“Super Mom”

January 21, 2019

Amanda Gaudet, YegDoula

I struggle with the title “Super Mom”. Maybe you don’t, but hear me out.

When we refer to each other as “Super Mom” it’s usually because a mother has done something (usually alone) that seems incredible. Once we give out that title, I feel like we unintentionally place a burden on that woman. The title seems to imply she’s incredible based on her actions, and anything less than that isn’t super. Maybe this is just how I feel, but again, hear me out.

Society has placed a lot of value on actions. Women are admired for performing difficult tasks and praised for doing things alone. Don’t get me wrong; I think that those who are working through challenges should be encouraged. I think single mothers are incredible women, but they probably don’t want the burden of that title either. This isn’t to say you are not amazing for your trials and efforts, but maybe we can change the conversation a little.

Here’s where I see the potential danger and why I think we need to change the conversation. We should remind women that they don’t have to go to great lengths or do big things on their own to be considered a great mom. That actions don’t define your worth, and it’s ok to not live up to the unrealistic hype of being a super hero. Do not let the title of “Super Mom” affect your worth and bring about feelings of guilt or shame because you are not like that other woman titled “Super Mom”.

You don’t have to do everything alone to be considered super or a great mom. It’s ok to need help. It’s ok to ask for help. Super Mom sets women up to believe that they should be able to do the tasks (sometimes the really hard tasks) alone, and that to ask for help is a sign of weakness.

I’m in a few FB moms group, and when I hear a mother proclaim, “I took all five kids grocery shopping solo.” I respond with, “Wow! Great job!” But I cringe when someone says, “YOU ARE SUPER MOM!” I cringe because I know there’s a mom with two kids who is thinking, “I can’t do that with my kids and I only have two. I am not Super Mom.” The unintended message to the mother proclaiming her victory and the mother feeling less than is I am not enough as I am. I must be more.

Or what about that mom who says, “I made all my baby food from scratch.” Again, I respond with “Good for you! I’m glad you can do that for your family!” But when someone proclaims, “Holy crap you’re super mom!” There’s that mom out there who tried to make her baby food from scratch, felt it too overwhelming and decided it wasn’t for her. Now, she’s looking at the non-organic jarred baby food she bought at Superstore and thinking she falls short.

One last example. There’s the mom who says, “LADIES! My baby is three days old and my husband is back at work and I am killing it solo with my three kids.” You know my answer. But there’s someone who will answer, “#supermom.” while another mom who is thinks, “I can barely function without the daily help of someone and my baby is six weeks old. What’s wrong with me?”

Do. Not. Misunderstand. Me. Those women who are sharing their victories in motherhood should be encouraged and acknowledged, but not with the title of “Super Mom.” We are all incredible mothers simply because we are someone’s mother. Our worth or “super powers” have nothing to do with our actions, but who we are.

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