I have such a hard time not comparing myself to other moms. Honestly, don’t we all? We see videos all the time that are funny and show off every different kind of “that mom” and there’s always a supermom.
You know the kind of mom I’m talking about.
Some would say she’s any of the following:
- Always got her makeup done and hair done
- Is never late
- Every meal is home cooked and worthy of a cooking show
- Bakes home made brownies that are refined sugar free and puts them next to your store bought chocolate chip snickers topped cookies
- House is always immaculate
- Kids are well behaved
- Seems more laid back and care free with her seven children than you are with your one
- etc etc etc
These are real things women have said to me, or that I feel myself. The pressure to be super is real. My question is, is it myth? Or is it simply mastery?
We know what myth means, and we’re very very quick to say in our society today that supermom’s don’t exist. So why do they still exist? In our minds they are very real; I mean … there are just moms who do more. They get more done in a day than I can. They seem to have more hours. Why is that? How do they do it?
Mastery; comprehensive knowledge or skill in a subject or accomplishment.
Synonyms: proficiency, ability, capability
Is it mastery? We all can think of someone we know when we think of this word. In any area of life, not even necessarily mother to mother, but most certainly in this area for the moms of the Pinterest age.
So what do I think? Myth or mastery?
Both. Yep. Both.
First, let’s deal with the myth. No one is perfect. We all know it, and yet we idolize each other, put other women up on pedestals and compete or feel guilty over the title of supermom. I’m guilty of this, daily, even though I know better.
My personal idea of a supermom is one who can bake treats weekly, have a clean house every time I show up, unannounced or not, and who posts photos of themselves out with friends regularly kid free. How do they do it? I wanna do that … and I constantly feel a small sense of shame stepping into that clean house, or knowing I didn’t do something they seem to do so easily.
But here’s the thing: they aren’t perfect. And I think that’s what Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are making us see and feel, is that someone is perfect if they can accomplish whatever it is you feel makes a supermom. Whatever it is that makes your heart ache because you so desperately wish you could be that way, still doesn’t make them perfect, and they’ll tell you that themselves. We need to remind ourselves of this.
Drop the shame, we weren’t created to live in shame.
So, supermom’s are a myth. Plain and simple. Even if you believe someone to be, they will admit readily they are not, and share with you all their faults and your rose coloured glasses will be shattered.
She’ll tell you they just spent the last 15 minutes crying in the bathroom while their kids screamed at her/each other from the other side, and all she could do was lock herself away and hide.
She’ll tell you she fights with her husband, despite all the happy photos posted.
She’ll tell you she gets out with her friends often because she’s escaping her home life because during this season, she just doesn’t love it.
So let’s all stop trying to be supermom’s, because they don’t exist. Mk? Good.
The myth of the supermom is simple: we assume too much about other people’s lives.
The flip side; Mastery
Ok Michelle, but the truth is these women still accomplish things I want to be able to do, and I just don’t know how to do it.
Here’s my take on the mastery of the urban legend, the supermom.
I got called a supermom a few weeks ago! WHAT!? I am not. I will tell you right now, I will be that mom, who will tell you that I am not. We established the myth, right? Right. So moving on.
Dishes pile up in my home for sometimes weeks, my banister is covered in dirt, dog hair and filth after ages of neglect. My toilet will likely be cleaned while I “go pee” during your surprise visit. I have piles of laundry. Not cleaned. Just piles of dirty laundry. The dog hasn’t been walked. I probably haven’t showered in a few days.
But yes, I workout, I get my hair done regularly, I tend to braid my hair and put on a little blush and lipstick when I wake up, I get outside regularly and I read to my kiddo as often as I can, I make all our food at home, I make it as healthy as possible, I work as a part time hairstylist and I am building my own fitness coaching business from home.
It’s called priorities.
Look at your supermom; whoever it is in your life that you just are in awe of. Now take away wanting to be her, because you’ll never be her, and if you could be her it’d be a very very bad thing, because darling, the world needs you.
So just be you, mk?
Accept all that you are, and all that you are not, and be ok with that even if you want to change. We need to find balance between being content in the present, and moving forward at the same time. In life you’re either moving up or moving down. That’s just a fact. So, move up.
But how? Well … here’s what I did, and continue to do.
Firstly, pick your priorities. Stick to those. For me? Cleaning is not on the top of my list. I love a clean house, but it doesn’t leave me feeling balanced and satisfied. If it is for you, do that. I accept that it’ll never be spotless on my own, because it’s not my first priority.
(If you’re a mom in survival mode having a hard time getting through each day, struggling with depression and sleep exhaustion, I’ve been there. This article isn’t necessarily for you, but this one is. When you’re ready to take the next step, come back here.)
Secondly, get really good at your priorities. Hone those skills. I picked working out as my number one thing to do in a day. Some days I don’t do it, but it’s the first thing I’m working towards making a non-negotiable in my life. It’s my me time. I love fitness (can you tell??) and it gives me a sense of accomplishment, it’s my antidepressant, and it’s the time of day I say, I’m worth it. Don’t add anything else until you feel confident that your priorities are set and in stone. Become a master.
Thirdly, pick a supermom characteristic that you want. And while we’re at it, let’s drop the word supermom and just say mom. Because all mom’s are super. So for me, it’s having kind of a handle on the house. I do need to get out of the depression habits of just not cleaning, because gross. So I ensure I set aside 10 minutes every day for cleaning. This has progressed to 10 minutes here and there, which leaves me with a tidier house, I even set a timer at the start. That was literally the small, most tiny goal I set for myself at the start. Because depression debilitates you, leaving you overwhelmed, thinking you don’t know how to do things. I get a bit of anxiety in the mix there as well. So, find a small, super tiny goal, and add it in. Make sure it’s manageable.
Now here’s the secret … master it. And master it again. Repeat x forever.
That’s right, it’s mastery. Small, seemingly insignificant actions taken every single day that add up to a life you built, and can call your own. We all have things we’re natural masters at, and we see these other moms and think to be a good mom I must do XYZ …
You are a good mom. Period.
But if you want to do more things, do more things. Just start small, and add. Repeat x forever. Life is growth. Stop growing, stop living.
I do this with being a wife, being a mom, being a friend … I’m slowly adding things to my list of skills I’d like to master.
Instead of wishing I was a wife like so and so, I just stop, and think about what kind of wife I would like to be. Instead of wishing I was a friend like so and so, I stop, think about the kind of friend I’d like to be. Instead of … get the point?
That’s it guys. That’s “supermoms.” They’ve spent years doing daily small things, mastering the areas of their lives that are important to them, and suddenly it seems like they can do it all. Compound interest in positive actions.
So anyone can do it. You can do it. I can do it.
We’re all supermoms, and none of us are.
Don’t be anyone but yourself, stop wishing you had what other people had, and go out and get it for yourself.
It doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to be overnight. In fact it won’t be. It’ll be slow. But eventually, it’ll explode, and the person you knew you already were, emerged.
You’re already there, you just need to see it.