Being a mom is probably the most important job in the world – we’ve all heard that, and it’s true. You’re bringing up the next generation of wonderful, intelligent, loving, creative, responsible people.
That’s a big deal!
And while you love being a mom, and wouldn’t trade that part of your life for anything, sometimes juggling motherhood, your relationship with your significant other, business and career, friendships, and trying to take care of yourself (which, by the way, is very important) gets a bit tough.
We all want to be Supermom and to be everything and do everything, but it this possible? Being a Supermom is possible, but you have to learn how to empower yourself to be the kind of Supermom that you feel you need to be, keeping in mind that the title Supermom doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.
Defining Supermom – Who Is She?
Your definition of Supermom probably isn’t the same as your neighbor’s, or even your mother’s, and that’s important to recognize. Certainly, there are some common characteristics that most everyone would agree apply to a Supermom. Supermoms always:
• Make sure their children are properly cared for as far as health and comfort.
• Spend quality time with their kids – playing, reading, crafting, snuggling, etc.
• Teach their children valuable life lessons – gently.
• Are involved in their children’s lives, attending activities and helping with homework as often as possible.
• Let their children know that they are loved and valued in many ways.
• Always strive to set a good example for their children.
Interestingly, the above characteristics are open to a lot of interpretation. Just what is proper care, and how does a Supermom tell her kids that she loves them? What about other things?
Aren’t Supermoms supposed to be the head of the PTA, volunteer at day camp, and be their kid’s soccer coach? And aren’t they supposed to also have a spic and span home, and a high-powered job as an executive, and look like a million bucks at all times? Aren’t Supermoms supposed to have endless energy?
Realistically, even Supermoms aren’t all of these things and can’t do all of these things all of the time.
You see, you have to define your own Supermom self. If you start paying attention to what everyone else is doing, and what you’re seeing on the TV, you might soon begin to feel like you’re not making the grade, no matter how hard you try.
Your “mommy duties” are indeed very important, but so is the rest of your life, and taking care of yourself. Realizing this is where empowering yourself to be a great mom, and a great woman begins.
A Supermom does pay close attention to her children. She talks to them and listens to them. She acts as soccer coach or teaches Sunday school if she has the time and the other resources to do so.
She may or may not work outside of the home, depending on circumstances, and because she’s pretty busy, her house might not be perfect. Supermoms might not look or act like June Cleaver, Angelina Jolie or the mom down the street who is also a bank president.
You have to define Supermom for yourself, and that’s the start to empowering yourself. Remember that you bring your own special qualities to everything you do! Take some time to really consider what you believe qualifies someone as a Supermom.
Is it setting a good example, or teaching your children to be financially responsible? Is it showing your kids the importance of health and exercise by cooking healthy meals and taking the kids out for exercise and play every day?
Is it taking time to take care of yourself, instilling in your children the importance of self-care as a lifelong habit? You have to decide.
Mommy duties can be daunting sometimes. We get stressed out by them. Many of us have jobs outside of the home and we would like to participate in our hobbies and even have some alone time once in awhile. Balance is important for everyone, even busy moms.
Even Supermoms Get Stressed Out
Stress, unfortunately, is a part of everyday life. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, you are going to get stressed out on occasion. Stress in one part of life can spill over into other areas, affecting not only you, but also everyone around you including your husband, kids and friends.
While Supermoms often feel that they have to do all and be all, this can lead to overload, which can in turn lead to illness, depression or screaming at the kids for no apparent reason, followed by feeling guilty because you just yelled at your child.
It’s important to learn how to avoid stress when possible, and to de-stress regularly. If you find yourself stressed and wanting to just run away from it all, don’t feel guilty. It happens to everyone on occasion.
If you can learn how to head off stress and what to do about it when it happens, you’ll be much happier and so will your family. There are simple things that you can do each day as ways to keep stress at bay.
They’re easy to learn and take only a little time, but can do wonders. Such things include meditation, journaling, prayer, yoga, deep breathing exercises and physical exercise. It’s been proven that each of these things works to bring more calmness into life, and in the case of physical exercise, can even help you burn off stress.
There are larger things that you can do for yourself that, while they won’t happen every day, can really help you bust stress and recharge. Such things might include spending time away from your children and having dates with your husband, or a nice spa treatment.
Stress has a negative impact on everyone, so you really are allowed and really need to give yourself a break now and then. Take time every day, even if it’s just ten minutes, to participate in an activity that will help with relaxation.
Take time also for bigger stress-busters. Your kids will appreciate you more. A general sort of stress can happen just because you’re so busy with everything. You might start by thinking you can tackle everything, only to find that you’re overwhelmed with trying to be the best mom you can be, and the best at everything else, too.
It’s hard to see it coming, and harder to handle when it’s on top of you. Just remember that as a mom, you’re automatically busier and have more responsibilities. It’s okay to give yourself a break in other areas, and in the mommy area in order to stay contented and happy yourself.
Why Are Mommy Duties Draining?
Being a mom is a full time job. You don’t get to go home after work – this work is with you all the time. Even if you work outside of the home, you’re thinking of your kids, making shopping lists in your head, and trying to remember when Junior’s next appointment for his booster shots is scheduled for.
You wake in the morning and tend to the kids, you spend your days and evenings, and sometimes even nights with them, helping them, feeding them, loving them, taking care of them when they are sick. It’s rewarding and important. It’s also tiring.
