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Searching for Supermom

I just read an article today declaring Supermom dead. But for my part, I question whether she ever even existed. If so, who is she? Who, outside of wealthy celebrities, have you seen have it all and do it all? Anyone?*

I didn’t think so. I’m here to admit that sometimes I yell. I’ve lobbed dishes across my kitchen (alright, one small, plastic bowl — but it still felt pretty epic). I exercise when I think about it, and eat chocolate when I don’t. I throw away poopy underwear just because I don’t feel like washing it out. I make a great show of appreciation, then immediately discard school art projects rather than scrapbooking them. I “lose” toys with annoying sounds. And I don’t read the label on the cheap, frozen pizza because I. Don’t. Want. To. Know.

This is who I am. But apparently, I’m supposed to be a size 4 supermodel, on a macrobiotic, organic, vegan diet (from which countless kid friendly snacks can be made) who is putting the finishing touches on her book deal while teaching her children Chinese. Oh…with a clean house and no backlog of dirty laundry. Easy, right?

Of course not. It’s all a joke. None of us make it to this level of awesomeness. Most of the time we don’t even come close. And you know what? It’s o.k.

Check that. It’s not just o.k., it’s normal. And we need to share with each other just how normal it is to not have it all together all the time. It’s not a competition. No one’s going to get the Mommy Oscar or walk the red carpet (unless you’ve made the mistake of allowing fruit punch in the living room).

Instead, we need to be a better source of support for our fellow strugglers — those of us doing the best we can with what we’ve got and just hoping it’s something close to good enough in the end. I guarantee we’d drink less and pop fewer pills trying to force our brains, bodies and children into some imaginary mold guaranteed to pop out the perfect family.

So celebrate your successes. Share your failures so someone might learn from them and be spared the same disappointment. And above all, let’s try not to judge ourselves or each other so harshly. Sometimes “good enough” can be downright great.

*For those of you dying to say “Martha Stewart”, I’d just like to remind you of a) her estranged family and b) Federal Prison. But I will admit those napkin holders she make from old luggage tags were, indeed, ass-kicking.

Posted in Family & Relationships, Kids, Parenting.

7 Responses

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  1. anna says

    all i can say is a large resounding AMEN!

  2. Paige says

    Thank you, Jodi! I still struggle with my over-achieving, type A, must-appear-to-have-it-all-under-control, working mom, pseudo-homekeeper persona! It’s good to hear (and I need to, over and over again), that it’s alright if my cooking sucks and my floors haven’t been mopped since… 🙂

  3. Bells says

    I don’t have kids as you know and yet I struggle to be the SuperWife. I want to be and do everything! I can’t. I acknowledge this. I just wish it was easier.

  4. Kate says

    I work. My husband works. We have children. I am uninterested in winning prizes for The Living Room That Most Resembles A Home Beautiful Magazine Cover. In fact, some of my more OCD friends are banned from coming to my house, or even from looking at photos of most areas of my house. This is for their own protection – and also I do not wish to be sued for causing great setbacks in their therapy for developing a more relaxed attitude towards tidiness. My oven is not cleaned regularly. The pantry gets cleaned out once a year (ok, it might be more of a biennial event), the fridge a little more frequently. We don’t eat much takeaway or pre-made stuff, but I do have a lot of left-over nights where remnants of casseroles past are unearthed from the depths of the freezer (to say ‘bowels of the freezer’ just sounded so wrong). We have a housework fairy for two hours on a Monday. There is a sprinkling of mould high on the bathroom walls, and the timber venetian blinds are starting to look a little velvety, there is so much dust on them. I have mounds of paper and books and magazines on my desk in my office that I just don’t get around to filing, because I don’t stay late after work. There are concerts and movies and events that we don’t go to because we want to stay home with our kids, it costs too much to find and pay a babysitter, and we are just too tired. I walk the dogs most mornings, but struggle to get to the gym just once every week. I don’t get nearly enough spare time to knit everything I want to.
    When it comes to mixing work, family and a personal life, you just have to concentrate on getting the essentials right, and anything else is a bonus. And as far as I’m concerned, parenting is work, so your 4 children Jodi brings you up to about 1.75 full-time jobs!!

  5. Kate says

    Gosh. Sorry about the rant. I don’t like the Superwoman tag much either, it seems 🙂

  6. jodi says

    Bwahaha! So it would appear. Glad to have struck such a chord. 😉

  7. Amy, your sister says

    There will be time to clean house and mop floors daily when we are old and gray and have nothing better to do while we wait and hope for our children and grandchildren to drop in or call.

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