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January 30, 2022 9:00 pm
Suffocating under the weight of mom guilt? Author Maggie Combs gives her true confessions of motherhood and the "rules" moms struggle beneath -- and how to seize their freedom.
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I'm wondering if any of you moms can relate to this. I have a confession.
I wish that I was a better mom a better wife a better friend a better Christian.
I wish I was better at reading my Bible disciplining my kids with grace and keeping my house clean. I don't have to be perfect, but I always wish I was a little bit better. I think every single mom relates to the Dell you dance to. To do that. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson and Andre Wilson. You can find us if it we live today.com or on our family life. This is family life today.
I don't be perfect, but I always wish I was a little bit better.
You will hear you say them I got from all of those things. Brian a different way, but a similar way, but I know I'm sitting in the studio with two moms and I'm guessing that you feel that all done in these words were written by Maggie Combs who sitting in the studio Maggie I don't think I've ever gotten a better introduction all is rare in a book called motherhood without all the rules. Trading stress standards for gospel truths.
Isn't that what we all need to and Maggie is the mom of three sons, Maggie, how old are your boys. They are 10, eight and seven just love you here so please little bit stressful but I'm doing very dear husband, how many years. 13. Okay so you live this life and you wrote these words, those of the opening words of your book that I read him as well and I'm like okay, I've heard my wife say almost identical all my arms feel like they're feeling at times or they're messing up and we live under this suffocating blanket of mom guilt, so let me ask you Maggie like help us with that. Did you ever experience that every day I actually have a statistic in the book and I think it's something like 90% of moms feel like they are ashamed because we stopped at this send 90% of moms feel judged and 46% feel like they're being judged all the time all the time. I think a part of the 46%. I had three boys and three years and it was just chaos.
I mean full time survival mode is just if I can keep them alive. We have made it through the day.
Got you think it would be like oh no, I think I was never one of those people is like I have always wanted to be a mom but when I pictured motherhood.
It was more like well maybe when my kids went to school like going to get coffee with friends or like bookplates you could sit and talk to your friends right now and you have three boys in her home use them to keep them alive and so your mom but your moms and daughters probably said they probably do another try not to be jealous about them like on Instagram with their daughter like there at a coffee shop together and she's coloring in their reading a book like that is not my life and I just was so overwhelmed by motherhood. It just kind of swept me away because I was a person just like generally good at doing things but also I avoided anything I wasn't good at doing and like mother and just really natural and you just like instinctual that is not how it was for me and it was the first thing I had to do my life that I couldn't quit. I was forced to face my own weakness and mother had wanted so badly to be a good mom and I just had to survive the season by God's power alone and that I got to the other side of the season and it did start to get like a little bit easier. They started to go to the bathroom on their lawn and they started to play together instead of expecting me to be constantly entertaining them. I took a deep breath and thought like now I can be the good mom and so I have written this book. That was all about embracing your weakness eyes or be like to do this by my own strength and just wrapping those rules back on that would help me be a good mom and just paying attention. What makes other women good moms and how can I be more like that and don't you think so many moms are doing that because you are playing we are all plagued with social media today so were comparing ourselves to millions of moms and we strapped that guilt on and where it yeah it's just social media and even, because it's permeated so much of our thinking. Even our friends were so quick to give each other these little hopes these little ideas and we think like you're struggling with motherhood right now. That's okay. You're a good mom. Then moms put their hope in that they wear that suddenly becomes burden because we can't all be good moms all the time and so what happens is we pick up these things from society that are supposed to give us freedom is mom's like just go will be your best self and pursue your dreams and really they become burdens that we have to bear because they are not the gospel and what moms need in this really hard day-to-day life isn't those nice platitudes online. It is the gospel itself and the gospel is always countercultural you can almost depend upon it.
