Becoming a Happy Mom

By December 19, 2012General

I walk down the stairs feeling defeated, especially frustrated with my inconsistencies.

A few weeks ago I got all gung-ho about freezer meal planning. This past week we ate out more then we dined in.

One day is a great day of homeschool. The next am ready to send them all away to public school…in Africa.

As I brush my teeth I can’t help but think about how tired I have become with trying to be a good mom. The pursuit of all the ideals of motherhood often leaves me paralyzed—especially when there are many “best” ways to choose from.

While I floss I secretly wish someone could just come tell me what to do. “Katie, this is the best path, the best choice for you and your kids. Go do that.” Yet, I know that is not how it works.

I lift my tired feet into bed and settle down under my comfy sheets. A bit disillusioned, I pick up where I left off reading and not but a few pages into the chapter I read wisdom.

I believe there is no “one right way.” God calls each of us to seek Him, to look for his wisdom to follow where he calls us by faith, and it will be a different story for each family, marriage, and individual mom or dad. To walk that uncertain line we must trust that God will be faithful to lead and guide us…

I found that the more we walked with God, the more we felt called to live our own puzzle according to the integrity of the husband, wife, and parents God has made us, within the limitations of our own personalities…

A happy mom who is secure in herself and it using our life is a rare gift the children love and appreciate.  

Sally Clarkson, Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

A happy mom.

I want to be happy mom.

I don’t want my kids to have memories of me, tear stained and crying in the corner. I pray they will forget the anger, the yelling, and my head buried in the puzzle. I hope they don’t recognize when I run to my phone and computer to escape reality.

Mommy guilt robs me of so many happy moments with my kids.

Of course, it requires faith to be yourself, to embrace your own ideals and family design. But living according to the voice of God’s spirit is always the way to freedom, joy, and fulfillment. Living by faith and cultivating your own purposes give you energy to pursue what is on your heart and to take your children along with you in the advancing of those ideals.  

Sally Clarkson, Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

So ladies, let’s have ideals for our kids, for our family dynamics, and for ourselves. But, let us not forget who we are—who God made us uniquely to be. Let’s not force something that should never be, and keep ourselves in the motherhood box of someone else’s gifts. And let us never try to be anything without His empowering Spirit fueling us toward becoming the mother he has planned specifically for us.

Let’s let go of the guilt of everything we are not, and enjoy our kids without the comparison of what others are doing. Our children don’t want our plans and our good meals, they just want our time and attention.

Are you a happy momma? What robs you of the joy of being with your children? Which ideals do you need to let go of, and seek a better fit for your family?  Let’s chat about it in the comments.


Katie Orr, HelloMornings Director
Jesus-lover. Pastor’s wife. Mommy of three. Grace-clinger. Truth-speaker. Auburn fan.

Co-author of Savoring Living Water: How to have an effective quiet time and author of Focused15 Bible studies. Creator of Do Not Depart where you can receive encouragement and tools to abide in God’s Word.

Leave a Comment



  • A great reminder, Katie! I’m afraid my joy-stealer remains the sink full of dishes. In the evening, when the dishes are done, I can enjoy my family. But before they are done? The sink harasses me. I wonder how many conversations I’m missing out on as I stand at the sink by myself with my family in the next room?

    I need to let go of the clean sink. Or a dishwasher.

  • Paula Ward Bachman says:

    Loved this Katie!! This hit me right where I am this week. Thanks so much for your insight Katie. Love your blogs!

  • Catherine says:

    Thanks for this! I am feeling tremendous guilt as I move from homeschooling and being home with my kiddos to having to get a full time job. I know it has to be done,because there is no other way at this point, but I feel a LOT of mommy guilt, especially since my kids have had to watch my husband battle cancer this last year.

    • Katie Orr says:

      Praying for His peace, as you make this transition! God is ultimately the one drawing your kids to Himself, and providing all they need.

      Thanks for sharing your heart!

  • Faith says:

    So what I needed to hear this morning!! The mommy guilt is a huge burden to me and steels me of my joy with my kids. Every night I go to bed lately feeling defeated and dissapointed in my lack of consistancy and reading this reminds that I am not alone and don’t need to feel this way. Thanks a million!!

  • This speaks right to my heart friend! Thank you!

  • LuAnn Braley says:

    And let the floodgates open….:(

  • Katie,
    Thank you for this post. Sometimes life can overrun you so quickly and leave you spinning in it’s mad dash. We have hit the mid year Home school slump and I have never been more thankful for our Christmas break. These words were a wonderful reminder as we re-focus for the New Year ahead. Thanks so much!

