When you feel like a failure as a mom, it can be hard to parent with enthusiasm and purpose. But you’re not alone! Here are three biblical truths you need to hear when you feel like you’re bad at motherhood!

When I was in high school, I starred in a one-act play called “This is a Test” by Stephen Gregg. It tells the story of a teenage boy who gets up on the wrong side of the bed on the day of a very important exam (which he is convinced will determine how the rest of his life turns out) and the mental anguish he experiences trying to just finish said test before the bell rings.

Throughout the play, as the flustered boy and the stern teacher (that was me!) interact, he is driven nearly crazy by a phrase that plays over and over in his mind, a chorus chanted by the other students in the room:

“This is a test.

A what?

A test.

A what?

A test.

Oh, a test.”

No matter what he does, what efforts he puts forth to pass this all-important test, he cannot seem to succeed. A fellow student constantly interrupts his thought process. The questions on the exam don’t have sensible answers. Nothing he does is ever enough to please his demanding teacher.

“This is the end!” he finally laments, covering his face and putting his head down on the desk. And the stage goes dark.

The day-to-day experience of motherhood sounds a little like “This is a Test”, doesn’t it? Or maybe a lot like it.

mom and 2 kids

Each morning I stumble out of bed, in haste, many times on the “wrong side” from lack of sleep or interrupted sleep the night before. A chorus of small voices interrupts my thoughts, jumbling any fleeting moment of sensibility that I am able to muster as I walk bleary-eyed toward the coffee machine.

After we rush through the morning routine and my husband is gone, I make one mistake after another.

No one is pleased by my efforts.

Everyone balks at my requests to clean up, get along, take a nap or do their school work and it seems like I can’t ever accomplish anything that moves us along the path of success.

The sun goes down and I do my due diligence to see that my table is wiped clean (even though the dishes may still be piled in the sink the next morning), the laundry is semi-folded (with a large hamper of clean clothes leftover to fold the next day) and everyone is asleep (finally).

This is the END!, I lament, thankful that the day is over and I can collapse into bed once more.

I feel like a bad mom. Or even a slacker mom.

My craft supplies aren’t organized like the people on Pinterest. They’re shoved into a cupboard, in danger of vomiting its contents onto the floor every time the door is opened.

The children don’t remember the Scripture verses we’ve taught them. They’d rather call to mind their siblings’ every offense toward them since last September.

Instead of using a gentle voice to turn away wrath, my harsh words stir up anger.

I’ve failed the test.

3 truths to remember when you feeling like a failure as a mom

Have you ever gone through a time like this in your journey as a mom? Where you feel like motherhood is a daily test that you’re miserably failing? That no matter what efforts you put forth, they are not enough?

Here are three truths we can cling to as moms when we feel this way. Generally speaking, any Christian can hold to these reminders, but I think that they are especially helpful for the mother who feels like a failure.

3 Truths to Remember When You Feel like a Failure as a Mom

Truth #1 – The world may be against you, but God is for you!

Let’s be honest: the devil hates your family. He wants to see you sink down into the mud and feel horrible about yourself as a mother. Society doesn’t support families like it once did. Current parenting advice tends to fall to either extreme: one side says we should do whatever we want in the way of mothering and our kids will be fine, while the other side insists that if we don’t (feed, dress, discipline or school) our kids their way, our offspring will turn into lackluster adults and most certainly disappoint their parents.

Where is the practical hope in all this? It can be found in Scripture:

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

I am so thankful that nothing can separate us from the love of God. When we get to the end of the day and our dishes aren’t done or we’ve raise our voices one too many times, God’s love gives us the courage and the grace to get up the next morning and try again.

He brings us encouragement through Bible verses on stress and anxiety or Scriptures for when we need grace. His Word gives us powerful truths to pray over our children. And His mercies are new. Every. single. morning.

And He brings us encouragement through others. Sometimes in ways we don’t expect. (And I promise you, other moms are struggling too. You’re not alone.)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Psalm 32:8


Truth #2 – You don’t have to be a “Pinterest” mom to be the perfect mom for your kids.

Yes, I too have hundreds of pins on my DIY Pinterest board that I will never actually “do myself”. There are lots of fun printables, crafts and ideas for teaching our kids about God and their letters and why baking soda and vinegar fix when mixed together.

And those are incredibly creative things, dreamed up and actually accomplished by amazing people!

But you know what? Even if you never, ever followed through any one of those things that you pinned, you’d still be the best mom that your kids could ever have.

