Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Being "Supermom" {Confessions}

When I was 16 my Nana wrote me a "Grandmother Remembers" book. She has since passed away, but every year I pull the book out and read through all the letters and memories while staring at the pictures remembering some memories of my own. It never ceases to amaze me that every year a different part of the book or a different letter will mean more to me than it had in past years. While reading through the pages last night, I came across a part that she wrote about "Women Today". In that section she wrote about how "Women today have to be Superwomen--Wives, mothers, and have careers. With all modern-day technology, they have less free time than their grandmothers did." {Nana}

That quote from her pages got me thinking. I do really feel the stress many days of having to play most of the roles in the house. I work in the morning (totaling about 5 hours outside of the home), then I come home to clean, vacuum, wash dishes, load and unload the dishwasher, run laundry through, clean and stuff diapers, make dinner, grocery shop and pay bills. All I really want to do on many days is sit down to play with my daughter and let the house fend for itself! Admittedly, some days I do actually do just that. Most days though, I understand that I cannot do that because the house will not, in fact, fend for itself but rather become increasingly out of control. I would love to stay home with my daughter all day and simply be a stay-at-home wife and mother, but at this point it is simply not an option. So instead, I feel the pressure and the stress of being a "Supermom". It is not something that my husband expects of me or has even joked about. Rather it is the pressure that I feel from the outside world. In a way, I desire to be a "Supermom"(whatever that really means). But when you get right down to it, most women nowadays feel that they must be a "Supermom". All it leaves us with is a stressed out, frazzled mommy in need of a break (preferably on the beach with a margarita)!

The term "Supermom" used to refer to a stay-at-home wife and mother who was able to participate the most in their child's life (baking for school, tending to the little ones, etc) while also staying on top of the housework and always having a tasty, home-cooked dinner on the table for their husband. Mommy got her break when her kids were at school or playing outside. In general women were expected to have children and care for their homes and families. That was their job. Now women are expected to have a "daytime" job and an "at home job" in many cases. I'm not saying either way of life is better than the other here. I'm simply saying that we have created this mentality that women must become "Supermom" in order to survive...holding down successful careers while staying successful at home as well.

I'm left wondering....these days when does mommy get her break? Who is to help mommy? I know that after thinking about all that I get done on a daily basis I feel less stressed about the few things that I leave until tomorrow as well as those few days that I do decide to simply play with my daughter and "relax". Anyway, what do you think Baby "S" would prefer: a frazzled always-busy mommy, or a mommy that takes the time to play with her and lets the house go from time to time? {I do so hope its the latter!}

Disclaimer: this post is in no way saying that Daddy "S" does not help out. He has his fair share of responsibility for the house with upkeep of the outside, trash duty, and whatever else I ask for help with. He is very good about helping when I ask for it and has even recommended that some days I leave a list of things he could do to help. I am truly blessed to be married to such a wonderful, helpful man!


Liz said...

Very interesting post. I think you are right. I wonder where this mentality originated? Maybe women have imposed these thoughts on ourselves trying to prove something to....men (equality...blah blah blah)? Mabybe that is where is started...in our mother's generation and then overflowed into our own lives.

Too many days my house is a complete mess...but no day goes by that my kids don't get kisses and hugs and tons of lovies (I reeeeeeally like to cuddle!). Housework will always be there...but my kids won't.

Kuddos to you for spending time with your lil "S"!

Liz @ lil-LIZ-bits

Mommy "S" said...


My personal opinion is that women's lib started it all and that you are correct that our mother's generation needed to prove themselves to men (or something of the sort). We did probably do this to oursevles. Now I fear we are stuck with it...at least for a little while. We'll see what happens with the economy though...it may become that more moms stay home because they aren't able to find jobs and the pendulum may shift the other way eventually....we shall see!

And yes...housework will ALWAYS be there, but your kids are only that age once. I'm glad that you are able to realize that and put your kids first. That's very important!

~Mommy "S"