Sunday, May 4, 2008
I Am Not a Supermom
Have you ever woken up one day and wondered what your kids ever did to deserve you? Or rather, do they deserve better?
Recently I have had the experience of meeting "accomplished" mothers. These are the mothers who have such a list of credits to their names, it's nearly impossible to imagine how they managed to squeeze in time for pregnancy and birth. I do know one thing, they were probably multi-tasking during labor.
These mothers have immaculate houses. They make elaborate meals out of vegetables and grains they have grown themselves - organically. They sew, they churn butter, they knit the kids new bicycles out of steel wool.
I start to feel inadequate. I begin to pity my kids. I start to wonder why I had them, why did I want to bring children into the world when I wasn't prepared to make cookies for the bake sale, volunteer to sew costumes for the school play, head up the local fund-raising efforts and do spot welding on fighter jets in my spare time?
Then reality hits me. My mother never did any of those things either, and I don't remember ever resenting it. In fact as I face homework sent with my child that requires that I participate and then sign that I have participated, I can only imagine my mother's reaction should any of my teachers ever tried to send her homework.
I don't want to be without influence in my children's lives but I am not sure that constant accomplishment equals influence. I want them to know what I believe, know what I think is important, understand how to have compassion and how to forgive failings and foibles.
I don't live up to the perfect suburban mom standard. I am disorganized and scatterbrained and rushed and forgetful. Some days I get tired and order pizza. I let them eat it on the fly instead of forcing the family to sit down and talk about our days. But if they have something to tell me, I can listen instead of needing to wash the dishes, finish my needlepoint or paint a mural on the side of the garage.
Motherhood is hard enough without having to try to live up to impossible standards. I believe more mothers are like me and my mother than are like the supermoms. At least I hope so. And my children are lucky I am not a supermom, because truthfully, they're not perfect either. For now, we will each just have to make do with what we got.