This article, entitled "I Want to Be a Super Mom When I Grow Up," comes from Donna Bell, MomsEveryday blogger from Northwest Florida.
Who is this “Super Mom” we speak of? Does she really exist? I used to want to be her. The woman who does it all, knows it all, has it all. She’s amazing, this Super Mom. She is first in the pickup line after school, sits in the front row at all assemblies where her children are being awarded for straight A’s and perfect attendance. She has an amazing career that defines the modern woman. She always looks perfect, has her hair in place, her clothes neatly tailored, and, oh yea, she is thin because she never misses a day of yoga. The kids have healthy, whole grain, organic lunches packed in a lunchbox that contains no BPA and has ample coolie packs to keep their fruits and veggies cool (which they always eat!) She brings home the bacon, (turkey bacon), fries it up in a pan, and never, ever lets her husband forget he’s a man! That’s the Super Mom we all want to be.
Now that I am a mom of two sons, am rapidly approaching 40 (well, not THAT rapidly), and have worked for almost 20 years in a career in television news, I’ve put my investigative reporting skills to the test, and I think I can honestly say this: Super Mom, as we know her, does not exist.
Balancing parenting and work is not easy. I work early in the morning, so I can be off in time to get in the carpool line at school. Then I race home to help the boys with homework, catch up on laundry, and start supper, before shuttling the boys off to baseball practice. Before bed, I try to make the boys’ lunches and lay out their school uniforms. Everyday they wake up, and my husband gets them cleaned and fed, and drives them to school. If I’m lucky, my husband and I can squeeze in a quick cup of coffee mid-morning, but lately we are just to busy for that. If I’m lucky, I may actually get five full hours of sleep tonight (but I never count on it!)
The other day my son asked me why I’m never there when he wakes up, and I found myself feeling guilty. I said, “Because I want to be there when you get out of school.” To a seven year old, this does not make sense, but it is the balance my husband and I have worked hard to achieve so we can both work full time and be full time parents. Sadly, making time for each other or ourselves often goes by the wayside. Today on Mom’s Everyday, I laughed when I saw the story “How’s that Super Mom Complex Working for Ya?” I realized before I had kids, I always dreamed I could be the Super Mom who can do it all, be a great mom, wife, and worker. What I’ve come to learn is that being a Super Mom is just doing the best I can. Perhaps if I make time for myself (and coffee with my husband!) then maybe I will be more of a Super Mom, even if the laundry isn’t ready and supper came from a drive through. Perhaps being a Super Mom means explaining to my son that no, mommy’s not there when he wakes up, but daddy is, and he’s lucky to have a daddy who loves him so much.
I used to feel guilty for being a working mom. I thought I should be at home taking care of my family. But I’ve come to realize that by working, I AM taking care of my family. To all moms out there, at home or at work, relax and try to enjoy where you are. The kids will only be young once, and we only have one shot at this parenting thing. Perhaps by relaxing and showing our kids we make mistakes and do the best we can to balance life, maybe that’s the secret to being a SUPER mom.
Mommy guilt is a curse that can rob us of the precious few years we have when our children are young. I’m going to try harder to follow my own advice, and stop and smell the roses. Of course, that will be easier to do once this stinky load of laundry is done! :)