When You Feel Like a Failure as a Mom

Confession: My kids aren’t “little angels.” In fact, in a room full of children, my youngest is likely the one throwing a temper tantrum over something seemingly insignificant and my oldest is surely the one willfully disobeying or acting hysterical.

On Easter weekend, as I was about to drop both kids off at Grandma and Grandpa’s for a week long stay, I found myself apologizing profusely: “I’m sorry my kids are so ill-behaved. I’m sorry they can be such brats. I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve read all the books. I’ve tried every technique. Nothing seems to work.”

What I didn’t tell my in-laws, but told my husband through tears later that night was: “I’m a failure as a mother! A. Complete. Failure!”

First thing next morning, I spent nearly an hour in prayer. It ended with me prostrate on the floor before God, begging him to forgive me for being such a lousy mom, and asking him to make me more patient, more wise, more strong. God answered me in an unexpected way – through a little ebook that had been sitting in my Kindle for months.

That ebook, Hope for the Weary Mom by by Brooke McGlothlin and Stacey Thacker, was a breath of fresh air. First, the authors confessed they are utterly exhausted at the end of every day – and they are younger than me! But more importantly, they described feeling just like I did – that no matter how they tried to lead their children down the narrow path, their kids continued to be something other than “little angels.”

Here’s the deal, ladies. Yes, as mothers it’s our job to train up our children the way they should go, BUT WE CANNOT CHANGE OUR CHILDREN’S HEARTS. We can and should teach them about God, and show them what a godly life is like, but we can’t take the place of God in their lives. The Holy Spirit is the one who calls our children, and God is the one who ultimately shapes them.

What a huge weight that removes from our shoulders!

I’m sure some people look at my children and think what I’m a bad mom (though, I suspect, it’s fewer than we moms might think). But I can rest, knowing as I attempt to shepherd my children God’s direction, he is at work in my children’s hearts.

Hope for the Weary Mom is also available as a paperback


  1. Aw. We Mom's should not feel like "failures." Just because we're older with bigger responsibilities, does not mean we are immune to making mistakes, even where our children are concerned - especially where our children are concerned!

    I admit, I never jumped on the wagon with parenting books. What worked for one Mom, or even the "experts," may not work with my kids. God made us all different for a reason.

    We're in the teen years with our last two "babies." I savor every moment. They are gone so quickly! It sounds like that book helped you, so you may not this imperfect Mom's advice, but here it is: don't over think being a Mom. Keep the communication lines open and make sure they know where the boundary lines are. Pray, trust, and have faith in God.

    They will each come around in their own time and you will feel so proud of how far you've come as a successful mom. ((Hugs))

  2. hey Kristina, did I tell you I love your blog? :) anyway...

    I am finding out that when my kids misbehave or don't act the way I think they should act, it's actually the time when the Lord ministers to me. He talks to me about trust, faith, letting go, humility, pride, love, His Son.. oh, there are so many lessons to learn. I find that during my most troublesome time it's when His voice is nearest. I think motherhood is a journey of Love. That His Love is demonstrate to us as we fail miserably each day and see how He loves us anyway.

    Like Loretta, I am trying to enjoy each day, because my babies are growing so fast. Even with my oldest, who is 10 y.o., when she gets offended and thinks I am against her, I am learning to trust God to teach her the lessons of letting go and live a life without offenses. How can I do it? How can I change her heart? I can only point her to Jesus and share my experiences... God does the rest.

    But Kristina, have I told you how I love your blog? And your passion of sharing your knowledge and your heart? We are increasing the number of boxes in our garden... we are trying new things and I owe it all to your encouragement. thank you. You made it look so doable. :)