Are you one of the millions of 21st Century mums on the quest to become a Supermum? Are you so desperate to achieve this astounding status that you have absolutely no time to fulfil your own pleasures in life?
Let’s consider the concept of the ‘Supermum’. The title does sound very grand, aspirational and positive, doesn’t it? However, not only is the vision of lycra-clad, cape-wearing mums standing by a school gate hilarious and yet some how horrifying, the concept of such social standing is even more ridiculous.
The term Supermum generally brings with it connotations of ‘having it all’ and ‘being it all’. And, once you’ve decided that this is the vocation of choice for you, this is what’s in store for you: running around like a headless chicken trying to fulfil the children’s needs; stressing out over tomorrow’s board meeting that you volunteered to chair; desperately trying to lose those last few pounds that are refusing to budge following your over-active Christmas appetite (and it’s now October); massaging the aching feet that led you on your enthusiastic search to keep up with the latest high street trends; and feeling rather grubby since you cleaned the house from top to bottom using green store cupboard essentials, white vinegar and lemon juice. Phew! It’s exhausting being a superhero, isn’t it?
Now, let’s look back over these ludicrous attempts at being ‘brilliant’ and identify the following: Where was the fun in all that?
Well, quite frankly, there wasn’t any enjoyment in the pursuit of Supermum stardom. This is because quite simply the concept of being a Supermum is idealised, as is the pursuit of perfectionism. The pursuit of these notions thankless quests that leave you wondering where all your time went for you to actually enjoy life. Supermums don’t have time for adventures: they are for comic book stories only.
Life should be enjoyable – not about trying to achieve some idealised state of perfection. Try managing your time more appropriately so you get to re-charge your batteries – whether it’s a sit down with a good book when the kids are in bed or a catch-up with friends.
In order to manage your time effectively, it’s good practice to write down all the tasks you have to do in a week and prioritise them in accordance with your values and what you consider to be most important. In essence, you should do all the tasks that you believe would add value to your life. Avoid doing anything that doesn’t truly need doing. And finally, diarise essential ‘me time’ to do something you take pleasure in, for example going for a family walk, calling your mum for a chat or having friends over for dinner.
Can we therefore conclude that Supermum status is a sham? The phrase seems to have ingrained itself in society as part of genuine act of malicious intent from some unknown source trying to make every mother in the world feel guilty and utterly worn out.
Presumably as you read this article, you have decided to throw down your gauntlet and are happy to be the great mum you are. If you have, you should be a bit happier with your lot. If you’re still seeking perfection, STOP IT NOW! Supermum status does not exist in the real world for real women!
Mums are great. Full stop. No further explanation required. Oh, okay, here’s the explanation…
If a woman who had chosen to give up her career to become the main carer for her children was (surprisingly) at a cocktail party and asked the killer question, “And what do you do?” she would probably choke on her olive before replying in a whisper, “I’m only a mum.” Well, come now, not only is she doing what she wants to do with her life but she is doing the most important job in the world: she is responsible for nurturing the social awareness, abilities and performance of members of the next generation of adults!
Start thinking about all those great things you do for your children, partner, family and friends. However, remember to take time out for yourself too. Self-care is vital to being a balanced, confident woman. Looking after your own needs will make you a happier mum. Positive emotions are contagious and your family will soon be as content as their happy, satisfied mum!