To The Mother Feeling Like A Failure

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Inside: To the mother feeling like a failure, you have the God of the known and unknown universe on your side, in Him, there is no failure.
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Today I’m welcoming the beautiful Marigold Jones of The Journey of a Million Miles blog. Marigold has become a dear friend of mine although we live states away. She’s tough as nails, but a huge lover of our Savior. This post was very moving for me because I struggle with failure as a mom.  We’ve all made regrettable mistakes, but when Jesus is in our life, we can rise above anything in our past.

I walked away in the middle of life, left a husband and three kids, and never returned.

You and I both could use a lot of words to describe myself and they would fit accordingly. Mothers do not run away. For fifteen years, I have kept this secret. By those who found out, I have been mocked, judged, cursed, and left to drown in my shameful sin.

Asked to define my life in one word, I would say, “feeling like a failure.” That one little word, heavy with weight, set the standard for my life and permeated every fiber of my being. I allowed failure to pull me down and drown me under the waters of anxiety, depression, and fear.

Then God said “enough!”

Maybe you’re not like me. Perhaps you live at the corner of Betty Crocker and June Cleaver; your crown of faultlessness untarnished. There is a possibility you are the mom whose children set the bar of impeccability and “failure” never crosses your lips. I admire and applaud you, but that is not me.

Hearing the stories that adult children tell of how their parents ruined their lives and harmed them spiritually, emotionally, and mentally in one way or another, and ladies trying to recover from the scars of a “failure mom.” I hear the horror stories and see the statistical devastation. I know the aftermath failure moms leave upon society and all I can say is, “I am that mother.”

Maybe you are like me. Perhaps you struggle with failing your children in one way or another and feeling like a failure. Perchance you’ve not been the mom God called you to be. It possible that you’ve harmed them and left them out to dry.

If you struggle, if you answer to “feeling like a failure” please hear me. God is still in control; hope is not lost.

To The Mother Struggling With Failure. Past regrets and mistakes. Shame and guilt have been removed through the grace of Jesus. Dear momma, you are not a failure. Keep praying and believing! #truths #God #life #feelings #learning

It’s not all your fault

I am the mother of an alcoholic, drug-addicted daughter. I know she lives in North Carolina and she is a waitress (Thank you, social media.) and that is all I know. Yes, part of this is my fault, and I accept the natural consequences that abandonment causes. However, I did not make her pick up the bottle or force her to do drugs.

Even as I write, I struggle with accepting the entirety of this blame. “It’s all my fault,” haunts me and “shame” keeps me in the realms of guilt. Had I continued to raise my daughter in the way I began to raise her, she might be a different young lady. I made choices. She made choices. None of them good.

To the mom who is defined by failure, accept responsibility for your actions and yours alone.  The evils of this world will try to convince you that it is ALL your fault. The sins of the whole world are not yours to bear. Take your faults and hand them over to Christ, lest His death is in vain. He did not die for nothing; He died for your failure.

Accept God’s grace

We all fail. We all fall short of the glory of God. Even if you are the perfection of motherhood, you are still a sinner. God sees you, momma. He sees your tear stained face lying in the dirt with your accusers ready to throw stones and judge you for being worthless. For being a wicked sinner. “Let He who is without sin cast the first stone.”

(John 8:10-11, NLT).

Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

Through His grace, you are forgiven. By His grace, you are set free. Share on X

For me, there is no measurement of tears nor any penance or retribution to earn forgiveness for failing my children. I have tried. It is only God’s grace that says, “I forgive you! Stop trying to earn forgiveness by locking yourself in prison of oppression. You cannot do time for this crime. Accept my grace.”

To the weary mom, tired from trying to earn your way into forgiveness, God’s grace is enough. It is all you need. These are hurts that you cannot change. The past is final. There is no going back, only forward. Pick yourself up from the dirt, leave the word “failure” behind, accept the grace of forgiveness that your Savior has graciously given to you, and fix your heart upon Him. “Go and sin no more.”

Never Quit

Maybe your child traveled down the wrong path and is sitting alone in jail today or perhaps your child has failed fifth grade math for the second time and your peers laugh at you. Perhaps your child is the bully or a liar and a cheat. Perhaps you are at wit’s end with your child and ready to give up all hope. Don’t.

