If there is one phrase that definitely does not describe me, that phrase would be “Super Mom”. A woman who is a Super Mom has everything in her life in order – from her marriage and relationship with her husband, to the financial situation of her household, to the cleanliness and orderliness of said household, and the training and behavior of her children. As mothers, we expect that we can take care of and control so many aspects of our lives and our children’s lives – because these aspects need caring for and who else is going to do it? But buckling down and putting our noses to the grindstone can often cause more harm than good, especially when we are on the verge of becoming a Super Mom. I’ve yet to meet a Super Mom – I’ve met some really awesome mothers, some very caring and nurturing mothers, but I have never met one woman who would claim she not only had it all together, but enjoyed her stress-filled, deadline-encroaching, no-time-for-breathing lifestyle. What I have learned from other moms, though, is how to be a great mom, and let go of the desire to be a Super Mom.
3 Reasons I’m Happy I’m Not A Super Mom
3. I take time for myself – and it makes me feel more grounded and in control. Time for myself is usually reading, writing, chatting online, and here lately, crocheting. I sometimes even –gasp– paint my nails! When my son was a newborn, that is the activity I swore I’d keep – so that I would have time for myself. But then, when my high need infant introduced me to the world of parenthood, I forgot about doing the little things for myself. Balancing a home, a job and a newborn was too much for me. When I was permanently laid off, I was able to put so much more into perspective, and once I found gainful employment again, I kept that perspective.
2. I let my husband take control – and it makes me a better wife. It took a friend of mine over at our house saying, “Well you are just going to have to let it go. He’s perfectly capable!” before I realized that I was holding back our relationship as a couple as well as my husband’s relationship with our son by my control-freakish ways. When our son was a newborn, I was fairly certain that the job of a Super Mom included doing everything – every diaper change, every nursing, every waking-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night, every picking outfits, giving baths, you name it. At first it started with a concern for my husband being able to get enough sleep. But it grew like a beast out of there into “I don’t trust my husband to do any chores with the baby.” That is a VERY dangerous place to be. Now, after my husband’s heart attacks last year which led him to not have to take a part time, minimum wage job and be a stay-at-home dad for quite a while, I have realized that by letting my husband take the reins I am not only giving myself reprieve, but I’m also giving us all a chance to grow – grow in our marriage, grow in father/son bonding, and my son’s own personal growth.
1. I don’t worry about every last second of my child’s life – and it makes me a better friend. When we started out on this parenthood journey, I was obsessed with knowing exactly what my son was doing, when he was doing it and whom he was doing it with. Yes, because there is a ton of trouble that a 2 month old can get himself into, you know. Part of this particular psychosis was backed by finding out some less than wonderful events that had happened while friends and family were watching my son – or what they said they would like to see happen. No, they weren’t talking about taking him go-cart racing when he was 2 months old (these people are a lot more responsible than my head says), but feeding him any amount of food before I was ready, taking him to public places where things like germs or bad people might be, the list goes on and on and on and on. Now, it’s not that I don’t care about what happens in my child’s life anymore – it’s that I trust and respect the select people who do care for him. My husband and I chose these people to care for him because we know he will be safe and sound, that no intentional harm could come to him while they are watching him. I still worry about my son constantly, but now it’s not quite so all-consuming.
I’m not a Super Mom, not even a SMIT (Super Mom In Training), and I’m happy about it – I know that the less stress I push on myself, the better mother and wife I will be for my family. Yes, I do still freak about some of the details, but my hubby can usually calm me down and make me look reality in the face again when I do that. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a mom and I’m trying really hard not to overdo it and lose fact of the awesome responsibility I’ve been awarded.
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