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The Adventures of Super Mom: an Inside Look at How to "Do it All!"
Faster, than a toddler on a mission, more powerful than a baby’s shrieks at midnight and able to leap piles of laundry in a single bound. Armed with a mop, a sippy cup and a pocket full of Kleenex – it’s SuperMom to the rescue!
Ever feel like you’re trapped in a bad Batman flick? One where you’re the heroine complete with cape, expected to have the laundry done, the house clean, the diaper bag packed, cookies cooling on the counter, supper on the table and the kids looking like a Sears portrait models. And instead you’ve got a mountain of dirty clothes that rivals Mount Everest, toilets that are turning an interesting shade of pink, cookies in a Mr. Christie bag in the cupboard, take out menus on the fridge, counter, circled in red in the phone book, and let’s not even talk about the fact that a humongous diaper bag has replaced your cute clutch purse.
The kids, well, they’re clean, sort of. In that it’s only spit up on her shirt, and that’s only dirt on his pants and their hair, we’ll it was in ponytails before nap time, kind of way. They were clean – this morning at 8am (which if you get to remain in bed until then you’ve slept in!) but hey, kids will be kids, right? And they will, but when do Mom’s get to be women? Why is it that some days it feels like we are expected to do it all and be someone to everyone and still somehow keep a measure of ourselves in there too?
The balls are in the air, the Bat mobile (disguised as a Mini van) in the driveway and the fear of failure lurking around every corner. Wanna know what I’m so afraid of. This Super Mom, (who has two kids, works outside of the home (with kids in tow) 3 days a week, runs a home business and wants to keep her husband happy) is afraid to fall. I’m afraid of what my peers will think if my house isn’t perfect, or what my kids will think when I make a bad parenting choice – even if it’s made with the best intentions or what my husband will think if I have to admit that I need his help.
I’m afraid that I’ll never get me back, I won’t ever just be Ashley, instead of Bethany and Audrey’s Mom, Corey’s Wife (even if they are 2 of the greatest titles I’ve ever held) or Jackie’s office assistant, I’m afraid that I’ll forget how to have a girls night out or what feeling pretty is really like, I’m afraid that needing “me time” is selfish – I don’t want to be selfish and most of all, I’m afraid you’ll find out my Super Mom cape isn’t really earned. I’m faking it, I bought the cape at Value Village, it used to be a table cloth but with a little stain remover and the Bedazzler it was transformed – it’s all an act and I’m running out of steam.
I wish I could say I have the easy answer. I wish I could say that I don’t have days where I feel as though I’m drowning in responsibility and well, life. I have days that feel unbearable, days that seem as though they’ll never end or I’ll never get it right. I have moments where screaming along with my 2 year old seems easier than dealing with a tantrum and “No” feels like the only word in my vocabulary.
How do I manage? How does one possibly survive such “awful” conditions? Well, it’s simple. The good days far out weigh the bad. My kids provide me with a constant source of joy and laughter, my husband is a wonderful man, who from time to time will look at me a say “Go. Have a bath, I‘ll watch the kids” because he knows that I love my book/bath time and it’s been a rough day. This sweetness is not to be confused with the time he told me to “Go take a shower…you stink!” Um, thanks babe.
I also have a Mom who lives 4 minute away, is a wonderful boss to me (yes I work for my parents in their business office) and an excellent Grammy to my kids and I learned something a little while ago. Sometimes, it’s ok to just survive. There are days it’s ok to have a messy house if it means that you took 15 minutes to play with your kids instead of clean the pink toilet. They make take-out for a reason and your toddler won’t be peeing in her pants at 16 (we hope!).
Being a Stay at Home mom is a job too, remind your husband of that if he forgets. And also, just in case he complains when you ask for help, remind him how the kids got here in the first place, it’s amazing how quickly they forget their part in that there performance.
And most of all remember. You never really lost who you are. You’ve evolved. Just like the addition of a very tight pair of spandex changes Clark Kent from mousy reporter (ever thought of how dense Lois Lane really is? Seriously lady, look beyond the glasses) to Superman. The addition of your children has changed you from average, everyday woman to Super Mom extraordinaire. A woman armed with hugs and love, tissues for tears and stickers for a job well done, a hero in your kids eyes (to them we are great no matter what, well unless they are 13 and then just face it Mom, you’re dumb, you don’t know squat and your clothes are NOT cool), and a runway model in your husband’s.
One day you won’t need your Super Mom cape anymore. You’re kids will be grown, making capes of their own and you’ll be at home, in sparkling clean bliss. Bored, lonely, waiting for the call. One that makes you feel important again, one where your freshly independent 20 year old says, “Mom, I flushed a cloth down the toilet while I was cleaning, now there’s water everywhere, WHAT DO I DO?!” (I might have done that) While stifling a laugh, you pick up that cape, pull out the phone book and say, “Call your landlord honey, get the plunger and hang on. I’ll call the plumber and I’m on way – SuperMom to save the day!”
Ashley Stone is a working Stay at Home Mom who takes her kids to work with her everyday. She has two beautiful little girls, Bethany 2.5 years old and Audrey 6 months.
Kim Block, October 17, 2009
Jackie Kimmie, October 17, 2009
Sue H, October 17, 2009