We’ve all heard of Supermum. She’s present in many of our lives, yet none of us have actually met her. As a child, I grew up believing that Superheroes were there to protect us with their special powers. They could become invisible, had super strength and could fly. They weren’t like the average Joe walking around, they weren’t like me. As a child, I longed to find a piece of supercharged meteorite that would allow me to fly and teleport. It never happened of course. I never found the meteorite, I didn’t have any powers and I forgot about finding it as the realities of real life crept in.
In 2014, I became a mum to Miss S. Everything I seemed to read about parenting focused on this Supermum woman. It seemed she had left around a guide with tips on how to be just like her. I stupidly even named one of my Pinterest Boards after her, I thought she was an inspiration!
How I aspired to be like Supermum
I wanted to bake cakes every week, spend hours enjoying messy play. We would sing songs and hang out with other new Mums. Miss S and I would take long walks every morning and I’d tell her about about the trees and different types of birds and we’d pick flowers. The house would be spotless, errands complete, clothes washed and put away, a healthy dinner on the table. Lunch for tomorrow would be prepared and I would look gorgeous as I waited for hubby to come home with a smile on my face.
The Reality of Motherhood vs. Supermum
The reality was nothing like that. Getting out in the morning was actually the afternoon by the time we were ready to leave the house and they weren’t for educational walks, they were to run much needed errands. The house was never spotless no matter how hard I tried. The clothes never fully put away, the wash basket never empty. I wasn’t gorgeous when hubby came home, often in my most comfortable clothes which were usually my baggy maternity clothes or my pyjamas. The smile I wore when hubby arrived home was often one of relief. I spent the next 4 years looking for this supercharged meteorite that would give me the Supermum logo to wear on my chest and the super speed I required to allow me to do everything I wanted to do in a day but again, I never found it.
In 2018 I had my son Mr Z and with the demands of a newborn and my pre-schooler’s energy, the realisation hit me. Surely, there can be only one Supermum right? I mean, there is only one of each of the superheroes we know. The imitations are usually villains or average Joe’s like me on their way to a fancy dress party. So why was I trying to live up to this woman? My husband doesn’t believe he can fly or think he can lift a car over his head and he doesn’t think that he’s less of man because of it so why do I think I can be Supermum? Why do I think I’m less of a woman because I’m not like her?
It’s OK not being Supermum
I do my best by my family every single day. I’ll never regret doing my best. I’m happy being the best version of myself rather than a lousy imitation of someone else. I don’t want to bake cakes every week. I don’t pick flowers because of my allergies. Sometimes I need to greet hubby at the door with a sigh and rundown of a stressful day because sometimes that is our reality. This is our story, not anyone else’s. Supermum has her own story which she has decided not to share with the world just yet and I’m sure it’s not as glamorous as we’ve been made to believe. So in the meantime, I agree to be just me.
Who are you and why won’t you show your your face? At least write an anonymous post on social media for us all to read so we can all stop pretending to be you. We try to convince each other that we are all Supermum but all know that we aren’t. I mean, it’s a lot of pressure, living up to your name. Most of us mothers out here really don’t have the time to be you. It’s an additional job we all try and the costume doesn’t quite seem to fit. Let yourself be known. Take back your Supermum guide book because, quite frankly, we don’t want it lying around to be seen by those with high expectations. They will start more rumours about the new ways in which you are so perfect.
Supermum, you’re causing me lot of stress, a stupid amount of internal expectations and I’m done trying to be you. I hear that as a superhero, you are out there to protect us but I don’t think you are protecting us mothers, only adding to our stresses.
Maybe you protect us in a roundabout way by looking out for the children. Maybe you’re providing them with organic snacks when we aren’t looking. Is it you who covers their ears when we say the words that they aren’t meant to hear? Do you put on their shoes when we’ve asked them for the 10th time that morning and have lost all hope or do they finally notice our despair?
Motherhood is the most challenging role many of us commit to and we need support. Everyday I do my best to survive motherhood, the challenges, the energy, the negotiations. It’s a big enough job and I quite enjoy being the me that I am and not the me that isn’t you. Here’s to all the mothers out there just being themselves. Here’s to being me, just the Mama that I am.
and mothers worldwide
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy A Simple Piece of Advice for Soon-To-Be Parents