Recently I read “Being a Mom Doesn’t 100% Fulfill Me” on Motherhood Unadorned. Sometimes, when I’m feeling down, I read this blog because it helps me to realize that I’m not alone in my frustrations as a “modern mom”. The blog is Cristi’s “true labor of love for [herself]” and is an inspiration for me. After reading this post, I examined my own feelings of fulfillment. What fulfills me? My family, my job, and my own self-worth. These are the three priorities in my life.
It’s only been recently that I’ve been able to establish my priorities — and I’m still working on it. See, for a while, I’ve been feeling the “Supermom” Syndrome and, whenever it takes over, it leaves me feeling overwhelmed, under appreciated, and upset. Supermom Syndrome is the position where not only do moms “think they should be able to do it all, but they think it shouldn’t be too hard.” (Read more: Researchers Say “Supermom Syndrome” to Blame For Depression – Redbook ). There are a lot of bloggers who write about the problems the Supermom Syndrome creates, and I will try not to re-hash what’s already been said other than to say, for me, it’s been a problem.
I have a part-time job I absolutely adore. Every day I interact with bloggers who are both inspirational and intelligent — I am lucky because this job is both fulfilling, helps a little with our bills, and I’m able to stay at home with my daughter.
However, working from home creates a small problem. Because I work from home sometimes there is the assumption that my house should be clean, dinner should be cooked, my daughter should be intellectually engaged, and I should be happy. It’s not true. At the height of my feeling overwhelmed, a well-meaning person called me “lazy” — an accusation that is further than the truth, and that hurt more than that person could ever know. It hurt because sometimes I feel like I’m doing enough coupled with the guilt of watching other moms who seem to be able to do it all — have a blog, keep their house immaculately clean, have a job, stay in shape, create educational crafts, and have boundless amounts of energy.
It was in that moment that that word was said I gave up. I left for a period of time — walked straight out of the house without shoes, my wallet, or my phone and sat in the car crying for an hour. I cried and cried and asked why can’t it be easier?
And then I realized, it’s not easy. It never was. And the only person who was at fault was me. It was my fault because I didn’t live up to my own expectations. In the moment between tears, I realized that pursuit of supermom is a deadly slope, and I felt better. I left the car (walking barefoot in 30 degree weather back to the house) and, though still upset, felt better because I let my own expectations go.
I’m working on my priorities. Right now, my priorities are my daughter, my job, and then a clean house. As long as my daughter is fed, clean, safe and learning new things, I’m doing excellent work for my job, and I’m taking care of my own mental health, I’m okay if my house isn’t clean. I’ll pick up here and there, but I’m not chasing supermom.
I’m letting her fly away.