Faith Motherhood

How I Stopped Being a Controlling Mom

Written by Kelli Bachara

 

Dear controlling mom,

I know you don’t like being controlling. I know the pit deep in your aching stomach after you boss your husband around or belittle him, because you are fearful he will do it wrong. Or the flood of guilt you feel after yelling at your kids because you just want them to do it your way.

You hear it from your spouse, from your parents, from your kids: “Lighten up,” “Chill out,” “They need to make mistakes to learn,” “You’re a helicopter mom,” “You’re so controlling.”

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Being a controlling mom isn’t fun for you or anyone else.

I also know you aren’t controlling because you are a mean, selfish person. In fact, it’s most likely the opposite. You want to control your family because you want them to be OK. You want them to be safe, to be healthy, to thrive.

Sometimes it feels like in order to protect your family, you HAVE to be controlling. Sometimes the idea of letting go brings sheer terror.

Parenting is scary. There are so many “what ifs”, so many possible dangers and heartbreak, and so much uncertainty. So it makes sense you want to cling to what makes you feel safe and comfortable.

That’s where control comes in. It gives you a temporary feeling of certainty. Control creates the illusion you can actually prevent bad things from happening.

Unfortunately, it really is only temporary, and doesn’t bring us the peace we are seeking. And you may find in the end it actually makes you feel worse, not better. Control really isn’t the way to find comfort.

The opposite of control is this REALLY difficult concept I struggle with daily. It’s called surrender. It means surrendering your fears, anxiety and control to the One who can handle it. To the One who already knows. To the One who has always been in control anyway.

The Lord can gently lead you to this place of surrender. A place where He picks up the fear and replaces it with His perfect peace. Once you’ve experienced His peace, you know there is no peace you can create for yourself like it. It’s a peace that truly transcends understanding.

You also must come to terms with the fact that you can handle whatever the outcome is in any situation. It might be incredibly difficult, but you are able to overcome incredibly difficult things. Moms are so strong. And when you have God with you, you really can do anything.

So show yourself grace, mama. You are so much more than a controlling mom. You have a heart of gold and love your family more than words can explain. Let the Lord take the control and replace it with His peace. You can still love your kids just as much as you do, but do it knowing that someone far greater and more powerful is actually the one in control.

About the author

Kelli Bachara

Kelli is a mental health therapist, momma to two (one currently cooking in the womb), and wife to an amazing man with a cool name, Rocco. Kelli loves 90s pop rock, Hallmark Christmas movies, her dog Winnie, and Jesus (in reverse order).