The Definition is Demeaning
If you consult with Oxford, you’ll find that they define a supermom as “an exemplary mother; a woman who performs the traditional duties of housekeeping and child-rearing while also having a full-time job.” It’s not just the Oxford dictionary that describes a supermom in this way – a simple Google search will show that supermoms are the women who pretty much take it all on. If you ask me, the definition of what a supermom is needs some rethinking. Why? Well, because it excludes woman who could otherwise be great moms, but don’t fall within a certain category. If you’re a stay-at-home mom you’re excluded from being called a ‘supermom’ because you don’t take care of the kids AND have a full-time job. On the flip side, if you’re a mom with a full-time job but outsource the housekeeping duties then, sorry, but you also don’t qualify for the grand title of ‘supermom’. So, to me the definition is demeaning as in simple terms, it really says that to be a supermom YOU need to DO IT ALL. And in this busy day and age, that really does not sit very well with me.
The Label is a Liability
Sure, the title of being a Supermom has its appeal. It’s like that shiny medal people feel so proud of at the end of a marathon, and rightly so – hard work deserves to be rewarded and recognised. And any mom out there can testify to motherhood being hard work. But what happens after being endowed with this awesome title of being a supermom? Well, I’ll tell you from experience that you feel elated when being told you’re a supermom! You feel as if you’re doing it right because you’ve been recognised as doing it right. And then, mere minutes later when the topic of conversation changes and your head-swelling has subsided, you’re just you again. But since you want to be a supermom you keep aiming for that title, keep waiting to be called it again. So you keep trying to do it all – work, come home, cook, clean, take care of the kids, spend quality time with the hubby, catch up on e-mails, finish a deliverable, prep lunch for the next day, and wonder what you’ve forgotten as you turn off the lights before turning in for the night. Wow… what a mouthful! I’m exhausted just thinking about it! But do you get someone to take the load off? Oh, of course not! Because once you do that you don’t fit the bill of being a supermom anymore – because supermoms do their own cleaning. No outsourcing of the mundane or tiring tasks if you’re trying to be a supermom!
Normal is Achievable
So scratch chasing the supermom title from your to-do list – it’s probably long enough already.
Really, it’s okay to outsource your cleaning to an agency, or have regular domestic help, or even have someone do your cooking! It’s okay if you don’t go out into the world to earn a living but stay home with your kids.
It’s okay to go out into the world and earn a living and entrust your kids to a daycare, nanny or au pair. It’s okay to be normal. As a mom you don’t need to drain your life force to be consoled by the validation you think you get by being called a supermom. You’re a mom – you’ve carried another life inside you for several months, delivered a child into this world, and share every bit of who you are with a person who didn’t exist until you fell pregnant. You’re a mom. Period. And that is pretty darn super on its own.