Praying Through Mom Guilt
I recently had a brief conversation with a friend where she asked “how do you lay your head on your pillow at night and feel like you were a present parent?” I’m married with three kids ages 5 and under, I teach 150 high school seniors, and I’m involved in multiple organizations at the school I teach at. My hands, my heart, and my days are full. And mom guilt hits hard.
This is something I struggled with really intensely during my third pregnancy. I felt like I was always struggling to give enough of myself to my family and there was always this looming sense that I had done something badly or left something undone. Ultimately I felt like I was insufficient.
And then, one day, as I sat with these feelings in prayer, it struck me: I am insufficient.
I am not enough. And thinking that I can be enough for my kids is going to leave me spiraling and sitting in a pit of mom guilt.
Scripture tells us that the grace of God is enough and that we can trust in Him. There are a handful of prayers that I say in moments where I feel like I’m going to come undone:
- “[Your] grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
- “Jesus I surrender myself to you, take care of everything” from the Surrender Novena
- “Jesus, meek and humble of heart make my heart like yours” from the Litany of Humility
But in that end of the day moment, when I’m laying in my bed and thinking about all of the things I did or did not do, it can be hard to remember God, and to put my trust in Him. It was in those moments at the end of the day that I found myself falling into the mom guilt trap. And then I stumbled upon this prayer: “Lord, repair what I have done badly, supply for what I have left undone”.
These are the words I pray at the end of my day.
And I am often reminded that the Lord knows of my deficiencies. He knows what I can and cannot supply for my family. And He provides. He provides His own love and graces to them, but He also provides other people who love them well. And it is through His provisions, that my children are fed and nourished. I do what I can, but it is never going to feel like enough. And so I continue to surrender that to the Lord, knowing that He holds them and gives them all that they need, all that I cannot give.