Don’t give up, don’t quit, and don’t take the easy way out.  

God has promised that His word will never return void (Isaiah 55:11). He has promised that He will complete the good work He started (Philippians 1:6). His word says He will never give up (Hebrews 10:23). Did He quit on you? Take your shield of faith and fight for your child.

Many years ago, when I disappeared without a trace, I had a mother who never gave up. She never ceased praying the word of God into my life. My mom never missed an opportunity to thank God for keeping her baby safe. She knew in faith that one day I would come home. She wouldn’t live to see who I am today; however, she never stopped believing for one moment.

The prayers of a righteous mom prevail (James 5:16), and faith is God’s delivery system.

To the mom who wants to quit, even if math is where your struggles lie, do not stop believing in faith. Fight for your child from your knees. When the battle endures and fifteen years pass without a word from your child, please don’t give up and start feeling like a failure!

Had my mother resigned herself to my fate and said “that’s just how she’s gonna be,” I would not be a living testimony to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

One day, my children will tell the story of a “failure mom” who came to her senses and refused to quit fighting. One day, my children will testify to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

To The Mother Struggling With Failure. Past regrets and mistakes. Shame and guilt have been removed through the grace of Jesus. Dear momma, you are not a failure. Keep praying and believing!

Feeling Like a Failure but…It’s never too late

It took years of running from God before I stopped and came to my senses. The death of my parents, the loss of everything good in my life and seeing hell face to face to bring me back. There is a lot I missed and many prayers I didn’t pray.

It is never too late to begin again. It’s never too late to pick up your sword and your shield and go to work.

If your child is breathing, it’s not too late.  

Replace the word “failure” with “warrior” by vowing to fight. You have the God of the known and unknown universe on your side, in Him there is no failure.

Do not grow weary doing good. Do not grow weary from the fight. Stay the course and run the race as if your child’s eternity depends upon it (Galatians 6:9).

To the mom that struggles with failure, please believe me when I say, you are not!

To The Mother Struggling With Failure. Past regrets and mistakes. Shame and guilt have been removed through the grace of Jesus. Dear momma, you are not a failure. Keep praying and believing!

Writing from the Missouri Ozarks, Mari Jones is a sinner saved by grace. She lives by faith on a journey to the city with foundations whose builder and architect is God.  It’s a journey towards home.

Heavenly Minded Mom: A 90 Day Journey to Embrace What Matters MostHeavenly Minded Mom: A 90 Day Journey to Embrace What Matters MostBecoming MomStrong: How to Fight with All That's in You for Your Family and Your FaithBecoming MomStrong: How to Fight with All That’s in You for Your Family and Your FaithPressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with JesusPressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with JesusInspirational Coloring for Mom: Hardcover Christian Coloring Book for MothersInspirational Coloring for Mom: Hardcover Christian Coloring Book for MothersMom Set Free: Find Relief from the Pressure to Get It All RightMom Set Free: Find Relief from the Pressure to Get It All RightSuddenly Single Mom: 52 Messages of Hope, Grace, and PromiseSuddenly Single Mom: 52 Messages of Hope, Grace, and Promise



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    1. Thank you, Starla. Transparency is hard, it hurts. The refiner’s fire is healing. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by Unmasking The Mess today!

  1. This is so encouraging. Thanks for sharing your story, Mari. This is the way we make a difference. You are very brave. Even though we may not (or may!) relate to your exact story, we all can relate in some way to feeling like a failure. This advice is true for all of us: “God’s grace is enough. It is all you need. These are hurts that you cannot change. The past is final. There is no going back, only forward.”

    1. Thank you, Lisa. We all walk the road of “failure” in one way or another. As well, we all fall short of the glory of God, but He picks us up and asks us to lean fully upon His grace. God is good.

  2. Pingback: To the Mother Struggling with Failure – The Journey of a Million Miles
  3. The words that are running through my mind right now, because of your words, are this: There’s grace for everything! Thanks for putting that out there today, particularly for those who can’t see it on their own.
    And Julie, thanks for bringing your friend Mari into your space “for such a time as this.”

