SuperMom. You know who I’m talking about. The mother that can — and will — do it all effortlessly. The one without spit up on her shirts, the one who always has time to shower, the one whose children never had any problems sleeping.
The SuperMom of the twenty tens speaks in acronyms. Exclusively breastfeeding (EBF), Nursing in public (NIP — hehe), Crying-it-out (CIO — or not — SuperMom has feelings on both sides of that fence and which ever side she’s on is the right one.), Baby-led weaning (BLW). She makes her own baby food, uses cloth diapers, practices baby wearing and co-sleeping, and was a natural the first time she picked up her dSLR and began shooting photos. Her children have magazine-worthy decorated bedrooms and she jogs for miles daily behind her celebrity-endorced stroller.
No, I’m not talking about one woman in particular. I know many amazing women both in life and through blogging who practice most, if not all of the things I mentioned above. These women are not a SuperMom. SuperMom is a breed all their own. They lurk on Twitter or in online baby forums, tooting their own horns at just how superior their children are because they’re just such good mothers. They yammer on in yoga class during their Sun Salutation about how appalled they were when their friend stopped breast feeding because she “just wasn’t trying hard enough”. They hold court over mom groups, casually dressed in Lululemon athletic clothes.
The thing about the SuperMom is that while she’s being perfect, she’s making you feel bad about NOT being perfect. And no matter how much you know that motherhood is not a competition, that beneath her shiny facade is the same exhaustion you feel at the end of the day, you can’t help but feel a little envious and wonder how she does it all so well.
I am friendly with a real-life SuperMom. I see her occasionally, because occasionally is about all I can swallow. She’s very nice, don’t get me wrong, but she’s also the World’s! Best! Mother! and will tell you all about the secrets of parenting while driving her perfectly color coordinated children around in her minivan. She is Kelly Ripa in a cute little outfit — simultaneously baking cookies, making a four-course dinner and boiling water in 90 seconds.
I am not a SuperMom. Sure, I breast feed. I make Owen’s food from scratch. I use baby carriers, am a part-time co-sleeper, a modified cry-it-out user. I own and use a dSLR. But not because I have to. Not because my mommy card will be revoked if I don’t. I do it because this is the way I choose to parent my kid and each day is a learning process. I still get spit up on, and I shower mostly every other day. I also let him watch a little TV and it’s –GASP — not always educational.
Do I want to be SuperMom? Honestly, yes. Sometimes I do. When I picture my future with multiple children at my feet, I envision myself breezing through it easily. Is this a reality? Probably not.
But know what? In a way, I already am SuperMom. To my son, I am a super woman. The supplier of food, the one who doles out tickles and kisses. The wiper of the bum.
When his face lights up the minute he sees me, when he buries his head in my neck, when he laughs in delight over something I do, I know I’m doing something right.