Ch 3 – Is it Possible to Escape the Good Mom/Bad Mom Trap?

The TerKeurst household has a reputation as NOT being a friendly home for hamsters.  After two hamsters met with an untimely demise even the school felt it wiser for their daughter NOT to take her turn in rodent sitting the kindergarten guinea pig.  Yes, this note came home from the school principal:

“It might be best if Moo didn’t go home with Brooke this weekend.  The children would be devastated if something happened to him, and accidents can definitely happen.  I hope you understand what I mean, and I am not being judgmental, just realistic.”

It was one of those “bad mom” moments – you know one of those times you feel like the message the world, or your kids, or your family, or your friends or even your church is like they are holding up a sign reading “BAD MOM” with an arrow pointed straight at you?

And then we get it “right” – we pack a healthy lunch, we remember to take a healthy snack for before/after practice so we don’t hit McDonald’s for a Happy Meal, we sign the permission slip, remember to send the field trip money or smoothly sail through homework time like you are an extraordinary math scholar.  The GOOD MOM signs and arrows are flying!

Seems like most days we go through a number of these BAD MOM/GOOD MOM moments.  They are tough on the mom self-esteem.  The author of “Am I Messing up My Kids”, Lysa TerKeurst writes that as she is relaying a story to her friend she says, “…I was on the verge of a breakdown and then I spent some time with Jesus, and He made things better.”

Her friend, Renee came back with, “Well, isn’t that where most of us live?”

Renee wasn’t saying we are all living on the edge of a breakdown but we are all living in that place of absolute reliance upon God to get through whatever life is throwing at us that day.

Here, according to the author, is the key to stop ping-ponging between the BAD MOM/GOOD MOM paddles – turning it over to God.  Having total dependence on God.  Time spent with God.  For with God we aren’t “BAD MOMS” we’re good moms with bad moments and His grace is there to cover us.

I find this message not new but reaffirming.  In every area of my life if I am depending on God and not upon myself His grace has me covered.  So math homework again takes two hours, neither my child nor I are bad, our brains are just not wired for math as it is being taught today.  By depending on God to be by our side while we do math homework we do the best we can to accomplish the task; and even manage a laugh at ourselves in the process.    When I depend on myself I grow frustrated quickly, my child picks up on that and we are more likely to need a time out or dissolve into tears.

The message that a relationship with God is a personal one that requires communication and time being invested into it is certainly not new.  But now we have one more reason to be sure that communication happens – no more bouncing between the BAD MOM/GOOD MOM signs – we learn instead to trust in God where we aren’t bad moms we’re good moms having any number of bad moments.

If a daily quiet time is lacking in your life, please consider making the decision to make it happen.  Always remember God entrusted your children to YOU to raise and He doesn’t make mistakes.

And if your child’s principal suggests your home is hazardous to the classroom rodent is that REALLY such a bad thing?  Personally, I’m all for rodent free homes whether the rodent is in a cage or not!


“Read and pray through Psalm 73:26 and Psalm 51:10-12.

“Sometimes I feel like a Ping-Pong ball, bouncing from feeling good to bad to good to bad.  Can you relate to this?  Explain.

Do you ever struggle with being defined by your mistakes rather than by the truth of God?  In what areas specifically?

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22  The word righteous means someone who is morally upright and virtuous.  A person who makes right choices that honor God daily.

Make a written list of your cares/concerns and bring them before the Lord.  Trust in His goodness for each one.  Refer back to your list often, praying for those that remain as a care/concern for you and writing out how God answers your needs as He does for each item you list.

Read James 1:5-6.  In what areas of your motherhood are you seeking wisdom?  How do these verses encourage you if you struggle with the good mom/bad mom feeling?

“Suddenly it occurred to me.  With God I’m never a bad mom.  I might be having a bad moment…or two…or seventeen, but a few bad moments do not define me as a bad mom.”  What does this quote from the chapter mean to you?

Do you wrestle with these thoughts often?

What encouragement did you gleam from this chapter?

Spend some time today asking God to give you His loving perspective on how He sees you.  Rest in His lavish love.  If you need to ask for forgiveness for some of your actions, do that and then let these things go.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s