Thursday, March 22, 2012


Let's face it. We all know her. The mom that can do everything. She cooks gourmet meals, she has a spotless house, her children are well-behaved, her spouses adores and appreciates her, she is involved in EVERYTHING, and she looks fantastic all the time. The rest of us (who are still so exhausted in the morning that we take the kids to school in our pajamas) hate her. She's Super Mom. We are the bedraggled and overworked moms who look at her and wonder how she does it.

I have tried to be that mom. I have, but it always seems like something suffers. If I focus more on the kids and house, my relationship with my husband suffers. If I devote myself to my family entirely, I suffer. I have to make time for myself. (Sleeping does not count.) I stopped trying to live up to Super Mom standards after we had our third child. I don't have enough hours in the day, and now that I am working again I have even less.

I have learned a few things over the years. When you have young children, a messy house is ok. It is expected that you will have toys and other childhood articles strewn about your house. Anyone who turns up their nose when they see this type of mess doesn't have realistic expectations of children. Kids need to be messy. Heck, sometimes I need to be messy. As long as the house isn't dirty, what's the harm? (Dirty meaning that there is actual dirt, dust, food items, etc around your home.) Anyone who has had kids knows that the second a mother leaves a room sparkling clean that the kids will leave toys there. It is like they follow you and think, "You know what this room needs? Toys on the floor. Yeah. That will make this room."

You can't let yourself suffer. Moms have to take time for themselves. Sometimes I can't even go to the bathroom alone. "Mom's going potty, she can't run away." Young children have no respect for personal boundaries. Face it. If you are totally burned out from trying to be Super Mom, you aren't really doing your family any favors. Even if it is just five minutes, take some time for yourself.

I actually feel sorry for those moms who have to be Super. I am sure that they are missing something somewhere. That kind of devotion to family requires a sacrifice. Maybe that mom used to love to paint but she has no time now because she is chained to the Super Mom image she made for herself. Maybe she and her spouse aren't as happy as they seem. (Maybe she isn't human at all. Like a Stepford Wife...)

Moms are allowed to have times when they make mistakes or don't get something done. We are human after all. You don't have to be Super. You just have to be yourself. That is all your family really wants. Your kids and husband would rather have a happy mom and a little bit of a messy house than a perfect home and an unhappy Super Mom. Don't sweat the small stuff. Someday my kids will say, "Yeah, the house was a little messy most of the time, but we had fun. We laughed and we were happy." That's all a mother can really hope for.

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