THE SUPERMOM SYNDROME
The joy in motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction.
–M. Russle Ballard
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OK, LET’S GET INTO THE CONFIDENT CONTENT:
WHAT IS IT?
Supermom syndrome is the idea that you can be the do-it-all-all-the-time-and-look-effortless-while-you-do-it. It is a lie many women have believed is the standard. It is a societal pressure to pretend that you aren’t tired, you aren’t overwhelmed and that you don’t need help from anyone to flawlessly manage your family’s life and wellbeing.
THE DANGER OF IT?
The danger is that is a façade – a façade that takes a lot of effort and diligence to maintain. It is a mindset and approach to life that removes us from being able to be our authentic selves. It makes us feel like we are inadequate as mothers unless we are doing – doing – doing. It is a performance-based / achievement oriented approach to life…and one that can be toxically destructive to our hearts and our overall wellbeing and happiness. A mom who prescribes to the supermom syndrome is a mom who fears that if everything isn’t perfect then her worth as a mother will diminish. Do not believe the perfectionistic thinking life of supermom syndrome. There is no such thing as a perfect mom and therefore we should never strive to achieve that undefined, and unachievable standard.
Additionally, the supermom syndrome is lonely. It is based in the belief that life is entirely under your control and that everything is up to you. It isolates us and cheapens the quality of the relationships that we do have in our lives.
The truth is that we are all supermoms. There is no reason to buy into the syndrome that we need to perform, perform, perform to achieve this status, a status we already have.
If you want deep relationships with others, let them into your life. Show your vulnerable, messy side. Have them over for coffee without straightening the pillows on your couch or worrying about the unswept kitchen floor or food caked onto the very visibly placed high chair. Don’t fall for worrying about what another mom might think of you – like I did just this past week. (Walk story / baby play date with new mom friend, Ellie dropped her cracker on the ground…my reaction and my truth telling afterwards…about wanting her to think that I’m a good mom.)
5 WAYS TO STOP BUYING
INTO THE SUPERMOM SYNDROME LIE:
Redefine your idea of what being a supermom means. (Know that you, by just being you, are super, and that makes you a super mom.)
Resist the desire to compare parenting styles. (You were chosen to be the mom of your children for a reason, meaning that you are well-equipped for your kids, not for others, so comparing parenting styles is not only ridiculous, it is an absolute waste of time.
Rewrite your expectations of what being great mom looks like. (Do you want to just be busy-busy-busy or do you want to paint your life with joy by living beautifully? Do you want to teach your children that there is value in being vulnerable and that it’s okay to try things out and to not always measure up as expected? Well, then you need to lead by example.)
Remove negative or toxic relationships from your life. (We become who we spend time around, and we think about whatever we expose our minds to; removing negative influences might mean that you need to change who you hang out with, it might mean that you need to modify what you watch on TV and what magazines you read and it might mean that you need to clean up your social media news feeds.)
Rejuvenate your idea of achievement/meaning. (Proclaim yourself as an anti-perfectionist and refuse to continue buying into the lie that perfectionism is something you want to achieve in the first place. Instead, spend your energy focused on what it means to live a beautiful, well-lived life, not an accomplished, busy one.)
Go be you, be free, be the CONFIDENT mom you were meant to be.