It can be hard to live up to.
When Little & Mighty asked me to describe the moment I most feel like a Supermom for this week’s Mighty Mamas discussion, I had to dig deep.
I mean, really deep, y’all.
Because if I were going to be honest, (as most of you have come to expect from me here), I would tell you that I haven’t really felt like a Supermom in quite some time.
In fact, if I was going to reveal to you the truths hidden away deep in my anxious heart, they might tell you that I feel like I am failing all the way around.
I recently told a friend that I feel like I have my hands holding a little piece of everything, but I am not holding any of it well. I’m carrying my life around, frantically, from one place to the next, holding my breath as I anticipate everything crashing to the ground.
Sometimes when I can finally catch my breath after the bedtime hustle, I evaluate everything I have done that day. With satisfaction, I cross items off of the to-do lists in my mind. Yet, lately this practice feels like an analysis of failure.
How are you going to handle this homeschooling/homemaking/ blogging business/babywearing/preschool at home/decent friend/caring sister/loving wife/living graciously and generously – thing?
And the voice in my head tells me I’m not. Or if I am, I’m not handling any of it very gracefully.
(Just see exhibits A and B.)
My daughter hit her five month milestone this past weekend. I keep telling myself that it is going to get easier. The schedule is going to settle in, naturally. The sleep is going to go for longer stretches. The meeting of three children’s unique needs is going to come more effortlessly as I figure it all out. The older boys are adjusting to our new normal as a family of five. It is going to get easier.
My blog will be hitting its five month milestone soon, too. (Because launching a blog with a newborn in my arms just seemed like a brilliant idea.) I keep telling myself that it is going to get easier. The writing won’t consume me as I learn to find my voice. The editing won’t last into all hours of the night as I become more efficient. The foreign language of coding and monetizing and SEO are going to sound more familiar. The anxiety of hitting “publish” is going to diminish as my courage grows. It is going to get easier.
And the glaring truth is, none of this is really hard.
Illness, treatment, loss, grief, sorrow. Those are the hard things I have lived and I have survived.
And there are a hundred million women in the world carrying weight much more heavy.
This mess, this overwhelm of right now, this is the good stuff of life.
I know that. Believe me, I am grateful for the tornado in which I seem to be forever spinning.
But I can’t help but feel responsible for the spinning, because, aren’t we mothers supposed to be the calm in the center of the storm?
Didn’t someone say that along the way?
That the successes of our children, the upkeep of our home life, the happiness of our partners, the breaking of glass ceilings in our own careers — that ALL of this, and more, falls squarely on our shoulders?
I’m not sure if anyone ever mandated that, or if it was simply a succession of perfectionist-pleasers, such as myself, who somewhere along the path in life, decided that if everything wasn’t absolutely perfect, then it wasn’t good enough at all.
If we can’t carry everything, then that means we are dropping the ball.
If we aren’t perpetually Supermom, then we aren’t anyone at all.
This cannot be the truth that I live.
And if you are cracking under this pressure, too, then take a pause with me, and recognize that this is not the path to contentment.
We must learn to be gentle.
To be still.
To be tolerant and flexible.
To denounce the glorification of busy.
To be grateful, always.
And as I practice treating myself with a little more grace, and regarding my life as more blessedly beautiful and less overwhelmingly chaotic, then perhaps I can reveal my inner Supermom.
The mom who seeks out the superb, in everything.
What makes you feel like a Supermom? Is it days when you rush about and call yourself successful, or are they the moments when you stop to smile at the joy you have created? I loved hearing what the other Mighty Mamas had to say, and do hope you’ll come join us over at Little & Mighty to join in the conversation.