The One in Which We Admit It’s Possible to Be a Worse-r Mom


Ruth and I having lunch with another sweet friend, Jennie Nelson, this summer

A long, long time ago (or so it seems), I was introduced to a sweet girl named Ruth Schwenk. We met over a steaming pot of English tea, around a lovely little table thoughtfully set with candles and an artfully draped scarf, in Sally Clarkson’s hotel room at the Allume conference.

New to blogging, Ruth was just in the process of designing a website she wanted to call, “The Better Mom.” Her idea was to inspire moms to become better mothers, and her plan was to do that through offering inspiration and encouragement, advice and helpful tips from a group of writers who would work individually and together. This website has blossomed into just such a place! We can learn so much from one another.

The truth is, no one has cornered the market on one perfect way to raise children. I can’t imagine anyone thinking they had–especially not anyone who had more than one! This site was built on that very premise: that gathering the wisdom of many different women from different walks of life, who all center their mothering and indeed, their lives on the Lord Jesus Christ, is one of the best ways we all can grow–that we all can work toward becoming better moms.

However, there’s one thing I think we need to admit: if it’s possible to be a better mom, it’s also possible to be a worse-r mom. 

It’s not popular to define “better” and “worse” these days. In the name of America’s newest ultimate virtue, tolerance, we tend to pat one another on the back over everything … Oh, yeah; I yell at my kids a lot, too. We had Frooty Loops for breakfast again, too. My kids took a run through the sprinkler instead of a bath last night, too. Everyone was sent to bed early at my house, too. The television babysits for me, too. 

Let me just say first of all that those things happen in these four walls occasionally! No one has perfect days every day. Some days (weeks? months?) are just like that–without Frooty Loops and the sprinkler and a bit of TV, we wouldn’t have made it through, right?

Here’s the problem: what if we keep patting each other on the back and okaying all the not-great things so much that we’ve forgotten that there is any such thing as better??? What if we pat our ideals right into oblivion by telling each other how “okay” we are?

Playing with butterfly

I don’t need condemnation, and neither do you. But I also don’t need everyone around me telling me I’m okay if the truth is that I’m really not.

We all want to be better moms, right?

If I am not regularly available to my child, to share his wonder, hurts, joys, and discoveries, that’s worse.

If I’m yelling at my kids on a daily basis, that’s worse.

If I never make breakfast … or lunch … or dinner … that’s worse.

If my children never invite anyone over because my home is in a constant state of disarray … that’s worse.

If I don’t make an effort to bring beauty into their lives so they can see the incredible glory of God and His creation and wonder at it … that’s worse.

If my children aren’t being told they are loved … that’s worse.

If I tell friends/family members negative things about my children to gain sympathy or because I’m jealous of my child … that’s worse.

If my children live in fear of a slap, an insult, a threat … that’s worse.

If I’ve given my children no vision for the call of God on their lives, that’s worse.

If I never read a bedtime story; if the TV is more available to my child than I am; if I’m not making an effort to train my children in righteousness; if I’m not growing in my own spiritual life … that’s worse.

Before anyone gets all uptight over this short list: please note I’m not saying you’re a terrible mother or that you should throw in the towel and give up if any of these things apply to you. Instead, I’m asking us all to face reality and the fact that these things are worse than their opposites, and that if we truly want to be better moms, we’re going to have to admit them and begin working toward change. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that the universe tends toward disorder. That law holds within our homes and hearts, too. Without concentrated energy toward becoming better moms–time in Scripture, time in prayer, time with older, wiser women who can tell us the truth and inspire us toward better things–we’ve no choice but to become worse-r ones.

And that’s not acceptable. No one wants to look back on their children’s growing-up years and see nothing but regret after regret.

So let’s drop the “I’m okay, you’re okay” stuff, shall we? At least long enough to tell each other the truth: that we mamas are all desperate for Jesus, and there are areas in which what we really need is CHANGE. He is willing and able to do the work necessary if we’ll only admit our failures and our needa.

What’s the area you most need God’s grace in today, mama? I’d love to join you in prayer! (Mine is impatience, by the way–and I would so appreciate your prayers, too!)

 Blessings, Misty Krasawski

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  1. Claire says

    Thank you for having the courage to speak the truth. It’s hard to find the balance between condemnation and okay-ing ourselves to death, but the answer is not to default to one extreme without striving for that balance. Either extreme will lead us to being worser moms. This was a wake-up call for me, and I’m sure it will be for other moms too.

