The Supermom Myth

As the mother of two little boys, I am up to my eyeballs in superheroes. I step on a tiny Iron Man on my way to the dress up box where I stuff capes, masks, and gloves packed in so tight the lid won’t stay shut. I fold Batman shirts, and stack Superman underwear, and overhear vintage 1967 Spiderman episodes playing in the living room while I stand in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner. I think their obsession is adorable and I don’t mind a bit if they wear their capes to church. I let them don as many superhero accessories as they want, because I know someday soon they will be enticed by the idea of being cool and their capes will hang untouched on the hook in their bedroom.

There is just something about superheroes that fascinates both kids and adults alike. I should know, since I just recently paid ridiculously large amounts of money to see The Avengers on the big screen. Twice. A superhero is the culmination of everything we are not but so desperately want to be.  Fearless, indestructible, strong, able to be anywhere and everywhere in a matter of seconds, and of course, incredibly good looking. Nothing can stop a superhero.

It’s funny. At the age of 32, you would think that I would finally understand that superheroes are myths. Oh sure, I know that Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man, and Superman are simply entertaining comics made into awesome action flicks. But there is one superhero that I still hold onto the chance of being more than a myth.

And that is Supermom.

Who is Supermom? Oh, she wasn’t created by Marvel or DC Comics, but rather sketched out in the vivid imaginations of average moms like you and me. Supermom is a force to be reckoned with. She can cook amazingly healthy meals that her perfect children can’t wait to devour, her house is beautifully decorated with all of the latest DIY trends that she found on Pinterest, her laundry never builds up, she showers every day, and you will never catch her with her hair in a ponytail. She doesn’t just homeschool, but she writes her own curriculum and blogs about it. She sews, she knits, and she has perfect marksmanship when it comes to her hot glue gun, so evil villains beware! She also volunteers in the community, teaches Sunday School, never raises her voice, always smiles, and prays beautiful prayers over her sweet angels every night after she sweetly tucks them into bed. And she does it all looking just as great as Scarlett Johansen in her Black Widow spandex.

For a long time I have believed that Supermom exists somewhere out there, and that if I try just hard enough, I can be her. I dig through my dress up box and put on my cape and mask, running around the house trying to get it all done. But just like Jack is learning that a string of yarn taped to the window will not support his body weight as he jumps off the little IKEA table on the porch, I am learning that no matter how hard I try, I cannot be perfect.

I remember standing in my friend Tamitha’s kitchen about 7 or 8 years ago. This was long before I had kids, and Phillip and I were hanging out at her house helping her makeover her twins’ bedrooms as a surprise for their birthday. I stood across the kitchen island and watched her dot green icing all over the top of the homemade sheet cake she had made for her son. It was a tradition that she had started when her twins were little, she always made them each a homemade birthday cake, in whatever theme they requested. I thought it was a lovely tradition, one I have since adopted with my boys. I remember being in awe of her and saying something to the effect of, “When I have kids someday, I want to be a supermom like you.” She looked at me incredulously and laughed. “I am no supermom,” she replied.

Now that I have my own kids, I’ve been called Supermom myself a time or two, and I always feel that same sense of disbelief that I saw in her eyes that day, as I reassure the person that I am also no supermom. I am crafty. I am a bit of an overachieving perfectionist. I like to stay busy in a very Martha not Mary kind of a way. But those things do not a supermom make. If only it were that easy.

So to all of you who still believe the myth, it’s time to retire your mask and your cape. It’s time to stop gazing out the window or at your computer screen trying to catch a glimpse of her. Supermom doesn’t exist. Stop comparing yourself to every mom on the playground, in your small group, and at the grocery store. She isn’t there either.

What you will find however, is a bunch of moms just like you and me. Real moms. Moms who have bad days, moms who feel like they are drowning in laundry and dust bunnies, moms who order pizza for their kids more than they would like to admit, moms who lose it when their two year goes potty all over their master bedroom carpet.

But what we all have in common is that we are all moms who are overcome with the love that we have for our children and we truly just want the very best for them in life. And that, my friends, is what really makes us super.




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  1. Beautiful. Thank you.

  2. Keep writing, girl. You have a gift.

  3. The very fact that you doubt your super-mom-ness, leads me to believe that perhaps, you are in fact one of *those* super-moms :).

    I’m guilty of trying to do it all. But that’s okay with me. I’m wired that way, & I’m much happier with life when I try to work with my idiosyncrasies, rather than against them.

  4. I loved this post. Starting your 31 days series for inspirational reading tonight. This was a beautiful way to start. I love your writing style.

    I struggle with perfectionism and trying to be supermom. In fact I avoided even getting on pinterest for the longest time because of this reason. I’m finding a balance is what is needed…a balance of grace and intention (another reason I can’t wait to read your series).

    I recently blogged about the supermom myth and what it means to be a “real mom” and even have a “real mom” blog series / category, if you are interested in knowing that there is another mom out there in the blogosphere that is smashing the supermom myth to pieces.

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