If it's popular someone who put it on a wooden plaque and sold at T.J. Maxx, it's probably not the end. So we have to start paying attention to these stressors that we have taken on because when we don't live up to those things that leads to shame, not living up to all the standards of the world is not sin, but we where it like it is. We wear it like it's shame upon ourselves that we couldn't live up to that when our standard is God's truth in his way and that the best news is that we don't have to be perfect at it because he made a way where there was no way God knows that we are going to be perfect moms. That's why he sent a perfect Savior and living in the truth of that we can grow to be not perfect moms better moms transformed by the power of the gospel. It's funny that you say that because I remember this one day getting in our car minivan with all three boys kiss days.
The pastor the church minivans were awesome. Yeah so they're all you know I think two of them were car seats. They were all probably five and under.
I mean I was yelling because they're dropping their stuff they forgot things and honestly I was just frustrated with myself.
I looked terrible. I felt terrible about myself was actually probably frustrated with her husband were all still remember I'm yelling looking at myself in the rearview near as I'm looking them behind me. And I'm thinking the worst mom and if someone said you're such a good mom. I would think now I'm currently not that great and if you saw me in these conditions.
You would think like she's crazy. It means like you can never be honest with your friend as you like. If I share this with them then they will know the secret is whatever on the secret is out, you're probably not a good day today by your own power by God's power. You can be a holy mom and you can be a gospel fueled mom who is same like to get messed up today but that's why God is good, like come along with me. Let's see the God who saves us when we mess up. Did you live in that condemnation and guilt. Did you carry that. I think I carry it any time where I am not fighting not to carry it. It's just so easy to pick it up again. I think Paul Tripp says no one speaks to yourself more than you do. And so I'm watching the world go by and I am just thinking thinking thinking. When I'm not renewing my mind with the truth. I'm always headed back to those other things and to what the world is told me you know it's like when Paul is like I don't do the things I do want to do and that I do the things I don't want to do. I just oh yeah, that's motherhood right there and that's Roman seven but the good news.
We get to move to Romans eight coronation.
There's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And so it's a battle it's a daily battle and you can't expect to just wing it and be done there some things that we can just have that God really frees us from but I think that battle to choose grace instead of shame that you are keeping on yourselves because we talk a lot about mom shame in our culture.
We talk about it coming from other places right all their mom shaming on the Internet there mom shaming that celebrity over there.
I got mom shamed at a moms group that I met with but the biggest amount of shame comes from inside of us and it's the voice inside of us talking about what we see about ourselves.
The scariest thing about that is so often we can start to think maybe that's God's voice exactly and that God condemning God is condemning us what is it about maybe a wrong. Because men do this as well, but I often hear my wife and know you Maggie and other women. They carry so much when you're on stage and you're speaking to women. And you put on bags Easter walkaround. This is what care there cheering their life. That's my life will I get a message and Mendel do that. But often, like other kids are fine. They're good and you're like no they're not. I feel this I care this talk about that because I think that's universal for mom you, it's interesting. I gave a talk to mom's were at one time and I was saying I you can see me and I look like you and I look like any other person on the street and then I turned around and I had taken days I don't care how I got them to attach. I think I had taped these dolls. These little miniature dolls.
Actually, I take them. She had to pay for the members on the back of my jacket and so I had all these little dolls in the back. I said every single month has her children attached to her at all times the day and so at night when we put our kids to bed there in bed and Dave's laying in the bed free and he's asleep.
My children attached to me and I had this to this happens with adult children as well because we think they like all their little, of course, are attached. But when they're grown. I'm still worrying about them thinking about them mulling over the things they're going through praying for them. I think that that's a difference between some men and women not all thinking about my children right to me about something going on aluminum like to put in there but I think actually when the first rules that the world gives us the stressful standards is everything depends upon you and I know my first night in the hospital with my first baby. They gave me that baby and I thought to myself I response had this with any of my other children, but he spit up amniotic fluid the entire night I called the nurse and she's like I just take one of these blue like squeezer things and just like suction and every time he doesn't know is like okay and he did that for the entire night long so I did not sleep. I set my baby and I'm working the subjects I'm thinking I have to keep him alive and then from that day forward.
