Super Mom? Are you for real!
Earlier today, I took a look around the house and glanced at my blogging schedule for the next few days. How in the world would I possibly be able to handle the workload ahead of me? Somehow I always get it done, but looking at it from the outside always seems to make it look so much worse than the reality of it all.
My daughter cried 85% of the time today when she was awake. Hey, I even heard her whining through the baby monitor as she napped. That’s the type of day I am having. It’s exhausting – mentally and physically. My 21-year old self would look at this situation and think that I was NEVER capable of handling the load: crying, whining, serving meals, caring for a sick baby all within a day. Oh, and 4 loads of laundry, too. HOW does mom do it?!
Laundry? … The kids? … Meals?
Before my first child was born, I had this idea in my head that moms were sort of reprogrammed once their baby was born. I can’t explain it really (actually, I don’t want to explain it because I fear you will think I am a complete weirdo). It was sort of a thought that some magical potion would be released into our blood and suddenly we would have this great force of energy, stamina, and most of all — patience.
After he was born, I actually continued to think this idea of a super ‘mom potion’ was true. When would the super strength hit? Would it be after he turned 6-months old? Did I somehow lack the genetic makeup that it took to receive this super mom stamina? I was exhausted, overtired, and things were falling apart. I kept trying to BE that Wonder Woman image that we all see on TV.
Guess what? June Cleaver, Wonder Woman, Super Mom — they’re all fictional characters.
Give yourself a break – today and tomorrow. Forgive yourself for whatever it was you didn’t get to finish yesterday. Tomorrow is another day — and so is the day thereafter.
It’s hard to remind ourselves that ‘tomorrow is another day’ when we live in a world that expects things to be done yesterday.
Cut yourself some slack, but don’t be a procrastinator!
Where’s the middle?
What should mom really be like in 2014?
I decided – long ago – that I don’t care about what mom is supposed to look like. Look in the mirror — THAT is what your version of mom is supposed to look like. Hair in a messy bun, up-do, or a nicely slicked back French braid. Whatever your mom style is for today: you are super mom in the eyes of your groupies, the kids (of course!).
Super mom isn’t going to do the laundry today.
She decided to watch a movie with the kids on the couch instead.
June Cleaver isn’t going to wear her perfect prim and proper apron while she cooks dinner tonight.
Instead, June is going to whip out the chopped meat and ask the kids to help her throw together some sloppy joe’s.
The house may take longer to clean tomorrow, but the memories of finger painting on the kitchen floor will last a lifetime.
Ask any new stay-at-home mom about what she hopes to accomplish in a day with her new role as a 24-hour ’round the clock mom. Delusional and dreaming, I can guarantee she will tell you that she is going to have so much time in her day to do laundry, clean the house (and ceiling – daily!), teach her toddler trigonometry, and likely participate in every upcoming PTA event and meeting.
I became a full-time stay-at-home mom in August 2010 — and I had a rude awakening after 3-weeks. I soon realized that adjusting to life as a SAHM was going to be much more difficult than I had imagined. There was no extra time to learn a new instrument or pick up a new hobby. I was lucky to remember that I had to eat and shower, too!
What do you think Super Mom is capable of doing?
What does she look like? When does she even sleep?
Take those ideas and thoughts that you have in your head and SMASH Super Mom to pieces. Delete her from your mind and empty the recycling bin. Toss her in the trash and forget she even exists.
Oh – the humanity! Super Mom probably doesn’t even bleed RED!
Agendas, color coded dry-erase boards, and shopping lists – they aren’t for everyone.
I thought there was something wrong with me — until I realized that none of my friends were using agendas and organizing their kids’ lives with highlighters. All you need to do is ask yourself: are my kids happy? If the answer is yes, I can guarantee you are doing your job (…and quite well, too! You go, girl!)
New Moms (Fresh off the Labor & Delivery floor!):
Relax. It will come natural. Do not expect anything of yourself and you’ll see that it’s possible to get it all done — and I say that in the nicest way in the most authentic voice possible. I had such high expectations of myself that it only made matters worse when I realized that I had accomplished only 4% of what I set out to do for the day.
No one is watching. Every mom envies what another mom can handle. We all wonder in amazement, “how does she do it?”. The truth is: she’s wondering how you do it, too. No mom is alike and no one parenting style or schedule works for everyone. If things aren’t working out, I always suggest hitting the parenting message boards or advice columns online.
Ask, read, research, and learn from other moms. Your best advice on what to do (or not to do) will come from a fellow mom. You don’t have to send her a thank you card or make it publicly known that another mom saved the day. Let people think that you are responsible for that great tip — it’s okay, we all do it…
(No! That wasn’t an open admission to being a pathological lying mom!) I’m just saying — some moms feel awkward for not realizing how to do something or handle a certain situation. It’s perfectly normal to realize that you are not super mom, so you can hide the fact that you actually learned something new. That’s actually our #1 Super Mom method of trickery: let them all think you can and have done it. Then they’ll wonder…. and that’ll make Wonder Woman a reality.
Forgive yourself. Cut yourself some slack.
Tomorrow is another day. We all make mistakes.
No one is human. It’s just another lesson to be learned.
She isn’t real. Let everyone think that you are June Cleaver, but don’t start to think for one second that you can be June Cleaver. I know plenty of moms out there that spend too much time worrying and cleaning. Yes, I want a clean house – who doesn’t? Sometimes you just have to put it off for another day. There’s nothing wrong with that and you’ll actually thank yourself tomorrow when you realize you traded in a vacuum for a memory card full of pictures at the playground!
Remember… don’t be so hard on yourself.
You really are Super Mom, but June Cleaver? She’s only a character on TV.