Him to help you—just like Lysa did.
Rewrite Your Definition of Failure
Everybody fails and yet some believe that failure doesn’t ruin you. It creates The Best You.
Okay, so you’ve heard of Spanx. But, have you ever heard Sara Blakely’s story? Sara is the founder of Spanx and she recently shared with CNN Leading Women how her Father helped she and her brother redefine their definition of failure.
Sara’s story is inspiring because it’s shows you that rewriting your definition of failure is something you can do too. You can look at failure as an event—an opportunity. Failure isn’t who you are, but if you see it as a learning experience, it will make you a better you.
Surround Yourself With the Right People
Take a look at the people who are in your life. These people have a lot of influence on who you are now and who you are becoming.
Jim Rohn famously said,
“You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.”
Think about that for a moment—are you surrounding yourself with the right people?
Who would you love to have in your life? Got her in mind? Now, pray about it.
This is something that I’ve prayed more for in the past couple of years. I’ve specifically prayed that God would cross my path with the right people and keep me from the wrong people.
At times I’ve wondered why certain friendships never developed—in faithfulness, He has always showed me why He kept it from happening. It’s a prayer that I’ve seen answered over and over again.
The Look Helped Me to Know
That night I got The Look in the restaurant, I was tired. It had been a long week and The Look caused me to question myself in my thoughts.
“Should I be letting my son jump up in his seat? Maybe he’s being too disruptive. I could probably be doing this better but he’s not behaving that badly, is he? I should probably have asked for a booth instead of just letting them seat us. Oh well, I guess I failed at that one.” STOP!
Like I’ve done many times before, this was a moment where I stopped my thoughts before they escalated any further. But that was all I could do—I was too tired to say anything or pray anything.
My husband recognized that I was all of the sudden uncomfortable and he suggested that we grab a to–go box for Sebastian’s food.
On the way home we talked about what had happened and he assured me—“You may feel like a failure my love, but you’re a great mom. It’s been a long tiring week.”
I needed that reassurance and support from my husband. The Look that night helped me to know, I’m a great mom—even when I didn’t believe it at the time for myself.
Feel Like a Failure? You Can Change That Today
When you feel like a failure as a mom, it’s only true if you believe it and repeat it.
But, you can change that feeling of failure today.
First, stop the negative thoughts and start renewing your mind with the truth—God’s perspective. You’ll become more confident.
When the pressure of the perfect mom stereotype weighs heavy on you and you feel like you’ve got nothing left to give—let the right people speak truth to you.
You are a great mom. Believe that and repeat that.
Lastly, I want to share one more thing.
Sometimes when you feel like a failure…it’s true…if there really is something that needs to change.
You see that was me about two years ago. It was a time when I felt like a failure, and it was the truth.
If you feel like a failure as a mom, you may need to consider that something needs to change for you too. But only you can determine that.
You can read more about my story and how I was feeling like a failure as a stay at home mom.