What do you think of when you hear supermom? Do you conjure up a picture of a woman who has it all together all the time, with a perfectly clean, perfectly decorated house, smiling happy, perfectly pulled together children who never whine or complain, basically someone who can do it all without even breaking a sweat? That’s how I used to define being supermom. But not anymore… I’m not saying that person doesn’t exist, I’m sure some of you are that person. But, for me I had to redefine supermom so I could keep my sanity.
I am being completely honest when I say I was overwhelmed with one child… at least I thought I was. Then came #2… this definitely threw me for a loop. Sixteen months later #3 arrived and then I knew what being overwhelmed really meant. For some reason when #4 came 20 months later, and #5 24 months after that, I became less and less overwhelmed.
The other day I found myself bending over holding my 4 year old to go potty in a public restroom (I had lovingly covered the seat of course), with my baby strapped to me in the baby carrier hanging precariously, one more baby in the shopping cart and two boys standing by. I was contemplating, at that moment, how did I get here? Not that I don’t know how I got here, literally, I do understand the birds and the bees. It’s just that I never really imagined that this would be my life, that I would have 5 kids before I turned 30. But I wouldn’t change a thing! It is the best and wildest ride I’ve ever been on, for real!
Never in a million years did I think I would be able to handle what I do on a daily basis. But I’ve also greatly lowered my expectations, my goal is not to be supermom as defined by anyone else, it’s just to be the superest (is that even a word?) mom that I can be. It’s not to be able to do EVERYTHING half-way, but instead to choose a few things to do really well. You see, if I try to do it all, I can’t do it all with excellence, something has to give. I had to set my priorities straight.
I’ve traded my view of “supermom” to keep my sanity, and now for me, being supermom means ending the day with hugs and a smile. If I do that, I feel accomplished. Even if I didn’t get out of my pajamas until noon (not that I do that or anything;-). Even if there is a behemoth laundry pile, or I don’t remember when I mopped the floor last (again, of course this has never happened to me), even if I’m terrible at potty training, or my kids look like ragamuffins, or they aren’t involved in every activity under the sun, if we end the day smiling I say that’s a win.
I feel like this needs to be said. I see too many mom’s stressing out and getting completely overwhelmed trying to do and have it all, or putting themselves down for not doing what they think they should be able to do (or sadly what others are telling them they should do). Figure out what you really want your kids to remember from their childhood, and focus on that. Find the balance that suits you, not your sister, or your neighbor, or your mom. Refuse to compare yourself to another mom, or a false picture of what being supermom looks like.
This is the realization I came to with number 4, and I’ve never been happier being just me. I can glean and learn from other mom’s around me, but I don’t have to be just like them. I have certain priorities with my kids and you may have different one’s, but I just want to encourage all you mom’s to make sure you are the one defining those priorities.
Maybe one day, when I’m out of the intense toddler training years, when I’m not up to my elbows in poopy diapers, dealing with thumb sucking(not me) and potty training, maybe then I’ll be the other kind of supermom. But until then I’ll just throw my nursing wrap around my neck and make it my cape, my kids love it when I do that. Hokey? Maybe, I’ve decided to bring hokey back, and I’ll do almost anything if it makes my kids smile.
So here’s to you supermoms! Make your kids smile today, clear off your plate everything that isn’t really necessary, and enjoy these small moments with your babes. I promise, being sane is a lot more fun than being a crazy, stressed out mom. What are your thoughts on being supermom?