  4. I am crying all over the screen here. I am a failure mom. Not 1, not 2, but 3 times over. I finally got saved and married and have another shot at doing life right. Now my son I special needs and I am trying to figure out how to make things right with my girls. I don’t know if I can, but I know God forgives me.

    1. Hi Jamie. God meets you right where you are. It’s never too late to begin again. Nothing, and I mean nothing can thwart God’s plan for your life…He is the God of healing and the God of restoration. Please know you have my prayers. Never give up!

  5. Thank you so much, Julie, for the opportunity to unmask my mess on your blog. Your blog inspires truth in daily life. There is freedom when we step out beyond the mess! You bless me!

    1. Oh, Kim! I am so you stopped by. God is beyond miraculous and you, my friend, know this more than anyone. You are a warrior yourself and an inspiration to my faith!

  6. Wow.
    As a mother, I can relate to the emotional sentiments here – we’ve bought into something that says all of our children will be perfect and there is no way this is true. Motherhood really teaches us to trust God, even when we fail, especially when we fail.
    Thanks for sharing – none of us is perfect. I don’t live at the intersection of June Cleaver and Betty Crocker lane.
    Stopping by from #MessyMarriage Linkup

  7. I won’t lie, parenting has been one tough challenge and sometimes when I see or hear some of the desires my children express, I fear. But then, I lean to the only sure thing or rather ONE I know. I lean on God to lead me in parenting, I pray His word over my boys’ lives, I teach them His word and then I let Him do the rest…
    …For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that Day. 2 Timothy 1:12
    And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13
    ….but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. Proverbs 11:21

  8. What I heard and love is that We all have a past, but that’s the point, ladies, it’s past! Blessings on you, Mari as you continue to shout from the rooftops that God came to redeem and renew.

  9. What a beautifully transparent testimony of God’s grace, mercy and faithfulness. Mari, your testimony will usher so many into God’s kingdom and into healing. I pray that God will grant you the desire of your heart and reconcile you with your children. He is able! Julie, thanks for introducing us to this wonderful woman of God.

  10. Thank you for sharing this extremely transparent and very encouraging post.

    I struggle with feeling like I failed my son, who was an alcoholic under my roof, yet I chose to believe he didn’t have a problem, but just liked to have Bacardi to “help him sleep” like he told me. Now he is married and admits that he is indeed an alcoholic, but isn’t ready to stop drinking. Seeing him now, too often, I can go down the abyss of thinking that I failed him terribly, but thankfully, the Lord picks me up and reminds me that, No, it’s not my fault. He is choosing to drink. So I continue to storm the gates of Heaven for my son and believe that the Lord will one day deliver him from the bondage of alcoholism.

    The Lord used you today to remind me not to allow myself to go down the failure mom road.


  11. April- Marigold’s story is such a testimony to God’s grace and His ability to help us overcome our past!

  12. What a beautiful testimony of the importance of never giving up. I pray for our daughters daily (and their loved ones, too). Sometimes I do get discouraged because our youngest still struggles with her relationship wtih God. I needed this encouragement today!

  13. Thank you for sharing your deepest hurt with us. So courageous and selfless. There was so much here we can all hold onto no matter where, in what, or how deeply we are suffering from the failure mom identity. Thank you for the hope you are sharing here with so many. I am walking away encouraged and with a new perspective. I’m so thankful you shared this, Julie, with us at #MomentsofHope ♥


    1. Lori- Marigold’s post touched so many women:) I’m so glad she shared her story! Thanks for your friendship!

  14. Mary,
    I can totally relate. I have a great husband and 7 kids between the ages of 5-9. Most days are filled with stress. I also struggle with bipolar depression. Most people can handle the stress but for me it’s overwhelming. A lot of dats i feel like running away from it all. From my husband and kids and never looking back.
    My husband tries to call me down and he tries to understand. He just won’t ever get it. He doesn’t understand that it is a switch in my head that I can’t control.

  15. This is so encouraging. There have been moments when I have wanted to throw in the towel, but the only thing that kept me going was Jesus. I am a pitiful mess, but God is good.

