Merriam Webster (online) defines Super Mom as “an exemplary mother.”
I know her as the girl with a sparkling house and sparkling kids. They have schedules and probably some kind of weekly menu hanging from the fridge—and it’s not from 2014 like the one I just took down.
As I live each day with good intentions and an ever-growing love for the same people who drive me nuts, I have started to realize something.
Super Mom is a sham. That’s right, she’s a straight-up myth.
We all have different versions of who an “exemplary mother” is—and for many of us, she is everything we aren’t.
I am not very domestic, but I am great at communicating. So I can have some great conversations with my kids but have no idea where their socks are and will probably forget all about Logan’s football pictures again.
So, to me, the perfect mom swoops in and saves the day with freshly baked cookies and a perfectly clean house. Because she’s exactly the opposite of me.
On the flip side, the ultra-domestic mom who struggles to talk to her kids wishes she could be me. We always seem to want what we don’t have.
Why can’t we ever just be happy with ourselves?
I honestly want to be happy with myself, because constantly feeling inadequate makes me grouchy — and no one likes grouchy mom.
Instead of trying to become someone else, I am learning to become the best version of myself.
And let me tell you who I am.
I’m a sloppy forty-something-year-old woman who can’t cook without the kids contemplating whether to evacuate the house or head to the table for dinner.
Many days I feel overwhelmed by the messes of two kids, two birds (Duncans come in pairs), and one dog and husband whose collaborative mission to sabotage my efforts sometimes leave me frustrated and hopeless.
I’m also a girl who loves with everything I have to offer, even if it sometimes doesn’t feel like much.
Then again, maybe my discombobulated ways will be their favorite thing to remember about me one day.
“Remember how mom left the kitchen faucet running and then walked back into the room and griped everyone out for leaving the kitchen faucet on?”
Then they smile and nod, and talk about all the fun times we had looking for my keys, or backtracking through different stores to see where I left my wallet.
This is how we live our lives. And, although I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, I do have a morning routine that seems to work pretty well.
First, I stumble to the coffee pot and try to remember all the steps to transforming the dark grounds into liquid gold.
And other than a few times when I forgot to add the water (believe it or not, you can burn coffee) I have this down.
Second, with my cup in hand, I microwave my breakfast while ordering the kids around as they get ready for school.
“Deodorant. Don’t come down here without deodorant.”
“Did you brush your teeth? Are you telling me the truth? Breathe on me right now. Oh no! You get back up there and do another two minutes.”
Then we move on to all the stuff they need but can’t find. From band instruments to Chromebooks and now masks, there are plenty of things we can ransack the house for until someone cries.
And that usually sums up our quality morning time. Then Connor and I head off to school for the day while Logan gets on his bus.
And that’s it! It works for me most days.
I think the key is giving ourselves and others (moms can be hard on one another) the chance to figure out what works for her and go with it—even if it’s a little unconventional.
A perfect mom just doesn’t exist, and if we hold ourselves to someone else’s standards then we will always fall short.
Every mom I know is different with unique strengths and struggles of her own, but we all share one thing. We are all perfectly created by Him to love and care for our children, in our way.
So in that aspect, Super Mom does exist—we are all her.
This post originally appeared on the author’s Facebook page.