Warning: Toxic Moms


Motherhood is too tough, and your words are too important to risk contamination.

"Do all things without grumbling." —Philippians 2:14 ESV

Being a mom changes our friendships. We tend to gravitate toward women who are in the same stage of motherhood and whose children get along well with ours. But these shallow parameters can lead us to spend the bulk of our time with moms who are toxic. They may know how to plan a playdate, but if they are grumblers, complainers, or moms who parent with tactics that aren’t in alignment with the fruit of the Spirit, they aren’t doing you any good.

You see . . . grumbling is a serious problem. We tend to see it as a natural part of life with kids. When women get together, they tend to swap stories about who got the least amount of sleep, what stressed them out the day before, and what their child is doing that is wearing them sick. I understand that we feel the need to vent, but ultimately it is not helpful.

In 1 Corinthians 10 we find Paul listing some serious sins among the Israelites as they fled Egypt. First he blasts them for idolatry. Duh. That’s a no-brainer. Then he warns them against sexual immorality. Check. Got it. But then he says this:

We must not . . . grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer (1 Cor. 10:9–10 ESV).

Yep. You read that right. Paul lists grumbling on par with idolatry and sexual immorality. What do these three sins have in common? They are all divisive. They put a wedge between us and others and always between us and God.

Which is why you simply cannot afford to spend time with moms who grumble. Give them a wave at preschool. Send them a Christmas card, but do not spend your time with them. They are toxic. Their habit of grumbling and complaining about motherhood will rub off on you. Motherhood is too tough, and your words are too important to risk contamination.

Action Step: Reach out.

Reach out to a new friend whom you have seen speak lovingly about her children. Invite her and her children over to your house to play and have lunch. Make a habit of proactively spending time with mothers who do not grumble.

A Mom’s Prayer: Lord, forgive me when I grumble. Teach me to talk about motherhood in a way that honors You.

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