I've worn that and sometimes avoid it like a badge to see these children. I keep them alive give me the praise I am awesome. And sometimes it's such a burden because when you've been told that everything depends upon you. You have to be in control at all times in any circumstances where you feel like that you are out of control of the future of your child makes you an utter failure. Yes I think a lot of the feelings of failure come from that you explain the stressful standard because you have those throughout your book in the first glance like okay what you mean by that. So stressful. Standard is anything that the world tells us we should do is moms moms are given a whole old list of should that range from like how to choose their preschool old.
What kind of food they should be eating. How much screen time they should be doing one kind of sunscreen put on them yes and it's like you get to fall kind of on this continuum of how good of a mom you're going to be about how many sheds you can look them up to. There's another one I just will make sure you hear and you make sure your husband is your priority of front of your kids okay you going to absolutely there plenty of marriage as well and the world tells us like well you should also take care of yourself and you should probably do something outside of motherhood and it's like I'm just drowning in the ones about motherhood and now I also have to do ones that are taking care of me and every single one of those stressful standards. The problem with it is that it puts us at the center of the universe and God needs to be the center of the universe. When we are at the center of the universe. Guess what were not very good at being in control of universe, but we have someone who is so Maggie talk about that because I'm thinking about you. With these three little boys under four and that's the stage of parenting and life. Or you can barely catch a breath, let alone study your Bible you talking about bringing the gospel in Jesus and the gospel is enough any more than enough for us. What is look like you know how did you learn how to do that in the midst of drowning in diapers. I think the first small. I'm still not perfect by any means of us are right, but I think that I learned to do it because I needed the gospel so badly.
Myself and what I found was that godly motherhood that I longed for so much only came as a result of spending time with God. I couldn't exhibit the fruit of the spirit to my children by my own willpower.
I can only do that by being in the spirit by connecting with God every day and no it doesn't have to look like 40 minutes of inductive study at the beginning of your day okay there are lots of ways that we can meet with God and it does look like getting in your Bible and in God's word but that looks different in every season, and spiritual disciplines look different in every season. But the point is never to check those things off the list. The point is an intimate relationship with our Savior, because only are experiencing his grace and forgiveness. Every day is so much easier to give grace and forgiveness to our children.
We are preaching the gospel to ourselves.
It's so much easier. It's on the tip of our tongue will work preaching to our children right of them were not preaching moralism to our children.
We are preaching the way of the gospel which is I am weak I'm a sinner but God is strong, God is holy and he is made of is that what you mean by motherhood without all the rules. You see, absolutely. And so, like God actually gave us good rules in the Bible, but those rules, the purpose of them is that we can grow to be more like our holy Savior. The purposes and again to just check them off the list or earn our salvation for ourselves. The purpose of those rules is that we can live a godly life to honor and glorify him, and also to be in unbroken relationship with him so you talk about saturating the rare Newton's the word came to mind with the gospel every day for three little boys. How do you do it because your life crayons us through it. What's it look like well and it will look different for every person. It depends upon the season of course, so right now for me it's like first thing I do is I read a Psalm every morning because I know like I can get that in your OSHA for the boys right now. I have been but that I am not one of those who build like 5 AM every day.
That is like.
I love sleep okay and so during the summer I'm able to get up before them more often.
But during the school year usually can't and so it is like reading a Psalm in the morning. That just takes a minute as I wake up every day with a really hard heart like I don't want to do this. I don't want to do this following God thing like I want to do my thing and I got my list of stuff that I want to get done today. I don't want to hear that, like God is change my circumstances because I was going to go meet with a friend and I want my kids is sick, you know, and so I have to connect with him right away in the morning or the whole family feels that and so I do that right now. Through getting the Psalms right away and then when I have time, Lord willing.
Later in the day I'll go back and do some more deeper study somewhere else, but it's also through memorizing Scripture by putting it at the kitchen sink. I mean how many times a day do I go to the kitchen sink. It can be listening if I don't have time to get to the Psalm in morning, just listening to the Bible and guess what thing your kids are hearing the Bible to and that's so good for them and just building and routines in your day like when I take a shower just to pray for my kids like having trouble praying for your kids just connected to something you already do during the day or while you're brushing your teeth.