  2. Suzette Ladouceur says

    Thank you for this post! I am so tired of the e-cards that I see being posted on my feeds that celebrate women’s inefficiency in caring for their homes, children, and husbands. What ever happened to doing everything for the glory of God? Yes, we are human and will never be perfect, but we need to to our best at everything we do. Thanks for having the courage to say something pretty unpopular.

    • says

      You know, I feel like that at some of them, too. Then I have an awful day and something hits me jussssst right, makes me laugh for the first time in 24 hours and I have to share it. ;-) Its hard
      to find that sweet spot, isn’t it? But I agree we’ve gone way too far into the “lets just stand around and hold hands singing kumbaya and forget improving” camp.

      Let’s spur one another on to love and good deeds! ;-)

  3. LIsa says

    GREAT points. The ” I’m OK”, ” Your OK” message can be taken too far. We seem to have a message of grace that must be balanced with truth…. A tough one for moms who don’t like to ” rock the boat” so to speak. Perhaps an area where we need to be led by the Holy Spirit.

    • says

      Being led here is imperative, isn’t it? And also, my guess would be that there are very few people we have loved well enough to be free to speak that kind of truth into their lives. Which may mean work of a whole ‘mother sort is in order!

  4. Anna White says

    I love this because it is so true. I was thinking last week about our lives being a reflection of God and how goodness. I am trying to be mindful of this as I go through my week-when I choose to be a great mom and when I choose to be a little lazy. I agree there is no need to fall into judgement, but I also want to make choices that are most reflective of God in me.

  5. says

    This is right along the lines of a recent conversation I had with my husband. Thank you for saying what could be considered “the hard thing” – but it’s a good and truthful thing too.

    • says

      Honestly? This has been on my heart for quite some time and I’ve just now put it out here for the world to read! ;-) Its hard because I am so, so imperfect and we all are–we have to understand the paradox of being perfect in Christ now, while yet being perfected in Christ. Which … Is basically incomprehensible. ;-) May we all grow together, amen?!

  6. Amanda says

    Love this post. It was honest and that is what I like. I want people to say “hey, you really could have done that better.” But it seems that no one really has the guts to do that anymore. Some days I wish I had an older lady in my life to walk around and watch me all day and then tell me what I did right and/or wrong that day with the kids and such. But no one would be honest enough to tell me. I know I could improve in multiple areas, but I do know that God is working on me and He probably always will be. Thanks again

    • says

      Isn’t it true? He will always be working.
      I can appreciate your thought about the older lady to follow you around, lol– though I wonder how long we’d be able to stand it were it really to happen!! So glad the Holy Spirit convicts us and point things out gently; I just think we have a tendency to drown out what He’s saying sometimes! Grace to you today.

  7. dbmancine says

    Wow. While I several blogs regularly, I almost never post. However, just wanted to on this one. Thank you for writing & sharing this – I honestly hope it lands with all of us as it’s SUCH a needed message. We’re called to be transformed into the image of Christ & to walk in a manner worth of our call – yet I seem to read blogs, comments and posts by others on “Christian” sites that seem to affirm what the Bible states as sin vs. condemning sin and striving for change in Christ.
    Martin Luther didn’t start a reformation by trying to appease the church… we need more people to have his courage – much more, his commitment to the truth – no matter the cost – whilst still acting in love.
    Thank you for doing just these things!

    • says

      To be transformed into the image of Christ– yes! What a lofty goal; an impossible one for anyone but God Himself to accomplish. So glad He’s working that in my life … Most days I’m glad, anyway! ;-) Thanks for taking the time to write and may you feel His covering today!

  8. Charity Frick says

    So glad i saved this in my inbox to read now that i have time! This is so true – i love it all but especially the line “If I’ve given my children no vision for the call of God on their lives, that’s worse” Definitely something i need to work on, thank you for spurring us on to better things! <3

  9. says

    I absolutely love this and it needs to be said. I have seen a few women rise up and speak this hard message to moms. We cannot be ok in our mediocrity and feed off each other consistently. It’s damaging!

  10. Ashley says

    I love this post. So very much. I need to read these words and have them stapled to my forehead, actually. I sometimes struggle with being emotionally available for my children. And while it’s all well and good and at times probably comforting for us to soothe ourselves with the fact that there are other moms who are worse than us, or who have off days, that shouldn’t be our norm. And every day we should be aiming higher. It gets easier if we let God get bigger.

    Thank you for sharing this, Misty!

    • says

      It’s a hard thing, this mothering journey. And yet such a blessing– much of that blessing coming from the very fact that it’s so hard! Love what you said; we understand awful days but they shouldn’t be the norm. That’s exactly right! May the Lord help us both love well today!

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