  16. “Replace the word “failure” with “warrior” by vowing to fight. You have the God of the known and unknown universe on your side, in Him there is no failure.” >>>Yes! Amen and amen! Also, kudos for changing “righteous man” to “the prayers of a righteous mom”. I need to adapt what the word of God says with my name, title, situation that applies! I need to be specific! Beautiful post! I know it speaks to all of us! <3

    1. Alyssa- Mari boldly spoke and gave us honesty! I think that’s why readers love her post, it’s real! It captures so many of the feelings we have, but never share!

  17. “I forgive you! Stop trying to earn forgiveness by locking yourself in prison of oppression. You cannot do time for this crime. Accept my grace.” Beautiful!

  18. Thanks for sharing so candidly, Mari. I am so glad that you returned to your true love – God loves you so much. I know that you are claiming His power. There is so much hope in this post.

  19. Thank you for sharing your struggles and burdens so transparently! What a beautiful testimony and reassurance that God does answer prayers. We’ve prayed for a family member for so many years and we will continue to do so – great reminder.

  20. You are not alone in having only grace to stand on. Daily I remind myself that He who makes all things new is making even the lost, broken, and dead things new in my life.

  21. Wow…fight for your child from your knees. As an adoptive momma, I had to learn quickly that my child is God’s alone, yet each day I need reminded of this truth. So many good words here.

  22. Praise God for your mother, who fought for you! And praise God that you are continuing that legacy and fighting for your children as well!!

  23. we won’t always get it right and accepting that truth saves us from a lot of guilt … motherly phase is a leaning phase and you learn only by making some blunders .. and moreover grace is sufficient to fix and make it all worth the journey.

  24. I have read this several times. I’m crying. I failed my oldest son. I wasn’t the mother he deserved. Impatient and sometimes unkind and had my priorities wrong. We are now estranged. He hasn’t talked to me in almost 4 years. This last year I’ve spent hours a day praying for restoration and praying that he is freed of depression and trauma. God can heal and restore. I’ve apologized and asked for his forgiveness so my son knows I am sorry. Im praying god softens his heart so that he will accept my sincere apologies and forgive me so we can be a family again. I love here that she says there is hope. I won’t give up on my son.

  25. I found this because I typed into my search engine, “Dear God, I’m failing as a mom”. I get tired, frustrated, I yell, my house is never quite clean, I’m just not enough. I’m not brave, I want to run too, but their dad passed away Christmas 2019 and I’m doing it alone. And I am doing it. I’m gainfully employed, have a nice place where they have their own large bedrooms, I cook good meals, and spend time with my teens on occasion when they let me and we all have enough energy. But for the most part we are surviving and all I can see is my failure. All I can see is every area where I am NOT ENOUGH. His grace is sufficient is all well and fine, but my energy is waning and I haven’t gotten a turbo boost yet… I want to scream, and cry, and run away. I want someone else to handle the fact that my daughter won’t stop putting herself in risky situations and my son won’t take care of any of his responsibilities and when they don’t see all I’m doing and raise an eyebrow in attitude when I ask for help, I’m one of those heinous moms that maybe guilts them when I try to point to all I’m doing. But only because I simply want them to help without me going crazy. Those things are normal right? They’re teens. But that’s not what a mom sees, what a mom sees is every time she relaxed because her brain had enough for the day, every time she should have gone to Church on Sunday but slept in instead, every time she should have (fill in the blank) but didn’t. I’m a single mom, I work hard, and I field every call about school performance, every letter about a school tardy, run them to every sport and music lesson, hear every bit of my own tone in their attitude and try to be forgiving, pay every bill, and try to create some structure (but there is none because I MEAN it when I say try). But they are still making these huge awful choices all the time and it feels like a reflection of all of MY failures. I’m not living. I hide when I’m not in the middle of doing something for them because I have nothing left. Today, I wanted a car to hit mine. A big enough accident to have me in a hospital room so I could at least temporarily run away. Because when I tell everyone I’m drowning, they think it’s normal and they have their own stuff so they aren’t being callous, but we don’t have “Villages” anymore. I cried out to God. I’m still crying out to God. I won’t give up, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to. I can’t cry, it’s not enough to release all this anymore. I’m failing. And all I can mange to do is leave this here and hope I feel better…. At least this made me feel like someone else gets how heavy it all is.

    1. Praying for you Eva! I pray that God would infuse you with new strength and perseverance! You aren’t alone and you have gone through a lot! Praying for help for you!

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