I am not super mom.
I am not super mom.
I am not super mom.
Not that I’ve been accused lately of actually BEING super mom. Ummm . . . I don’t think that’s ever happened. Or is ever likely to happen.
But more often than I can count, there has been a voice telling me I am NOT super mom . . . not like I should be.
It is a familiar voice. Someone that I respect, I love and I hold dear. Someone I hold to be a voice of wisdom. Someone who has a close relationship with God. Someone who knows what it’s like to be a good mom. Someone who loves my family dearly, and wants to see me succeed.
Today when I had friends over for a play date, and my sink was full of dirty dishes and margarita glasses from last night’s Arbonne event, that voice gently prodded at me. “You are not super mom . . . “
When my mini-guests discovered my room (aka, The Place of Utter Disaster), and their moms had to go in and retrieve them, I heard it a little more forcefully . . “You are not super mom . . .”
When the friend I had invited to dinner at 5 had to wait until 6:30 to actually eat said dinner, I remember “I am not super mom . . .”
At 3 am this morning, when my daughter came in multiple times — afraid of bugs, monsters and lights through her window, and I respond much more grumpily than I would have at a more decent hour (10 am would have been amazing), it chirps up. “You are not super mom . . . “
When I am late to an appointment.
When I realize that the cup half-full of smoothie is STILL in the cupholder in the car (from a few days ago) and has now crusted over (ewww).
When I cringe at someone looking in my minivan simply because I cannot keep it clear of toys, food crumbs, mismatched shoes and socks, and apparently, 2 pair of Maddy’s panties. (??!?!?)
When I remember that I still haven’t given little B’s foster mom his jacket back — 2 weeks late.
When I am short with Leyla after constant screaming and sibling bickering. (Her screaming of course. Not mine. Although I’m seriously thinking of starting.)
When I remember that one special parenting tip the social worker (or behavior specialist or viral blog) gave me that would have been PERFECT for the situation at hand — but I remember 10 minutes too late.
When I take some time to myself and mommy guilt sets in because I’m not being productive.
The voice is relentless . . . “I am not super mom . . . not like I should be.”
In short . . . I fail. A lot. Like really a lot.
I yell more than I should. My house gets messier than I think it should, for longer than I thought we could ever live like that.
For everything I do — something else goes undone.
If you see my house clean, it probably means that I procrastinated all day on cleaning it, and had a crazy flurry of activity literally counting the minutes till you arrive. It also means that some part of my house is terribly NOT clean, because I can’t get it all together. One room goes to pot, always. It’s not a matter of if — just which room I can afford to have go to pot.
If one bathroom is clean, chances are the other is not.
If my laundry room is clear, then my room is overflowing with clean laundry I’ll affectionately refer to as “Mt. Washmore.”
If I look cute and ready for an Arbonne event, chances are my kids watched WAAAAY too much TV that day. (Oh, hello Dora. Again. I’m so glad you are considered “educational.” Maybe if my kids start walking around saying “hola” and “gracias” I’ll feel so much better about the inordinate amount of time my kids spend with you.)
Either I let my kids watch cartoons every morning with breakfast so I can get a workout in. Or I sit with them and try to have an intellectual conversation (ha!) over the first of our three meals together. (Which, to be honest, usually results in me fixing them first, then seconds, then thirds before I even have a chance to get a bite in. So much for eating together.)
Either I spend time working my Arbonne business and contribute to our family income, or I organize a craft for my kids that I learned about on Pintrest.
And for right now, either I get up and clean the dinner dishes NOW so I don’t have to do them tomorrow — or I sit, and take 30 minutes for my blog to honor my children gone too soon.
She questions my decisions, as though they were easy to make. She compares my actions against the actions of my friends, or worse, those of my own mom. She is kind enough to recognize when I get it right. But even as I hear her extend grace upon grace to friends, acquaintances and even strangers — she is stingy with that grace toward me.
She is so quick to remind me that I am not the mom I wanted to be. That I am not super mom.
She — is me.
I can’t get away from me. I see it all. Where I get it right. And where I get it horribly, horribly wrong. I have a crap memory of the times I get it right, and a fantastic, picture-perfect memory of the times I’ve gotten it wrong.
I want to say it’s just me that struggles with this. I want to be alone in this.
But in these days of Facebook, Pintrest and Twitter — where it seems everyone is changing the world, perfectly coiffed, with well-behaved children and a designer house — chances are I’m not alone.
Maybe you keep hearing your own voice. Maybe you are quick to notice your mistakes, quick to give others grace but dole out only small parts of grace for yourself. Maybe what you look like, feel like, and act like doesn’t always match up with how you feel you SHOULD look like, feel like and act like. Maybe you struggle second-guessing yourself after you make choice after choice for your family.
I’m calling it. I’m calling it for me. And calling it for you.
I am not super mom. You are not super mom.
And you know what?
We were never meant to be.
We have the privilege of being moms. Some of us have living children. Some of us are mothering our children gone too soon. And some of us are doing both.
Every day we have a million choices set in front of us.
Sometimes I make choices and I feel like I totally made the right one.
But most choices fall into the gray area. Each option is a good option. Or both choices are bad options. Or — MOST LIKELY — each choice has some good and some bad in it.
And so you, and me, us normal, totally NOT-SUPER MOMS, do our best to navigate our days. We do our best to honor our kids, our families, our priorities and even ourselves.
But we don’t always get it right. We are reminded daily of just how normal we are. Sometimes that pesky voice comes chirping up reminding us of our shortcomings.
Today, I’m talking right back to her. I’m tired of listening to the should haves, and would haves, and if onlys. I’m tired of pretending that I’ve got all my stuff together.
Hear me on this. I do NOT have all my stuff together.
But here’s what I have right. And trust me on this: You do too.
You love your kid. You love your family. And you love yourself, even if it’s hard for you to show it sometimes.
You are doing way better than any of us had expected of you. And even if you feel like you are failing, we are all looking to you with admiration for your many, many strengths. We secretly want to be a little more like you in good ways. We learn from you, learn how to love, or organize, or run a business, or make cute crafts, or coordinate a fancy party, or plant a garden, or write a blog, or take photos, or wow our in-laws with a delicious meal.
You bring something to the table NO ONE ELSE COULD.
You are fantastic gift to your kids. To your husband. And to yourself.
The truth is, even though you’re not a super mom — you sure are amazing.
And in case you were still wondering, there’s this really amazing part to not being a super mom.
When your daughter grows up, she won’t have to be a super mom either.
She will know the gift of accepting her beautiful, amazing, un-super self . . . because you gave yourself the gift of accepting your own beautiful, amazing and un-super self.
Today, momma, LOVE ON YOU.
It’s the best gift you could give your family.
And if you WERE super mom, it’s the gift she’d give them too.