On Success and Supermom
We’ve all met her. She is a highly successful entrepreneur, keeps an immaculate home, has a perfect relationship with her rock-star husband, feeds her three children three healthy well-balanced meals a day, and manages to do it all without looking like a disheveled mess. I am that woman! Only…..I’m not. Far from it.
Keep Your Sanity – Ask for Help
A friend recently paid me a very flattering compliment: „You are supermom! How do you do it all?“ Well, of course I don’t do it all, and there is no such thing as supermom. For one thing, supermom doesn’t have an assistant. I do. An Au Pair helps me out with the daily logistics of picking up the kids, food preparation and clean-up. There is no way that I would be able to provide all of those lovely healthy meals and still maintain my sanity without her. It’s so easy to believe in the myth when you cannot see all of the messy details, isn’t it?
How We Measure Success
The supermom comment got me thinking about how we measure success as a society, and how that shapes the way we feel about ourselves as individuals. Sometimes it is all too easy to see our accomplishments through that same societal lens; if others consider us successful; somehow that validates all of our hard work, our ambition, and indeed, our self worth. Oh, so much pressure we put on ourselves!
Do More of What Makes You Happy
I am realizing, more and more, the importance of really examining the true source of my needs and desires and letting go of the non-essential. In our culture of “busy” sometimes that can mean doing less. With each new activity we add to our already overscheduled calendars, maybe we should be asking ourselves: Why is this important to me? Does it genuinely make me and my family happy? Or…is it something that I can let go of in order to gain just a little bit of extra peace in our days?
For example, I recently had to make the decision to risk disappointing my family by opting out of a group chat application that they were all very excited about using to keep in touch with each other. I am a person who requires a lot of downtime, whether it be spent out in nature, reading, or relaxing with my family. In order to maintain this balance in my life and be fully present with my family during those times, I realized that it was too much for me to have one more reason to be glued to the phone. I had to realize that listening to myself and doing what was best for me was more important than pleasing others in this circumstance. Doing what is best for ourselves is not selfish. In fact, that is what fills us with the energy that we need in order to live our dreams, which we in turn share with others.
The Importance of Saying No
The art of learning not to accept every opportunity that arises (whether for ourselves or for our children) is challenging for sure, as it can sometimes lead to a feeling of “missing out.” But the truth is that if our successes are not reflections of our authentic selves, we will always be left feeling empty, and we may continue to try to fill the void with more and more activities and accomplishments. What’s more, we can unwittingly impose this need for achievement onto our children, as discussed in this excellent video.
I am still learning, and there are days when if feels as if the whole world will come crashing down. But then I remind myself that even the most seemingly perfect do-it-all mother has days when she feels like an absolute failure. If she doesn’t, quite frankly she is not human. And if striving to find balance in this messy, chaotic, imperfect thing called life turns out to be one more unattainable myth, so be it. At least I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the ride a little more, and perhaps my children will benefit from having a mom that is a little less stressed. Because truly, being supermom is highly overrated.
Do you find yourself trying to do it all? Share with others below!