One of the hardest parts of being a mom is the guilt. Every mother has felt “mom guilt” at one point or another. We want to do the best we can to raise our children in the best way possible. We hope to give our kid’s the best experiences in life and the pressure to be perfect is overwhelming.
Working moms often feel the greatest guilt. Are we making the right choices by going to work every day? Will our kids be okay without us? How do we manage when they’re sick and we can’t be there? What will happen if we have to miss out on something important? Are we balancing our work responsibilities well with our family’s needs and priorities? Working mom guilt can strike whether we’re at home or at work, we never feel like we’re doing enough or doing anything well.
Some moms work because they need to, in order for their family to have the income necessary to survive they have to work and bring home a steady paycheck. Many moms also work because they choose to. They enjoy the work they do, they feel God has called them to do the work, or they simply feel like they are a better mom when they pursue a career beyond being a mom. The point is, there are a variety of reasons that moms work, but no matter what your reasons, at one time or another, you will feel guilty about it.
I believe that the decision to work or not to work should be made with lots of prayer and discussion within each family. I don’t believe that every mom should work and I don’t believe that every mom should stay home. Each family is different, the needs of each child are different, and even different seasons and times in life may require a different decision within the same family. I’m certain that God can and does lead families into the best decision for their situation when we ask Him and include Him in the decision.
Therefore, once you have prayed and discussed and made the decision about whether to work or not to work, you need not feel guilty about your decision. If God has led you to work, whether for financial reasons or for personal satisfaction or any other reason, you are supposed to work. You can confidently trust that God is for you and He will help you to continue being the best mom for your kids, whether you work or stay home.
But the reality is that there will always be days when we question or worry or just feel plain old guilty about it. For those days, it is valuable to have scriptures to refer to that help to remind us of God’s truth and promises. The following verses were selected to specifically remind us that God desires for us to faithfully pursue the work He has called us to do and to trust Him to support us and take care of all of our needs, and the needs of our children.
1. For when your thoughts are consumed with guilt and negativity.
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2. What to do when you are worried.
1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
3. God desires for you to use the gifts He has given to you.
1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
4. A reminder that God is strong when you feel weak.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
5. You are a (good) work in progress.
Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
6. Doing the work God sent you to do is fulfilling and satisfying.
John 4:34 (NLT)
Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.”
7. Run with endurance the race God has set before you.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (ESV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
8. You can do all things.
Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
9. When you are questioning your choices.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
10. God’s power within you can do infinitely more than you can imagine.
Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
I hope the verses encourage you as you work to overcome your working mom guilt. Always remember that when God calls you to something He is faithful to be with you through it. But just because something is God’s will doesn’t mean it will be easy. You will have hard days and challenges, but remember He has overcome the world. (John 16:33).
Great Resources to Help Overcome Working Mom Guilt
Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Course by Crystal Paine – if you are feeling burnt out and exhausted, this course can walk you through some self-reflection and figure out what changes you need to make to get back to a life you enjoy.
The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica N Turner – this book can help you to find little pockets of time in your busy schedule to pursue things you enjoy.
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