Santa, the Easter Bunny, and Supermom


My girlfriend and I recently talked about Supermom. The mom we longed to be, the one who comes in and transforms the disheveled lives we often experienced as mothers. The mom who does not know the bounds of time nor the limits of frailty. Supermom was powerfully put together, and as we drowned in the unknowns, she was who we longed to be.

8ZB9C03AIJMy girlfriend and I laughed heartily as we remembered the first days with baby and our textbook approaches to mothering. The fears, the guilt, the play dates. Now, we see the women we have grown into, and we are so grateful for personal discovery and revelations along the path of motherhood. Seven years in, and I know confidently (1) like Santa and the Easter Bunny, Supermom does not exist; (2) the journey of motherhood needs no mascot; and (3) Supermom is not the poster child.

Supermom Does Not Exist

Like any superhero, Supermom has to find a place to show up. I usually see her on social media. I hear about her in the mom groups and on play-dates. I know she is yearned for and fussed over when the days are long and the nights are short. Everyday, Supermom is beautiful and interesting, enviable, smiling even when she’s had restless nights and trauma. Wait. What am I talking about? Supermom never has restless nights and trauma. She is Pinterest perfect, Facebook fabulous, and Instagram invigorating. Yet, somehow, she’s perfectly imperfect, too. She is a super woman, a super wife, a super mother, and a super friend. Her kids are super. Her family is super. Her life is super.

Today, I am thankful I realized pretty early in motherhood that, yes, Virginia, there is a Supermom, but only in your head. Supermom is a figment of the imagination.

The Journey of Motherhood Needs No Mascot

When Supermom appears, she is perfect in every particular. She may look like your mom, or maybe she is the mom you never had. Sometimes, she is the mom you strive to be as you develop plans and implement policies for your home and children. Supermom says she likes to do life differently. Old fashioned things are not good enough unless they are vintage and everything new must be compared. Supermom comes in waves of trends and frenzy. Sometimes, she is organic foods and monograms, sometimes she is co-sleeping and birthday parties. Whatever she is, she is supposed to be a lucky new identity, guaranteeing success for your child.

Only, sometimes, Supermom doesn’t bring luck. Instead of success, she brings stress. So thankful I have learned I don’t need Supermom as my mascot. I am good all by myself.

Does Easter really need a mascot? Neither does motherhood.

Supermom Is Not the Poster Child

Even the most competent woman will be drained by the pressure to live up to an ideal image like Supermom. After all, Supermom gets her strength by the strength we give away. It is easy to be a well-meaning Supermom groupie, but, nowadays, I prefer to just leave the laundry, pamper myself, and play with my kids. My girlfriend and I tell all of the Viriginias we know that we like to keep it real at our house. A stressed out, yoga pants-wearing mama who won’t take a shower for five days is not my poster child. Nor is a picture perfect pinner who knows all things and has all things figured out. There is a healthy balance, and it is more than okay to admit what fits for me.

I am glad I know how precious motherhood is. I want to live it for myself — not give it to Supermom to live for me. Supermom, you are not my poster child.

Fly, Mom, Fly

A mother’s enthusiastic desire to do what is best for her family and children is always unapologetically commendable. I have learned when we spend less time stressing over what Supermom would do and can do, we can have more time and motivation to make the best of what we can do. I say get rid of cape envy and, instead, live like no cape is necessary. When we stay true to ourselves and use the resources we have without the weight of comparisons on our shoulders, then and only then will we truly be able to fly!


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