How To Be “Super Mom”:
1.) Enroll each of your children in multiple activities: one musical instrument, one sport per season, swimming lessons year ’round, and art lessons (bonus if it’s something difficult like pottery) PER CHILD.
2.) Feed your child only organic food (more bonus points if it’s vegetarian fare). If they don’t eat it, they can starve. Who cares, as long as you Instagram the heck out of each meal as proof that your child only eats the very best.
3.) Clean your house on a rotating schedule (posted prominently on the refrigerator for all guests to see). If your kids need you while cleaning, IGNORE THEM. The house must be clean at any and all cost. iPads, iPods, and the television are perfect, free babysitters that were basically invented for this purpose. Again, it doesn’t matter how you attain a clean house, so long as no one EVER knows it gets dirty.
4.) Don’t ever complain. I repeat: DON’T EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, COMPLAIN. You must always put on a cheery face and present the glass-half-full version of your day.
5.) Brag loudly and frequently about your children’s accomplishments. This list can include topics ranging from their sleep habits (no one needs to know that you’re exaggerating a little), to their adventurous taste for delicious food (again, what your friends don’t know won’t hurt them), to how early they have mastered milestones, etc. Nothing is too small to proudly share with your less-than-overachieving friends.
Let’s all have a good chuckle together before I continue.
I absolutely hate the term Super Mom. I hate this idea that has been perpetuated in our society that more = better. The busier you are, the busier your kids are, the more awe you inspire in people. It seems to be a commonly held point of view that the less free time you have, the more you have accomplished, thus the more inspirational your life is. I have been on both ends of this. I have had people ask me how I “do it all” when they hear we have four kids. I always want to laugh, as I instantly picture the bathrooms that haven’t been cleaned in 2 weeks, the piles of laundry that will take me days to catch up on, and the toys/crumbs/paper scraps 6 inches deep in the third row of the Pilot. But I have also looked at other moms as they cart their children from one fun activity to the next, I have glanced around spotless homes that I envy, with their clutter free counters and their sparkling, toothpaste-free mirrors, and I have felt that twinge of envy. More than envy, though, I have felt inadequate. I wonder how some moms can seem to have it all together, while I struggle to just make it through most of our days without wanting to throw in the towel.
I know that most of us are aware of how easy it is to make your life look perfect, to be “Super Mom”, on the internet. I can look around and see that all it takes are a few pictures at just the right times and angles for people to believe I am one of those that has it all together. I am aware that no one has a perfect life, but all it takes is one rough day where I’m struggling, I pick up my phone while I nurse Adele, and I see pictures and status updates full of perfection. I always feel extra defeated after that, but I also usually feel discontent with my life. Why can’t I do more? Why when I try to do more, do I usually enjoy life LESS?
I want to do my part to destroy the Super Mom. Not just the goal of being Super Mom, but her identity altogether. I don’t want to equate more with better in my head. I want to be able to fully see what I have and be thankful for it, despite what others have. I want to learn to compare myself to what is most important to me, and to line my priorities up accordingly, rather than measuring myself against others. I’m never going to feel peace until I do.
I asked all of you on Facebook the other day what you thought of when you hear the term Super Mom, and I was so happy that most of you responded with “any mom”. Because it’s true, we are all Super Moms, even on our worst days. I think we need to redefine Super Mom, for ourselves and our happiness.
I think we can be Super Mom by doing a few things:
1.) Take the time to list your priorities. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what is really most important to you in the daily chaos. It helps me to take some time every now and then to write them down my priorities, and then to display my list on the refrigerator. I’ve even written different priority reminders on notecards and placed them in visible places around the house like my bathroom mirror, my dresser, in front of the kitchen sink, and so on, so that I can see one at a time throughout my day. Then, I switch it up every now and again so I don’t ignore them because they become a part of the landscape of the room.
2.) When you start to compare yourself to another person, make a conscious effort to stop and list three things you are thankful for right that very moment. It will feel silly at first, but over time it will feel more natural and will work towards shifting your focus from the negative to the positive.
3.) When things get crazy or chaotic, just stop. If it’s at home, just sit down and breathe. If you need to reconnect with your kids, grab one (or all of them) and sit and snuggle, breathing in their sweet, innocent presence. Even a few minutes of this can really help. If you feel like you may hurt your child after a particularly rough day (I’m mostly exaggerating), put them somewhere safe (a crib, pack n play, bedroom with a gate, in front of a cartoon for a bit, etc.), and sit down by yourself and breathe in the quiet. There is no reason to feel guilty about this. If it helps everyone in the long run, it is worth it. Do this without your phone, computer, tablet, or any distractions. I grab my Bible and read a few quick passages, or maybe listen to some soothing music for a few minutes. But sometimes, it’s just the quiet that I need.
4.) Open up. I think the most important thing in being a mom is being transparent. It’s hard sometimes, especially if you are surrounded by people who are uncomfortable with being real. But the more we open up, hopefully those around us will too. The more we show our imperfections, and furthermore the beauty in our imperfections, the less pressure we feel and put on others.
Let’s work together to abolish the false Super Mom mentality and support each other, flaws and all.