We have all been given our children as a gift. Our moms and grandmas were given their children as a precious gift too. And though our grandmothers likely didn’t have a perfectly organized pantry (complete with chalkboard labels) or printable laminated mats for shaping numbers with playdoh, they had the same simple, time-tested opportunities we have:

To pray for our kids. To love on them. To show them the grace of God.

And maybe read them lots of books. No Pinterest account required :)

Truth #3 – When you’ve failed, there is always tomorrow.

There comes a point in our mothering when what we’re doing isn’t working. Seasons come and go in life and there will be different needs based on that particular season we find ourselves in.

And sometimes our methods do need to change so that we don’t have to go to bed at night feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.

DeathtoStock_Creative Community8

Lots of practical advice exists to help us plan our meals, organize our rooms, teach our kids the Bible at home and encourage a healthy family environment.

And it’s okay to seek out that information, as long as we don’t let ourselves become overwhelmed by it. When I have too much “brain clutter”, I tend to burn out and want to quit.

And so, if you’re needing to try something new….

Do One Thing at a Time

If you feel the same way, try what I have been doing with success and act on one small goal at a time. If you want to find a fun way to teach your children Bible verses, pick one method or craft. After you’ve got that down, focus on menu planning if that is lacking. Take a piece of paper and write down 10-14 different meals your family likes for both dinner and supper and plan to make them over the course of the next two week. Then repeat them for the other two weeks of the month.

Simple steps and goals are where it’s at, especially if you have many little children. And give yourself grace, too, if those small goals take awhile to be accomplished. Read a Bible verse or two each morning, then pray for your family and give your day to the Lord. He will give you the strength you need to persevere and bless you in the process!

Our days don’t have to end like that one-act play, feeling frustrated, drained and relinquishing our soul to never-ending disappointment.

When you believe you’ve failed, be encouraged that there is hope. There is grace. God is with you.

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Psalm 139

mom failure truths

{originally published March 15, 2015}

Every mother has days when they feel like they're not enough or that they've let their children down in some way. I know that's what I've been going through lately! But there is hope, fellow moms! Be encouraged with these 3 truths you can call to mind and remember when you feel like a failure as a mom.

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53 Comments on 3 Truths You Need to Remember When You Feel Like a Failure as a Mom

  1. Great post. Really down to earth – you tell it like it is AND you’ve got your own blog / so you go girl! I am a mom of 4 young kids too, and enjoying the challenge of now homeschooling my kids while at the same time making 1000 mistakes.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Thanks, Jenn…always a timely reminder, but especially for me today <3. You're a beautiful mom and friend!

  3. I often feel like I have failed , but then when I look at my children faces and see those smiles or when I say my prayers often during the days, I know GOD is their with me,helping me through times that sometimes I don’t even know how i’ve gotten through them. But His grace and mercy.

  4. “God’s love gives us the courage and the grace to get up the next morning and try again”….I love this! I’ve gone through times when I’ve needed that grace time and time again and I’ve found God to be so faithful!

  5. I’ve only been a mom for 5 weeks and already feel like I’ve failed in so many ways! Glad I’m not alone and appreciate these reminders.

    • The fact that you THINK you are failing shows how much you truly love and care for your family! I can’t say it will be easy, but I can say it is totally worth it! ❤️Keep up the great work momma! We’ve all been there and you will get through this moment in time (usually thinking “that wasn’t so bad” or thinking “I never want to do that again”. Either way you will come out stronger and wiser).

  6. Thank you so much for this encouraging word. Comes at a much needed time for me.

  7. Being a mom can be very trying at times, but it is important to remember that no mom is perfect but sometimes it is our imperfections that make us great.

  8. I understand that completely. I have eight kids and I’m still doing everything. Most nights I am staying up until 4am to get the stuff done that I couldn’t get done in the day. I ask them for help and it’s almost impossible to get it. Dealing with cancer has just made things harder for me. I pray God for strength daily.

  9. This is excellent post, full of light, love, and life; free of any condemnation!

  10. Thank you for this article. This has been a difficult time to be all day with my kids and keep them entertained. Plus I am 35 weeks pregnant, so you can imagine. I’ve never spent this much time with my kids since I work full time and trying to serve up the energy everyday to tend to them and still be sane has been one of my struggles. I try to remind myself that I am doing the best I can, otherwise I might feel down about the whole situation.

