First of all, if you’re just a regular mom, you ARE super.
It’s dang hard at the best of times.
Throw in loud, sticky, incessant interrupters who want screen time and give you grey hairs, and that takes the cake (and smashes it on the left side of your cheek).
We ask each other — “How are you?” and “How are things?” — maybe even over coffee (or wine) during a time of true connection.
But while the response may illicit care and concern it often also creates comparison – adding ideas to sort out later or guilt over something we hadn’t thought of or done “right.”
Our brains are so noisy, full of open tabs and that not-so subtle, nagging pressure.
We do have to be accountable for the basics, such as not missing the deadline for hockey registration, dentist appointments, and laundry.
But what about all the other tabs?
Do you ever find yourself in a rabbit hole that leads you to believe you are not doing enough?
Perhaps your version of ‘supermom:’
- just told you about an article she read proving that sleeping on cotton sheets lowers your IQ (so she is obviously switching immediately to bamboo);
- described her new reward chart that guarantees to fully eliminate all forms of yelling (which isn’t a huge problem in her house, but she would like to reduce it even more); OR
- arrived at book club wearing Jimmy Choos and *gasp* makeup!
Why do we let that lead us to a place of ‘I’m not good enough?’
Shouldn’t we whoop and holler for all the moms having a seamless-looking day?
Their success does not negate our own.
We all have some days that are better than others.
Moms Of Today
I think what this generation has done is turned the goal of just raising good humans (and not losing our sanity along the way) into a goal-driven exercise in comparison and guilt.
- What is the right amount of screen time?
- Bedtime snack or no eating after dinner?
- What should rewards and consequences look like?
- Should I have a reading log? A chore chart?
- What theme birthday party should I have?
- Is it okay for my kids to be bored or eat non-organic food?
- Should I teach better oral hygiene habits to my children (I personally cannot roll with modelled behaviour leading the way here)?
There are free-range parents. There are helicopter parents.
Some kids are allowed to go to sleepovers and some are not. The trampoline is a no-no for some and not for others.
What about sugar, dairy, and gluten? Do you have a set amount of outdoor time a day? Practise music, sports, academics? Join a club? Learn a language?
Little Suzie is anxious. Geronimo doesn’t sleep through the night. Your child reads two grades above mine. You go for hikes AS A FAMILY?!
We say things like —
- Your house is so clean!
- Excuse my mess!
- You have weekly date nights? Oh, we don’t leave our kids with sitters.
Our minds are going to explode!
It is not really a stretch of the imagination to think we are all pushing ourselves just TOO DAMN HARD.
Why do we care so much about the rules other moms have? Make your decision. Choose your parenting path.
Mostly just LOVE. Be connected. Be engaged.
“Let’s stop comparing. But even better let’s stop trying to do it all, to supermom, to tick all the right boxes. There isn’t one right way.” ~CB
Moms of the Past
I’m 38 and I don’t remember there being this hyper-vigilance and constant drive to please the kids (aka me) or keep them entertained (again, me).
I don’t remember needing to join clubs and learn instruments when just barely un-wombed.
Maybe our parents just wanted to raise good humans, not superhumans.
Is it possible parenting wasn’t their only past-time, and kids didn’t have to be entertained constantly?
In Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed ( recommend reading the chapter titled “memos” while standing in line at Costco, or even better, the whole book) she says:
“Every generation of parents receives a memo when they leave the hospital with their baby.
My grandmothers’ memo: Here is the baby. Take it home and let it grow. Let it speak when spoken to. Carry on with your lives.
Now the goal of parenting is: Never allow anything difficult to happen to your child.”
We want to be supermoms and raise super-happy superhumans.
I remember when I was pregnant telling my mom that I was losing strength at the gym.
She laughed to say that when she was pregnant it was just about survival, not pushups.
“Let’s make doing less okay. Let’s make doing lots okay. You do it your way. I’ll do it mine.” ~CB
What if we just accepted that little Johnny across the street doesn’t do sleepovers. And then try to avoid the temptation to google the reasons why we are yet-again failing because our kid does.
MUST keep up with whatever will be the BEST. In all areas. All. The. Time.
Aren’t we exhausted enough just being moms?
“Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.” ~Tiny Fey
5 Tips To Be The Supermom You Are
- Put on your own oxygen mask (or these days just your own public-place mask) first.
- Love your little darlings (even when they’re not so darling) and know that is the key ingredient.
- Listen to them even if you don’t get their lingo (cause I’m getting older and it shows) — like really listen.
- Feed them every now and again.
- STOP comparing yourself.
Let’s not become so obsessed with doing better that all we feel is guilt for not quite measuring up.
Let’s choose a positive way to raise resilient, kind, and responsible children.
“Let’s not drain ourselves to the point where we can’t even find ourselves amongst the lists, the dos and don’ts, and the constant attempts to do better.” ~CB
So do you still want to be a supermom?
Let’s stop striving. Let’s be present. Breathe. Give thanks for the gift of our children.
And, get the job done.
Press on. In your own way,
p.s. Feel free to share with the regular moms in your life.
p.p.s. Follow me on FB or IG @caitlinbangsundauthor