Monday, February 9, 2009

Supermom is a Myth

If you've spent any time in the blog world, then you've likely been exposed to your share of Mom-related anxiety. The guilt spans the ocean of worrying that our kids aren't getting enough vegetables, to obsessing over whether or not we are doing enough brain-stimulating crafts with our kids. Sometimes we fret over whether we're yelling too much-- some of us feel we are pushovers.

And most of us believe that other mothers are doing it better.

Sure, you've got the moms out there that are definitely not doing it better-- and the mugshots on TV to prove it.

But if you're anything like me, your reality about what a mom should and does do is based on those mothers you come into regular contact with. And everyone else seems to be handling this mom gig better than you. They bake more. They do more crafts. They apply discipline better and remember to wash the kids' linens before they are crusty with boogers. They are thinner, better cooks, and probably even (gasp!) have time for romantic evenings with their partners.

In short, they are Supermoms.

But if you didn't already know it, I'm going to remind you today: the Supermom is a myth.

She doesn't exist.

We are all imperfect in our parenting. We all have our trashy junk drawers, our well-kept dusty secret corners, and our festering anxieties. We all have something about our parenting that we wish we could do better-- and most of us, most of the time, are doing the best we can.

Perhaps that means that we are all Supermoms.

But when I find myself wasting my energy comparing myself to what I believe other mothers have/are/do/create for their children, I try to keep it in check. For one, nothing productive can come out of that worry. For two, I have no idea what it's like on the other side of their fence. For three, maybe that "supermom" is looking over my fence thinking the same things about me.

There's a cheesy self-motivational artist named Sark, and she writes:

You are enough.
You have enough.
You do enough.

I try to remind myself of that, when I see these mothers that I aspire to emulate. And I try to give myself a break.

Have you given yourself a break today?


Tara S. Dickherber, M.Ed, CPC said...

SO TRUE! We can only do so much. Take care of ourselves, our family, and what ever else falls behind that! GREAT reminder!

Midwest Mom said...

Your post is a good reminder to be as forgiving of ourselves as we are of others. No one person can do it all. I tell my children that people are more important than things. I guess that means raising them is more important than that annoying cobweb above the television in the living room... I notice it every evening and think I'll get it in the morning... Hasn't happened yet.

But I guess that's okay. :D

Thanks for the post!

- Julia at Midwest Moms

Heather said...

Every so often a mom will comment on my blog or tell me IRL that they don't know how I do it all. Those days I smile and think "if only I really was doing it all." My house is very messy. My husband helps a lot. Some things get done only half-a$$ed. Many times I'm staying up much too late at night. And sometimes I just let more things go that really do not need to be done. I dust every 6 months or so, whether the house needs it or not.

angi said...

I love this post too!

Just yesterday I found myself looking in awe at someone's pictures...her house was beautiful AND spotless (both of which, mine is NOT) and I started feeling inadequate. Thanks for the reminder that I am not :)

Chan said...

I tend to disagree just a smidge. I do think Supermom exists. See, I think she is the mom that has figured out exactly what you are talking about and has embraced it. Supermom knows that she will struggle. She knows that peanut butter and syrup will grace every surface of her home no matter what she does. Sometimes she bothers to clean it and sometimes she says, "What the hell, why clean it up when it will just get messy again."

So, unless you are one of those moms with the mug shot that you were talking about you probably already are a Supermom.

I know you are. said...

This is the hardest challenge I think we face today!! And yes, what Chan says is true... if there's no mug shot, then we've accomplished our mission!

Moms At Work said...

The grass is always greener and I'm sure our "idols" aren't as perfect as we think they are. Still, I'm constantly banging my head against the wall for not doing more things from scratch. Thank you for making me feel better :)

Anne Mayhew said...

Great Post! We all do try to be supermoms and part of that means we need to know how to prioritize what is most important for ourselves and our families!

Thanks for the reminder!

Sandra Foyt said...

Just like our kids, we each are a unique blend of gifts and talents. No one person can do it all! That's why I love connecting with other moms, sharing our strengths, in an extraordinary parenting village.

Pamela Kramer said...

Guilty as charged!!!!! I need to hang that mantra all over my house.