Thanks to Seana Scott for this guest post in the Finding God at Work series, on how she found God in motherhood and particularly in her struggle with double mom-guilt. Read more by Seana at her blog.
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My alarm clock vibrates next to my bed and I hear my 2-year-old, Judah, singing, “I like to move it, move it” and dancing with two minion figurines. I grab my iPhone and catch Judah’s dance moves on video for the grandparents. Best alarm clock ever.
Moments like these keep me loving motherhood, but often as I send my boys to sleep with songs and a prayer, a question clouds around me: Am I doing a good job?
Motherhood is my calling, specifically Christian motherhood. This means I live with a double dose of mom guilt. I feel the usual pressure from mommy groups and Pinterest to make healthy meals my kids will actually eat, bestow homemade gifts on the world at large, and teach my boys to read by the time they walk (just joking—well, kind of).
But on top of the growing list of what-proves-I’m-a-good-mom there are the unsaid pressures of being a Christian mom: teaching them Bible stories, protecting them from “worldly influences,” and making sure they behave at church.
I fall short on both lists. Every night I wish I played with them more, fed them better, and swallowed that harsh word instead of letting it out. I’m left wondering if God is pleased with my mothering.
One day, God answered my wondering. Kavin, my six-year-old, did something profoundly wrong. I pronounced a big consequence and he started to sob. I hugged him and said, “Nothing you do will make me love you less or more. Just like God loves us, I love you. Forever.”
As he shook in my arms, I heard the Holy Spirit whispering to me, “You too, Seana. I love you forever. Nothing you do as a mother will make me love you less or more.”
I slipped away to my bedroom and cried. I’d forgotten about God’s unconditional love.
God called me to be a mother, a.k.a. future-adult maker, and I turned his calling into a check list and treated him like some kind of cosmic boss threatening to fire me at the next quarterly review if I underperformed. But God says nothing can separate me from His love, not even my biggest failures as a mother.
Now I slip under the covers without guilt disturbing my sleep. I don’t have to keep replaying those failures, I can delete them from my mental storage. And when my phone vibrates in the morning, I can look forward to God’s love carrying me through the day—whether it’s a day I’d post about on Facebook or not.