I’ve been meaning to write this post ever since last January, when I tried to play Supermom. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
But until I realized that, damage was done, and I want to share my experiences with you to hopefully empower you and help you realize just how much you are already doing as a mom.
21st century parenthood – it’s not like parenting used to be. Today, a mom isn’t just a mom. She’s a mom, homemaker, educator, breadwinner, psychologist, dietitian, organic cook, and what not… Our mothers did a great job, even though “all” they had to do was be a mom and a homemaker.
I’m a stay at home mother, which is, of course, my choice. Many moms will choose to go to work. Both of those are great choices, for whatever reason we choose them. The problem arises when we try to do it all.
Last January, agreed to help a friend out for a few hours a day, on top of my blogging, being a stay at home mother, and the sole homemaker. I reached my breaking point then.
We need to stop start taking our sanity for granted.
We need to start treating ourselves better, allowing ourselves to take a break.
We need to start choosing our battles – because no person can do it all.
And we need to stop thinking that not doing it all makes us any less perfect. Because it doesn’t.
Being able to factor in our own sanity, our happiness, in our parenting decision is a huge milestone. Being able to let go of the mythical “supermom status” is a huge accomplishment in our parenting journey. We need to be able to understand that it’s okay if we make mistakes, even big ones, as long as they are lessons learned. And that those mistakes will even make us better parents.
Because here’s the thing: just as Superman is an imaginary being, so is Supermom. She doesn’t exist.
That mother who you see getting it all done – working full time, with a spotless house, and still making organic kale smoothies and meals from scratch? There’s something that you’re not seeing – I can guarantee that. I can’t tell you what it is, because I can’t know.
But I can tell you that she is just as human as you are.
The supermom that you see flying through the air, saving the world? It’s all trick photography and animations. Behind the scenes, there is either children who are deprived emotionally because Mom tries to get everything done, or a miserable woman, whose children sense her misery and are likely to reflect it. It could be she is just playing the game, and you only see the kale smoothies, not the frozen pizza dinner laid out hastily on a busy day.
And there is nothing wrong with frozen pizza. Or hiring cleaning help. It’s really not that bad to have a house that looks well-used, or asking others for help. Or even sending your child to day care when you’re a work from home mom.
There’s nothing wrong with a mother NOT contributing to the household income. Or NOT sewing handmade costumes for her child. Or not managing to conquer certain struggles, like breastfeeding.
But there is something terribly wrong with a mother who hates motherhood, and maybe even hates herself because of a flawed perception of what kind of mother she needs to be. There is something sad about a mother who is miserable and depressed because she tries to be that kind of mother, and never has a second to breathe some fresh air.
So, please, let’s stop chasing that phantom super-motherhood. It’s far from ideal. It’s foolish. It doesn’t exist.