  • Taylor says:

    Thank you Katie!!! I have been feeling really down lately as I have been rushing here and there with Christmas Crazy this week. I have lost my temper with one of my kids in particular over and over. I keep clinging to grace and asking God every morning to PLEASE calm my anxious heart so I can be free to ENJOY this and ENJOY this child. Every day, I still lose it and yell. I see his sweet little head drop and a single tear slide down his cheek and my heart sinks deeper.
    Your post makes me sure I’m not alone.

    • Katie Orr says:

      You are certainly not alone, Taylor! Thanks for sharing your heart!

    • Stephanie says:

      You AREN’T alone Taylor! I have a precious little boy that can melt my heart one minute and frustrate me to no end the next. And I have yelled too. I have a friend I have been working on being accountable with. I say “working” because sometimes I don’t want to admit that I was angry and unloving towards my kids! I MUST be the only one going crazy while dear son is wiggling a squirming while I’m trying get him dressed! God is gracious and our kids are resilient. Who knew we would learn as much as we think we’re teaching! Praying for you Taylor!

  • Anna says:

    Living without the comparisons is so hard, because there’s only the one chance to get it right. Thank you for these words today. Especially needed in the Christmas season.

  • Jen S says:

    Wow! What a true blessing to know other Moms feel this way. I read these inspiring ‘Mommy Blogs’ regularly and aspire to be intentional, and to wake up early for quiet time, and to retreat, and to plan my meals, and to homeschool, and to shape and shepherd little hearts…when you said – “Mommy guilt robs me of so many happy moments with my kids…” I began to cry. It’s horribly true for me too often…and God’s voice of truth cuts through it on most days. Today, His voice came through your post. It freed me.

    After reading and relating to your story, I looked at my kids and saw them. I heard my kids and I listened to them. I played with my kids without distraction…oh, may I learn to be victorious over guilt and be so into Jesus, that guilt can no longer hold any power over me.

    With sincerest thanks!

    • Katie Orr says:

      Oh, I am so glad, Jen! Honored the Lord used my little words to bring freedom. He is so faithful to meet us!

    • Jenny P. says:

      Amen! I am so right there with all of you ladies. I have battled this since having my second child 6 months ago and have been going to counseling for a variety of “unhappy” related things. I desperately want to be a “happy mom”, but most times just do not know how. It’s comforting at least to know I’m not alone in this battle.

  • Anna says:

    No clue, no answers. I have spent a good portion of the last week just plain MAD. Mad at the world, mad at my kids, mad about everything. *sigh*

  • Joyce says:

    I love this. You’re so right. I don’t want my kids to have memories of a mom who thought she wasn’t good enough for them when God made me perfect for them.

  • Paige says:

    I try to remind myself that God gave my children the mother they need… But sometimes I wonder. Thanks for your reminder.
    The ideal I struggle with: A mom should never be impatient. But I am. A lot.
    I like to plan my days to the details, and I get impatient when I feel behind. I need to remember that God makes Plan B. And plan enough margin space!
    Yeah, I too was feeling guilty about freezer meals. Burnout! I finally realized that my expectations were too large. Now I double an occasional recipe: eat 1, freeze 1. I had to make a rule for myself, “Never double more than 1 recipe a day, and only certain days of the week.”

  • johanna says:

    thank you for this. Such a poignant and powerful reminder! My joy-steeler is when I get upset and mad if I don’t get enough sleep or my kids need me TOO much at bedtime (to lay down with them till they go to sleep…etc) and I just want so so much, after a hard long day, to finally retreat to a quiet corner of the house…finally!
    then, I get all guilty for wanting me-time and getting upset for not being what I need to be for the “sleepless kids” (ugh)

    • Katie Orr says:

      I deal with this, too! I SO just want them to go to sleep, yet I don’t want to miss the opportunity to have the one-on-one time of tucking then into bed.

      Just tonight, I was so tired and over this long day…I locked myself in the office once my husband got home after church. I was DONE. 🙂 I guess that was better than yelling at them. 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    It is as if you took the words right from my heart….thank you for the encouragement.

  • Kristen says:

    Oh my, all I can say is that I needed this today. I was feeling a very inadequate mom to my girls today. Thank you for making me feel better and not alone.

  • Sally Clarkson says:

    love your blogs, Katie. Great article. Thanks for quoting me here! Have a Merry weekend!

  • Ummmmmm…..oh my Lord! You who wrote this blog have no idea who I am, yet this blog was created for me!! That is the God I serve at work again! Thank you for being His transparent vessel!

  • […] its just what I felt I should do. (Even though I know that the shoulds of motherhood typically are not a good thing for me.) I felt as if the good, godly mothers pick their kids up from school, and that since I had no […]

  • Melanie says:

    I feel so often like there are so many things I want to do and that I fail so often, that I don’t even know who God created me to be as a mom. It’s definitely a defeating feeling. But, this was a breath of ‘You’re not the only one who struggles,’ and a challenge to ask seek Him for wisdom so much more. Thank you for sharing!