What can you do to build those spiritual disciplines into your daily routine and I just think moms are really smart people we can figure out how to run this whole family and keep everything the flow and then we get to our client and we feel like I can make that happen. I think were discounting mom's moms can, if they take the time they want to they can make the space to be a relationship with God. Now, if they're struggling to want to, they still need to do it because it is only by spending time in God's word that you develop that desire to be in God's word. I think the longer were away from God's word, the less we we desire him and I put into practice. A lot of those same things.
I think it's one of the sweetest parts. I call it. Sometimes the desert years for moms because it can feel so dry he can feel alone.
You can feel like you're in this parched land and I've often said I saw it as like this is awful, but I also learned how to relate and talk to and be with God in the midst of the desert like oh he's with me in this, he sees me in this, he loves me in this, and I feel like women when they can figure out how to bring God into it. It's almost like Daniel being in Babylon I can go to God to pray three times a day because he's in this place that they're worshiping false idols, and the word thereto, in a land today where for not worshiping God and so I would wake up in the morning and the first thing because as you set your heart can be hard right away is can I give you my life today I give you the kids today. Help me to see the way you do. Say what you would say can hear the way you do just offering of ourselves as in Romans 12 one into you know I offer myself as a living sacrifice, praying all day long at the dishes and I'm praying out loud because our kids are learning how to pray and not just perfect prayers like Lord I'm so frustrated right now. Help me to have patience so that our kids are seeing a living gospel and then also I did the same thing were listening like in the car were listening to Scripture. The boys are fighting in the back or doing whatever, but I like and I don't mind. And every time we got in the car to go somewhere. I just pray it became this beautiful lifestyle of worship and I did miss my 45 minutes to an just sitting in God's presence in God's word, but there was a beauty in it like this phase, it can be so difficult that God meets us right where we are and what you're doing. There is you are taking the focus off yourself no longer building your own kingdom and focusing back on God's kingdom and Maggie.
I don't know if you've ever done this but I had to replace all the negativity with the positives of God's truth and on because when I wasn't doing God's truth is like my life is horrible. I have no life air life combat you know you get into the comparison mode: D you just feel overwhelmed with your life. And then I would feel guilty about it like I had this gift of these three kids and so I think that's how the gospel plays out is exactly as he said we just meet with him where we are in our brokenness and God fills us and allows us to live out the beauty of the gospel. I know I can have a tendency to want to compartmentalize aspects of my life and to think that there are certain parts of my life where I need to really focus on walking by the spirit of other parts of my life. I can just do that on my own. You know what your mom really bad but it's what I do every day. I don't need to think about walking by the Spirit in those common activities.
But the Bible is pretty clear we are to walk by the Spirit in all that we do and we have to keep that as a functional mindset for how we live out our faith as dads of his moms. Maggie Combs has been talking today with David and Wilson about what's at the heart of being a mom without trying to live up to a whole bunch of rules. Vector book is called motherhood without all the rules treating stressful standards for gospel truths. It's a book we want to make available to you this week as a way of saying thank you for your ongoing faithful support of the ministry of family life today. We are so grateful for those of you who don't just listen to family life today, but you help expand the mission of family life today to effectively develop godly marriages and families you help us reach out to more people more often with practical biblical help and hope for their marriage for their family. And when you do that by making a donation today would love to say thank you and send you a copy of the book motherhood without all the rules by Maggie Combs go to family life today.com and make your donation online or call us at one 800 FL today get the website is family life today.com number to call is 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today. If you ever as a mom found yourself being hypervigilant when it comes to the safety and security of your kids like your almost obsessive about that that can become a pitfall for moms, as will hear tomorrow from Maggie Combs. She joined Steven M Wilson again. Hope you can be here as well on behalf of our hosts and Wilson about the pain so you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life today is a production of family life group ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most