Family 2015

Family 2015

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Myth of Super-Mommery

I feel like my head is about to explode with this today.  There is a lot in the old brain that I want to get out, so this may take a few days, but I hope you read and comment and consider what I'm going to talk about because it is a real problem.

There is no such thing as a super Mom.

It's interesting that the reason I started blogging in the first place always comes back around.  I think it's because it is such a huge issue in our society that I often feel like we're all held captive by it.  When I see the pressures that Moms put on themselves it makes me want to curl up and cry for them.  Or slap them.  Who has convinced us that we must Do It All?  That we, in fact, are able to Do It All?  That it is good for our kids if we Do It All?

I, for whatever reason, have always had a pretty clear picture of my limitations.  I don't mean that to sound like I am down on myself.  I'm not.  I just generally know what I can and can't do.  I can get up early and be pleasant and help pack lunches and get my kids off to school.  I can't put on a happy face and read stories and be cuddly and wonderful past 8:00 at night.  My kids got a morning bird for a Mom, that is just the way it is.  Will this mean they need therapy when they are older?  No.

I can make sure that everyone has clean clothes.  I can't make sure that they are always folded and put away.  Will digging through a laundry basket for socks make them feel uncared for?  No.  I can cook dinner.  I can't be Rachel Ray.  I can help with English homework.  I can't help with science homework.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I can only be who I am.  It is not necessary for me to morph into some sort of demi-god in order to be a "good" mother.  Indeed, a mother is just a person who has produced an offspring, not a savior. 

I try my very best to do what I think is best for my kids, and that is all that I can do.  It is self-defeating and a little bit crazy to think that the littlest thing I might do or say wrong in a day has the capacity to ruin my child.  Please, please, don't drive yourself crazy trying to make every decision into "right" or "wrong" or to elevate everything in a child's life to the level of life or death importance.

Yesterday, we were getting ready to go for a walk and the boys were wearing their superhero outfits.  They went outside first while I was getting my shoes on and finding the dog's leash.  A few minutes later, Carter came dashing into the house in a frenzy and grabbed a pair of scissors.  Nic followed him out.  Pierce had hopped onto his bike and taken off like a rocket only to be stopped short by his batman cape getting all wound up in his bike tire.  He was crying and gagging and his lip was bleeding and Carter was valiantly headed out with a pair of very sharp scissors to cut the cape.  Off of his brother's neck. 

This is the stuff of modern-day Mommy nightmares.  I could almost hear the accusing questions and comments flying at me through the atmosphere.  "Why didn't he know he shouldn't wear his cape on a bike? (and, by the way, where is his helmet???")  "How could you let him run out like that without knowing what he was up to?" "His brother is running with scissors??"  "I knew 5 kids were too many, look at what has happened because there's not enough of you to go around!!"  "A good Mom would never have let that happen!!"

It was enough to make me cry, but then, I laughed.  Laughed my head off.  Because I am just a Mom, not a Savior.  I do not possess the ability to control every little thing that happens to my kids.  I do not have the gift of foreknowledge.  I don't have a special hook to hang the dog leash on so that we never have to look for it, AND because Pierce was fine.  And it was funny.

Pierce didn't need me to stop that from happening.  He needed me to pick him up and hug him and wipe the blood off of his lip.  He needed me to say, "It's ok, buddy.  You really shouldn't wear your cape while you ride your bike, but you're going to be fine."

Just be who you are, Moms (and Dads), that's what your kids need.  They need someone to help them swim, not someone to part the waters.


  1. Of course they need both someone to help them swim and someone to part the waters! And more of course, mom and dad would be the first one and Jesus the second!!! hahahahaha! Loved the story and love the perspective!