Dear Mom of grown children, leave the past behind.  Positive advice and Scripture for "mom guilt". How to make peace with parenting fails - real or imagined

Dear mom of grown children: leave your regrets behind

Ruthie character building, Christian living, Clutter-free mind, Empty nesting, encouragement, Regrouping 10 Comments

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Dear mom, I know you wish you could leave your regrets behind.

You should have spent more time reading Dr. Seuss and Goodnight Moon.

You should have been a stay-at-home mom

You should have spoken softer (as in – not yelled)

You should have made them stick with piano

You should have let them quit piano

You should have home schooled

You should have put them back in school

You should have considered their feelings more

You should have listened more

You should have prayed more

You should have been a better role model

You should have…


Stop the “should haves”.

I actually have a friend whose husband tells her, to stop “shoulding”!

But how can I stop when the “SHOULD HAVES” constantly roll around in the back of my mind?

Come with me, my little friend.  Let’s experience a fresh outlook together.

Dear mom of grown children: leave regret behind. Advice on ditching the guilt. Click To Tweet

Dear Mom of grown children, leave the past behind. Positive advice and Scripture for "mom guilt".


How to leave regrets behind

1.  Accept the fact that God was in your movements

Psalm 139 says that even if I make my bed in hell, God remains with me – the worst of times, as well as the best.

When you tried to do your best, yet failed at times, God was still there taking up the slack.  I realize that now that mine are grown.  I hear evidence in their recollections of my words or actions that resulted a spiritual impact on them.

That wasn’t me – that was ALL God.  Whether you believe it or not, God is still in charge of everything, not you!

He was there when you rocked those babies, there when you disciplined them, there when you yelled, and there when you thought you couldn’t take one more temper tantrum.

God was in the movements of your day.

‘He hath done all things well’ (Mark 7:37).  God can take nothing and make something out of it.  God can take your mistakes and polish those mistakes.”  ~A.W. Tozer, The Attributes of God, Vol. 2

2.  Realize your kids are responsible for their actions

Let’s face it – our children are individuals with distinctive temperaments and wills of their own.   They will make bad decisions, just as we did. They will live and learn – just as we did.

They may even spend a season in sin – just as we some of us did.

We simply cannot control their flaws.  It’s hard enough controlling our own!

At some point, we have to let this go and stop blaming ourselves for their faults.  Yes, we were flawed parents.

Who were also raised by flawed parents.

But God is the God of second chances, and He is in the process of making new creations!

Father, may _________ (your child) be confident that You began a good work in his (or her) life and that You will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.  (Philippians 1:6)

Remember, we were flawed parents, raised by flawed parents. There are no perfect parents. Click To Tweet

3.  Stand on the promise of forgiveness from God’s Word

Maybe they’re throwing their faults back onto you.  OUCH.

Perhaps they are the ones who can’t let go.  There are no simple solutions, especially if you have guilt.  But the Jesus laid out a pattern for restitution and forgiveness in Matthew 18.

Seek to make things right;  ask forgiveness and show genuine regret.  If you’ve done everything you can to make restitution, the ball is now in their court.

You simply can do nothing more.  God forgives you.  Whether or not your child forgives now rests with them.

Accept your forgiveness from God and keep moving forward in His Word and freedom.


Forgetting what lies behind, and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 3:13b-14

Dear Mom of grown children, leave the past behind.  Positive advice and Scripture for "mom guilt". How to make peace with parenting fails - real or imagined

Leave your regrets behind

God does not desire a life of bondage for the believer, and living with guilt and regret is exactly that.

Consider all you did right in the lives of your children.  Choose to see the good instead of the ugly.  If you need to make restitution, speak with your child, make it right with God, and walk in His light daily.

Today, KNOW that Christ the Intercessor appears in the presence of God for you!  Hebrews 7:25 says that He ever lives to make intercession for us.  Even when we don’t know what to pray.  (Romans 8:26)


5 Comforting Scriptures to pray over your adult children

Do you catch yourself worrying over your adult children?  Lying in your bed at night, concerned for their safety? Texting them first thing in the morning to allay your fears?

I’ve done it too.

Will they make sound choices?

With whom is she spending time?

Are they riding with safe drivers?

Where is he sleeping this weekend?

What are the safety conditions at her place of employment?

