Good Moms Have Lunch Meat

Kathleen M Peters, Speaker/Author

I’m taking this AMAZING class with a few friends this summer. It’s called, Wounded by Shame, Healed by Grace. It is rockin’ my socks, friends. As you know, I’m a recovering perfectionist who is beginning to embrace the woman God made her to be while trying to let go of the woman I think I ‘should’ be. Yep, it’s quite a journey to shirk that second old broad. She’s caused me more pain than I care to admit.

So, this study is right up my alley as I work to unearth more of who the real me is. Will the real Kathleen Peters please stand up? <she looks to the left, she looks to the right, points to herself as she mouths the word, “Me?”>

I’ve had many epiphanies in this class, but the latest and greatest was identifying my shame markers. You know, what are the physical manifestations that occur when I feel shame. What do I feel and do when shame becomes a reality. And it came all in one swooping moment when my oldest son told me there was no more lunch meat in the house.


“And it came all in one swooping moment when my oldest son told me there was no more lunch meat in the house.”

Um, so how do I explain my reaction to this very innocuous statement? Let’s see, does Mount St Helens eruption paint an accurate picture? Yeah. I think it does.

Yes, I boiled over. I spouted. My head twisted around on my shoulders in a COMPLETE circle. Yes. Yes, it was ugly. Poor kid.

So, why would a simple statement regarding the contents (or lack thereof) of our refrigerator cause a major natural disaster in my head? Let’s see. I think it may have been what I THOUGHT he was saying, but didn’t really say. “We’re out of lunch meat!! Really??? Mom!!! You are the worst mom on the planet. Good moms always have their refrigerators well stocked with food. You are a GIANT failure.”

And there is was in all it’s glory. My shame. I realized in that moment that my anger was a reaction to something I ‘knew’ was already true. Good moms provide food for their families by making sure there is ALWAYS plenty to eat for their children and husband. Bad moms don’t. And now my son knew what I already knew: I’m a bad mom.

What? All that from a lunch meat? Yep. It was awesome.

For most of my adult life, I’ve wondered why I can go from a comfortable room temperature to boiling point in a matter of seconds. Why do I get so angry?

And now I know. When I feel shame, my go to emotion is anger. It’s my self-defense mechanism.

And then my next course of action is really just as lovely. I blame. Yep. I totally try to deflect so you think it wasn’t me being a bad mom, but something you did wrong. You know what I said to my son? “Why didn’t you TELL me we were running low???? I don’t even EAT lunch meat, so how was I to know that?”

Aren’t you glad you don’t live in my house. I mean really. Who is this crazy woman?

And yet, when I shared my story with several good friends recently, I did not get shocked looks or gasps. Nope. After hanging my head in complete embarrassment, I looked up to find these other incredible moms nodding their heads, like they knew EXACTLY what I was talking about. They did know!! And then they shared with me their “Good moms ______” stories. You know, the things they believe a good mom does.


Good moms:

  • Have teenage children with good hygiene
  • Have children who read their bibles everyday
  • Make wholesome home-cooked meals
  • Have kids who share
  • Have kids who clean up after themselves
  • Have children with combed hair, shoes on the correct feet, and matching clothing
  • Have kids with clean rooms
  • Have kids who volunteer at Bible Camp
  • Don’t EVER wish they could just not be mom for 30 minutes
  • Don’t ENJOY themselves when they are not with their children, they feel guilty

Hmm…seems like a load of _______. I know a cornucopia of good moms who don’t fit this list. Could it be that our mental list of what makes a Good Mom is a a bunch of baloney? (Yes. Yes, I did just work the lunch meat theme). I think maybe so.

What about you? What do you think makes a good mom? Are the things on your list TRUE? And when you don’t measure up, do you explode like a volcano, crawl into a corner and cry, eat a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

For me, I’ve decided to start taking note of my volcanic activities and dig deep into why I’m feeling shame, find out what it is I’m actually hearing people say, and ask if that IS what they mean. Because after all, my son was really only saying, “Hey, mom. When you go to the store next time, would you grab some lunch meat?”

I’d love to hear your ‘Good moms ______’ Throw them into the comments below.

And by the way, I think you ARE a good mom. Yes, I do. Embrace it, girl. God made you awesome.

Warmly, Kathleen

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