I have a confession. I try way too hard sometimes. Like, over-the-top, crazy, slightly insane, hard. I think many of my friends, and moms of today try too hard. We are suffering from what I call Supermom-itis. We want to do the best that we can do for our children, which sometimes means going above and beyond for our little people at the cost of our own sanity/wallet/time/_fill-in-the-blank_.
Why do we do this? We all know it makes us insane. It stresses us out. It makes us feel like failures when we don’t achieve whatever we doing. Even worse, if we don’t do the over-the-top thing, then we feel like crappy mothers. This is so illogical when you stop to think about it. Are we just chasing Martha Stewart, the first iconic Supermom, mother of all-the-things?
Before Martha or B.M. – the Detached Era
Many children of the 80’s, some with divorced parents, learned how to do everything on their own fairly early. This is simply due to the fact that in the 80’s most parents didn’t stay at home. Our tired working parents came home and expected certain things and nothing else. Their expectations were homework, manners, clean rooms, baths etc. Weekends were for catching up on chores, errands, etc. The essentials. Definitely not figuring out what pipe cleaner craft could be done. The basic requirements, and if not done, or one stepped out of line, then one would suffer through a long, ‘I thought you forgot about me’, time out.
Quality time was different as well. Maybe a little league game or two. Maybe gymnastics 1x a week. But definitely not a ‘let’s cram a coffee playdate at the park in the morning, with a paper origami session after lunch, and help me start prepping the 17 step perfect dinner including all the kitchen gadgets before dusk’. There were less distractions then, so in theory they had more time…
But No. Life was simple.
In all fairness, not really. Their life was just as hard but they didn’t have all the stuff we have today, with access to all the stuff. Most importantly, they didn’t have anyone showing off what they could be doing better. They were blissfully unaware of all-the-things.
After Martha. or A.M. – the Supermom-itis era
Insert Martha. A Supermom on the rise. Sure, Martha Stewart had published a few books but really she didn’t become a household name until the 90’s. That is when everyone started to devour the icon’s ideas, became addicted to watching how things could be done, via magazines, her TV episodes, and guest appearances on shows as the expert. People became entranced with her projects and creativity. They started to say, “I want to do that”. And OH, how we did. We did it all, and wanted more of Martha, and more THAN Martha.
Fast forward to the age of the blogospheres and Pinterest, where everyone has Martha-like ideas to share, and everyone is just as creative. So creative that it feels like we are trying to out do mother Martha all the time. (Now her company has to keep up with all the Supermoms!) With that comes the intense pressure to do more, be more for our little people. Supermom-itis. The 17 step recipe, the craft of the day, the best way to organize your drawers, the personal blog or carefully curated social media feed. And don’t forget…all the life hacks that we all need to survive motherhood.
Reflection time. Should we stop?
What kind of example are we setting for our kids? They will grow up not knowing that the gallons of glue that they waste on slime are very expensive. Nor will they know that there isn’t an immediate supply of gift wrap or bows at all times, you know, for wrapping up their gifts of slime on a Tuesday evening.
Are we setting the ideal of what’s to come for their journey through motherhood? Maybe, all this over the top mothering will drive their generation into the workplace the way the housewives of the 50-60’s did? Fat Chance. Indicators are already showing that the new generations simply believe they can do anything they put their minds to. (like we taught them) So of course, they will suffer from Supermom-itis too.
What about our boys? Are they going to expect their wives to know how to make a few batches of sous-vide eggs in the pressure cooker for their snacking pleasure? Will it become a requirement during the first date to make sure that they were raised by a Supermom, and knows how to make DIY organic laundry detergent using essential oils?
But…obviously, others like it. Not just like it, but LOVE it. LOVE it SO much that there is a huge insatiable audience of Supermoms trying to do all-the-things.
I started a personal blog a few years ago, and I realized that it’s a lot of work. It’s no. joke. REALLY. If you look up a blog for anything, know that person spent HOURS putting that content out there for you. There are many who can make an income from it, therefore calling it work, but the rest of us have Supermom-itis.
So here I am, too. Starting my blog over, just chasing Martha Stewart, one creative idea at a time. I have Supermom-itis and I am going to just OWN it. And if you do too, then this just might speak to you. Here’s the thing. I am fully aware of my condition, and yet it doesn’t stop me. It’s a bit sadistic for sure. Does it stop you?
Join me in my adventure of doing all-the-things on http://www.chasingmartha.com
For clarity’s sake, I want to share my definition of SuperMom versus having SuperMom-itis. The difference is, one is a Super Mom. Does everything well, easily and doesn’t even consider not doing all-the-things.
The other is a mother who wants to be a SuperMom, but it stresses them out. It causes undue pressure, and usually there is a little regret of trying too hard. I suffer from SuperMom-itis. I sign up for things that I want to do, and so glad when they are done. I get excited to try a new craft, but then groan afterwards because I have to clean up. A true SuperMom does this with out complaint, and a sense of ease.
But in the long run, there is more pleasure than pain and why I say I am suffering 😉 and this blog is my new outlet for my problem.
with sarcasm and loveKari @chasingmartha