  11. I needed these three points today. The pressure to be a ‘Pinterest Mom’ is so high, and I need to be reminded that even if I fail as a mom one day, tomorrow is a new day. Thank you!

  12. Thankful for all the emails I get to read this blog, the articles are always right on time.

  13. We have been homeschooling with the COVID-19 going on, along with working full time from home. Some days are a struggle and other days go great.

  14. Hey Jen, that was good! It echoes my thoughts lately too – restart and extend grace. Thanks for doing the giveaway – so nice of you. Happy Mother’s Day!

  15. I am a mom to 10 children. In at times it does feel like I am failing myself and my family. That’s when grace and mercy kicks in from the Lord. We have one special needs son as well. In it is so hard. In that is when God reminds me of grace.

  16. WOW…I am beyond words…Here I thought I was entering contest to receive $100. Instead, I received something more valuable that can never be measured with money. I know beyond a doubt that God used your blog to spear DIRECTLY to me. Thank you so much for your obedience & allowing God to speak through you. I had a rough night with my 20 year old daughter & I need your words of encouragement today! May God continue to bless you & your family as you minister to others families!

  17. Beautiful reminder on how God loves us as we are and how not surprised He us by our normalness. And how deep His love is for us nomatter what🌹

  18. I so needed to hear this today, as I’m working from home and trying to be the best mom to my 3 year old, keep the house clean, etc!

  19. Definitely needed this today, during this COVID-19 pandemic. Trying to work from home and keep my three old happy, and learning, and feeling loved is so hard. I look at pinterest for ideas to keep her engaged in learning but I’m not a creative at all and I feel so bad! But like you said, God is for me!

  20. Thank you! Great reminder to take things one step at a time. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with all of the things :)

  21. I have 3 adopted grand children who can be high spirited at times- I soothe their wild natures with active outdoor games like “Treasure Hunt” or Camp fire cooking lessons.

  22. I can absolutely relate to your posts! As homeschooling mom of four, (from Northern Minnesota–your neighbor!) and having taken the last 5 weeks of quarantine to organize my craft area (and still having it look like I haven’t started), I.can.relate! Thank you for your encouraging words!

    After feeling like a failure many times, I have written my own post that complements yours perfectly. I’d love for you to check it out! https://reallthingsmom.com/five-things-that-refine-you/

  23. Very encouraging. So glad I saw this post through the link up via Diamonds in the Rough!

  24. Thank you for this!

    Had one of those days today! I have 19 month old twins and a husband who is a policeman so is not always there to help. I take great comfort from the fact I’m not the only one who has days like this. And that God’s grace will always go before me!
    I’m gonna shake today off and start tomorrow by remembering that I am forgiven, that I am loved and I have hope I’m my Lord. Xxx

    • Jacqui, you are definitely not alone! Blessings to you as you care for your little ones, thankful that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond all we ask or think :)

  25. When my kids were homeschooling, I often felt the same way. But, you’re right….satan hates our families. Forget the picture perfect home, and just focus on LOVE. I’ve just been so thankful that I homeschooled my kids, now that they’re grown. They weren’t damaged by having messes and dirty dishes :) Just love yourself, and try to take a little break when you can!

  26. Oh how I have had those days–too many of them recently! It is so refreshing to be reminded that in the midst of our failures and imperfections there is a God who makes up our lack–both in our own lives and the lives of our little ones. I hope that my kids can see the authenticity in my need for Christ daily, as well as the joy He brings in the midst of the chaos. Thanks for sharing this! :)

  27. This is so true, and beautifully said. It makes me think of Lamentations 3:22-23, His mercies are new every morning, and thankfully our kids will have forgotten most of our failures from today by that time! Thanks for the encouragement!

  28. I appreciate your article on feeling like a failure. I am a mother of four ages 15, 12,9 all girls and a 3 yr old son. I am work crazy hours as a fire fighter/ medic and at times with little sleep the devil really knows how to get to me. I have a great husband that helps. Thank you Lord for reminding me to look for the positive!

    • Thanks, Amy. You have a lot on your plate, I’m so thankful your husband is a help to you too!

  29. My children are half grown – my oldest is going on 16 and my youngest is 11 (and a few months, he reminds me!) I still have these days on occasion. It is a comfort to know that God isn’t deducting points every time I am overwhelmed or frustrated and lose my temper or have to step away from a situation before I do lose my temper.

    • Absolutely, it is such a comfort to be loved by an almighty God who is very gracious with us as we recognize our faults and come to Him for help!

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