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Everyone knows at least one “Super Mom”. She could be your neighbor, your in-law, or even your best friend. You know what I am talking about…A “Super Mom” is the one whose house is always spotless, and whose children are perfectly dressed and behaved. Or the one who is the life of the party, always involved in the planning and executing of every activity under the sun. Or the one who somehow finds the time to be gorgeously fit and perfectly put together at all times despite maintaining a house and small children.
How often have you looked at these “Super Moms” and felt anything but super? How often have you compared yourself to these “Super Moms” and felt discouraged and downright depressed? We all go through the stage of wanting to be that, “Super Mom” but, have we ever stopped to ask ourselves if what we are seeing is the whole story? Is the idealism of “Super Mom” even real? And if so is it healthy? And even more is it worth it?
I have spoken with many whom I considered “Super Moms”. Some of them were quick to reject that title. They told me that all was not what it seemed. They told me that I was only seeing a small aspect of their lives and that in every other aspect they were just like everyone else. They assured me that what I was seeking wasn’t real.
Then there were my friends who earnestly were seeking to live up to the title “Super Mom”…The other day a friend of mine posted on facebook what she called venting, but what I feel was a desperate plea for help. She talked about how living up to the title of “Super-Mom” was not all it was cracked up to be. She is constantly on the go and correspondingly constantly feels overwhelmed and even discouraged. She is spread so thin that she knows something in her life has to give. She just doesn’t know what.
I think the saddest thing is that this friend is not alone. Of my friends and family who are striving to live up to this ideal, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard them each express that they feel as if they are not giving enough. At the same time they don’t know how they can continue giving as much as they are. They are burning out and shutting down as they try to be and do everything for those they love. Even worse is how unappreciated their efforts are.
I have thought a lot about this and have decided that being a “Super-Mom” is not only unrealistic but it isn’t healthy. At least it isn’t for me. It has been a hard lesson to learn that I can’t do and be everything to my husband, children, myself, and the world. I just can’t. When I stopped trying to reach this false ideal of perfection (when I stopped spreading myself too thin,) I was able to be the parent, and spouse my family not only needed but enjoyed to be around.
Sure this means that though I try to maintain a clean house it often is only spotless right before a guest arrives or after the kids are in bed. Though I try to make sure we are clean and groomed when we leave the house rarely does my family look like we stepped out of a fashion magazine. And though we like to get out and have fun, we end up passing on more activities then we attend. I try to continually teach my children good behavior and correct principles, but this doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes and even behave badly at times. I have had to learn that this is not only ok, but normal.
With relief I proclaim that though I am NOT a perfect “Super mom”, I am a good one. Who is with me?
What are some tips to remember as we throw off the shackles of this false ideal of the so called “Super Mom” and seek to be good and great moms instead?
:: Love yourself, your spouse, and your kids.
:: Understand that there is a time and a season to everything. (Don’t try to do and be everything all at once.)
:: If something is not working it is ok to re-evaluate and make a change.
:: Remembering that often less is more.
:: Know that with God All things are possible! Turn to Him for guidance and help. He will not fail you.
:: Be patience and forgiving with yourself and family. None of you are perfect, and that’s ok. Just work on being better.
:: Make sure to take care of yourself. You can’t be the spouse and parent your family needs and wants if you are constantly on the verge of shutting down.
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