A Note from Chris Adams: Oh yes, I was going to be the perfect mother with a perfect family. But more times than I like to admit, I felt like a major mom fail! Like Deb’s son, my girls only seem to remember the fun, the fact that they saw me have a quiet time in the morning, and the successes. Did they even live in the same house as I did? Read this post by Dr. Deb Douglas, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA as you seek to encourage moms and ban the phrase “mom fail” from your ministry and their homes!
One day during the holiday, I counted the number of social media posts about mom fails. Normally, I’m a little too preoccupied to pay attention, but the repetition was too obvious not to notice. Some were funny, but most had a little bit of a glimpse into the life of moms who are overwhelmed, discouraged, and seeking help.
I am not a fan of the phrase, “mom fail.” Moms have enough of a struggle without the negativity of being reminded of failures. The truth is we fail at times. Most of those failures are only from our perspective and will not leave our children scarred for life.
Here’s how I know this: my son, who is now a dad, only remembers the fun, happy times from his childhood. He doesn’t remember the times when I felt like a giant mom failure. Those times when I lost it. Those times when I made absolutely idiotic decisions. That’s not what he remembers. There are no mom fails in his memories. Instead he remembers camping, vacations, and the fun adventures we had. All of the time I wasted feeling like a failure could have been spent making memories.
How can women’s ministry leaders encourage moms in the midst of a mom-fail kind of world?
- Encourage moms to think about the positive ways they are impacting their children. Encourage those who are going through difficult times.
- Remind moms that no mom is perfect. Remind them of the important role they play in the lives of their family.
- Refocus moms’ attention on the constant love of Christ. Focus on God’s purpose and plan for each one of us.
- Lower expectations. This sounds strange, but moms who have unrealistically high expectations for themselves or their children often feel like failures. No one has to be a perfect mom! Children survive without a perfect mom.
- Love on moms who feel like failures.
- Ban the phrase, “mom failure” from our vocabularies. We can be honest about challenges, but refrain from labeling ourselves as failures.
So, how do we do these things?
- Spend time with moms. Be intentional when filling our calendars.
- Do not wait until Mother’s Day to show moms how loved and cherished they are. Hold a fun event for moms. Make it free and easy to attend. (That means childcare!)
- Inspire moms by offering biblical parenting classes. Consider featuring successful moms of adult children. Share their stories including successes and challenges.
- Enrich the lives of moms by offering Bible studies just for them. Angie Smith’s Seamless is a great study to begin with because the daily homework is quick and easy to complete. Another great study for moms is Priscilla Shirer’s Breathe.
Here’s the truth: I still make mistakes even though I’m a grandmother now. But, I’ve learned to focus on making the most of the time we have together rather than my mom failures. Moms have a specific task God has given us: teaching our children and their children the stories of how God has worked. With our focus on completing this task, mom failures just do not seem as important as in the past. So, let’s refocus and celebrate the mom successes instead!
Dr. Deb Douglas has served in women’s ministry for over 37 years. Now she spends her time working with Purchased Ministry, a ministry to women in the sex trade industry. Deb is also the Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA. She was the first to graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary with a Masters degree focusing on women’s ministry and has earned a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is “Pearl” to 3 sweet grand babies, “Mom” to Jared Douglas and Katie Chavis, and wife/sweetheart to Paul Douglas.