If you grapple with worry over your kids and their choices, check out the suggested reading below AND Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.  You’ll be feeling better in no time (take it from one who knows)!

Suggested reading

I’m with you, empty nesting mama.  Let’s link arms, pray for one another, and cling to the rich promises of God’s Word!  As always, you can reach me here.

*This post contains affiliate links.  Should you choose to purchase certain advertised items, I will receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you, which will help keep this blog up and running!  You may view my policies here.

Ready to rediscover joy?

Join the ecourse, say goodbye to survival mode

There are just some days I’m over trying to dot all my “i’s” and cross my “t’s”.

But what if I didn’t have to do everything I expect of myself? What if I could give myself a bit of slack? What if YOU could? What if, together, we moms could come up with a better way to run a side business, meet the needs of our people, and still come away with time with ourselves?

De-clutter your mind

Last year, I got off the hamster wheel, STOPPED overwhelm, and STARTED living intentionally. From running a blog to playing taxi driver, pet granny, babysitter, caregiver, and chief go-to, I can barely get dinner on the table. I was ready to say goodbye to dashing from task to task, and hello to focusing on one valued task at a time.

And I did it with Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by the Money Saving Mom, Crystal Paine.

As a wife, mom of three, and successful business owner, Crystal understands the day-to-day frustrations that come with everyday responsibilities, and how difficult it can be to live life with direction and passion day by day.

I love this quote from Crystal – it sums up exactly what I’ve been feeling:

“Living with intention means saying no to the things that aren’t important to us so we can say yes to what matters most.”

There’s hope for you too!

Learn more

How to de-clutter your mind with Say Goodbye to Survival Mode:

You’ll receive:

  • 7 video lessons where Crystal shares her personal 18-month journey — one for each day of the course.
  • Daily personal reflection questions to help you process well on your own journey to break free from burnout.
  • Some of Crystal’s favorite recommended resources (links, books, podcasts) to go along with each day’s lesson.
  • A PDF workbook including the entire course lessons that you can download and print.
  • … and much more!

If this sounds like something you struggle with (and frankly, what empty nest mom doesn’t), click this link to see everything that comes with the course, including personal reflection questions to help you process your activities on this 7-day journey to break free from burnout. (Price:  $17.99!)

The insight, tips, and strategies she provides in her new course is foundational in helping you not only Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, but to say goodbye to it for good! If you think this course is right for you, head on over and check it out today! 

Here’s to living a thriving life –


Making space for things that matter!

Click here to learn more about Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: A 7-Day Journey to Break Free from Burnout!!




Comments 10

  1. So good Ruthie. I do hope you are posting this at my party today! I’ve made many a mistakes in my day, but one thing I do not hold is – regrets. Nope. Can’t even go there. I do have some in my single years, but that’s for another time and place. As far as child rearing, I did what I knew, I did what the Lord asked, I did my best. I think they all turned out A-OK! Hoping others will benefit from your wisdom here this week! Will pin this for sure.

    1. Post

      I feel exactly the same, Michelle. I can’t go there, because I know I tried hard. And I know my kids love me in spite of my imperfections!

      Thanks for the reminder, I’ll hop on over!! Thanks for sharing too, friend.

  2. This is so encouraging, Ruthie. As mine are older, there are things that pop up in my mind that I wish I’d done. But as you say, it’s time to keep moving forward and trusting God. I made it a practice to ask my kids for forgiveness regularly, so praise God, our relationships are good. (They ask for forgiveness of me too. 🙂 ) Smiling over your wise advice today.

    1. Post

      Those thoughts meander and roll around and niggle. But that is the Enemy’s tactic and not of the Lord. His armor is powerful and His Word sharp!

      And YES – relationship building is key! Also asking forgiveness. Thanks for the smiles, friend!

    1. Post
  3. Well, Ruthie, my girls are not quite grown (they’re a tween and teen), but I already have plenty of regrets! 😉 Thank you for putting things in wise and graceful perspective. Stopping by from Tuesday Talk!

    1. Post

      I’m sure you do, Elizabeth, and I understand because I had regrets back then as well. God will sustain and the Enemy will accuse – keep leaning into God and His truths and trust Him to undertake for you!

    1. Post

      I think we all need to hear it too – even the young moms. But after the children leave, you get time to think and wonder what you did wrong, analyzing and so forth. It’s not of God, though! Thank you for your encouraging words and the invite to your link up!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.