If your husband is helpful around the house and with the child-rearing duties, it’s a great deal of help to you, but even in this day and age, moms generally are the main caregivers for babies and children.
And while you wouldn’t have it any other way, it can wear you down. Besides being a mom, there are so many other aspects to your life – work, your home, your friends, your faith, maybe schooling, hobbies and activities, and your health.
When you become a mother, your children take top priority, and that’s fine. Raising kids is important. But you might feel like you’ve lost touch with the rest of your life. Even with your husband.
You might find that you don’t have time to exercise or style your hair and apply make-up in the morning before your mommy duties start. This is all normal, but it’s important that you empower yourself to love your role as Mom, but not abandon your other life roles.
They’re also things that you’ve created and put your time and energy into. You can still be a great mother, and take time for yourself, your health and your own well-being. In fact, you should. You’ll be a better mommy.
It’s Okay to Have a Life
One thing that true Supermoms know is that it’s okay to have a life. No matter what it looks like from the outside, they understand that it’s good to have other areas of life that they pay close attention to.
They don’t give 100% of their energy to their children. For some, this might seem horrible. After all, when we have kids, we have to give everything we’ve got to care for and love them.
It’s true – children do take a huge chunk of our time and energy, and rightly so. They are the loves of our lives and they are a very big deal. But a wise Supermom realizes that unless she has a balanced life, and is taking care of her own physical, mental and spiritual health, she runs the risk of shortchanging her kids.
Empowerment means to give yourself the power and authority to do what you need to do to be good to yourself and your family. It also means that outside influences such as the media and well-meaning friends and relatives can be considered, but not necessarily taken to heart and acted upon.
Again, empowering yourself to be a great mom comes with you making the decisions about what you need to lead a balanced happy life, so that you can be a balanced happy mom.
Some moms have careers that are very important to them and while their kids are also very important, they need to keep that career in order to feel fulfilled. There’s nothing wrong with this.
As a mother, the only important thing is to strive to not let the career overtake the necessity of caring properly for the children. If a balance can be reached, the home and family will be happier and more fulfilled.
Some moms seem to neglect self-care when baby comes along. Sometimes this just happens, and that’s okay as long as self-neglect doesn’t become a habit. It’s still important to get exercise and even the occasional trip to the salon for a good cut and style and a pedicure is allowed.
Your physical, emotional and spiritual health is vital, so be sure to care for yourself by eating right, getting exercise, taking time for relaxation and doing the things that make your spirit grow and thrive.
Caring for your personal relationships is still very important, even when you have children. Your partner and you still need to have quality “alone time,” and you still need to spend time with friends and relatives.
It’s okay to leave the kids with a good sitter once in awhile so that you can have lunch out, or even slip away for a weekend with your husband. These moments help you keep your connections to the people besides your kids who are important to you and who bring you love, joy and happiness.
Mothering is the ultimate job, but it’s okay to nurture the other areas of your life that are so important to you. You will run into questions about balancing time, your career, and your relationships.
You might have moments of guilt. This is all normal. But when you empower yourself to be the best woman you can be, you are also empowering yourself to be the best mom you can be.
Your Version of Perfection
Perfection is a myth. You weren’t perfect before you had kids, and neither was your life. But you made it work, didn’t you? Now that you have kids, you’ve added another dimension to your life, and while this dimension is no-doubt demanding, it’s wonderful raising kids.
You’re still not perfect and life isn’t without its glitches, but you can determine and create your own version of perfect – one that fits your life with kids. When you add kids to the mix, your life balance gets upset, but embracing this change and making room for it, while not excluding everything else will help you create a new version of perfect, and a new version of you as a Supermom.
Consider that each part of your life is important. If it weren’t, you wouldn’t be involved in it. Your job might be important for several reasons. It may be important to have that income.
You may simply love your job and the opportunities it brings and the things you learn from it. There may be other reasons why your job is important. You also have your relationship with your husband.
While this relationship will change somewhat when kids make the scene, you can still have a great, fun, loving partnership with him. What about your hobbies, your friends, groups and clubs you belong to, and your other relatives?
All of these things are still important, but you may have to do some revamping and rethinking. Your priority will probably be your children. The “Mama Bear” instinct to raise, nurture and protect is strong, so you will want to make the most of your time with your kids.
That doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything else, and you shouldn’t for your own good. To create your new version of perfection in yourself and your life, look at your priorities.
Have they changed since kids came along? Are you still trying to do everything? Look at housework for example. Can you cut back or hire some help once a week? Is it really that important to dust every day?
How about your relationship with your husband? What can you do to keep it alive and kicking? What can he do to help? Think about the other important aspects of your life. What’s the new balance?
It will take you awhile to figure it all out. Give yourself that time and don’t let others influence you too much. You are capable of deciding how all the pieces of the pie fit together.
In the meantime, don’t get discouraged if your mommy duties are overwhelming. Parenting is a huge job! You’re not expected to be perfect. Even Supermoms aren’t perfect.
In this day and age of making comparisons between ourselves and everyone else, you’re doing yourself a disservice to allow comparisons to tell you whether you are a good mother or not.
Determine what you feel is most important in your child’s life, and what you can do to accommodate that. Your kids look to you for love and nurturing and you want to set a good example.
Then look at what you need to do to care best for yourself and your relationships. This is important because in the long run it will make you a more relaxed and loving mother.
Give up on perfection and go with your version of perfection. Work with all the talents and great characteristics that you possess. Then you’ll be a Supermom, and you’ll know how to deal with your lifelong mommy duties.