Supermoming is an epidemic. For many well-intentioned moms, the desire to be a vigilant parent has shifted into overdrive. The result: stress, impossible standards—creating a cycle of striving and perceived failure which can often lead to guilt or blame.
Have you experienced this? It’s an insidious loop, ladies. If you don’t stay conscious to when you’re doing it, the results are very unpleasant.
So what is supermom syndrome? Here are some indicators:
The thing to realize about supermoming is that you may be doing it without even realizing it. It’s sometimes hard to see ourselves clearly, especially when we’re caught up in a certain way of doing things that feels familiar. You may look at the list above and think, “Oh, that’s not me.” And maybe you’re right, but sometimes it’s easier to identify the symptoms.
You might be supermoming if you experience:
If you’re experiencing any one or more of these, it could very likely be related to chronic stress from trying to be a supermom.
How to Cure Yourself-3 Magic Words
If you find yourself experiencing any of the above symptoms, there are three magic words that will save you. Ready? Here they are: HELP, NO. & OK. Learn them, moms. Practice them, and they can set you free from your supemom tendencies.
Let’s look at an example of how to use each of the words.
Scenario #1 You have multiple afterschool drop-offs where someone is going to be stuck wating for you to pick up the other, and nothing defrosted for dinner and a baby who needs bath & bed by 7pm. Now, if you’re supermoming, you might speed through drop-offs, rush home in between, whip up dinner, bathe the baby, put him or her back in the car, go do pick up and maybe barely make it home by 7p for baby bedtime and then there’s dinner clean up and homework for the others. Now, this is totally possible, because lets face it- you’re a seasoned multitasker. I admit, I’ve had a version of this schedule many times.
Magic Word: HELP. Can one of the kids’ friends parents pick up or drop off? Do you ever ask them or do you not want to impose? Must you do it all yourself or else seem like a slacker? (in your own mind) Can you call dad or a friend or grandma to pick up dinner, maybe? I don’t presume to know what’s best for you and your family, but I do know that USUALLY, there are willing people waiting on the sidelines who will happily lend a hand. We tend to think we need to “lone-wolf” it all the time, but just remember that being a good mom has nothing to do with YOU being the ONLY one who does things for your kids. Try out the word HELP the next time you feel stretched too thin.
Scenario # 2: Can you volunteer for book fair, PTA, feild day, feild trip chaperone, school dance clean up crew, school play parent? Answer: NO. Can child’s friend (who lives 20 miles a way) come over on a weekend requiring you to drive an hour when you really just could use a day to NOT be driving all over the place? Answer: NO. Only agree to things that feed your soul. Seriously, MONS..this is so crucial to managing your energy and vitality. Everyone is always going to want a piece of you. But imagine if you gave money to every company that solicited you to buy something. You would quickly have a financial deficit. But we do this with our energy ALL THE TIME. If you continue to give time and energy to things that don’t matter to you just for the sake of “being nice” or “looking helpful” or “being a supermom”, you will quickly have an energy deficit. And you’ll have none left for the things that really matter to you or to spend pursuing things that bring you joy.
Scenario #3: You’ve been in sheriff mode all week. You know this mode, right? Watcher of screen time, homework, bedtimes, sugar intake–all the things that matter most to supermoms. If your kid once and a while wants to stay up a little later or watch another hour of YouTube or eat extra dessert, let it be OK. Just OK.. not okay but, “lecture, lecture condition condition blah blah” …just “OK”. It is good for your soul to let loose of the reigns occasionally. If a homework assignment gets turned in a day late every now & then–they’re still going to go to college. If they forget to brush their teeth one night because they were up in an epic Fortnight battle, they won’t have an emergency root canal. The word OK can be really freeing once and while. Give it a try.
Practice Makes Imperfect
There is no cure-all in this crazy gig called motherhood. We are all doing the best we can every day. Remember that when all is said and done, your kids just want YOU, the well-rested, authentic, imperfect version of you. This version gives them permission to be themselves too-to try and fail and keep going anyway. Take off your cape once and a while, okay? Practice makes imperfect.