The Supermum Myth Exposed
By Ute Fumeaux
The Supermum myth is creating havoc in families and communities around the world. Think about it. There is so much pressure on mothers. They're expected to know what their doing with a brand new baby despite having little or no experience except a few antenatal classes and books they"ve read. They're expected to cope with hormones going crazy, serious sleep deprivation (used by many countries during war time as a torture technique), run a household, sometimes work full or part time, look after older siblings. And"" in this generation, we're often doing it on our own, we often don't have family or community support close by.
Ute Fumeaux is a mother of 3 who empathises with mothers all over the world. But she also wants to make it clear to all mothers that they are often their own worst enemies.
The first message to get across to all mothers is that there is no such thing as a Supermum. Just like there's no superman, batman, spiderman, wonder woman etc etc.
The best thing all mothers can do is to forget about trying to be a Supermum.
Let's face it all mothers are amazing, wonderful and fabulous human beings (sorry to the at-home Dads I know I'm being politically incorrect but I'm just keeping it simple). You have to be super to go through the whole pregnancy process, child birth, breast feeding, bottle feeding, sleep deprivation, life changing, sensational and wonderful process that is motherhood.
Where we all fall down is that we think we can do everything perfectly all the time.
You all know what I'm talking about, before you go to bed you set up the breakfast table, start the lunches for the following day and have everything ready to go for the next day. You get up at 6, finish the lunches, finish getting breakfast on the table, shower and get yourself organised. Get the children up at 6.45, dressed and at the table by 7, breakfast finished, teeth brushed, bags packed and in the car by 7.40". and then". Just as you're buckling in the 2 year old, you smell that smell"Just when everything was going perfectly, you were going to miss the traffic, you were going to get everyone to school on time, now it's all changed.
Yes, you were calm, organised and in control and then the unthinkable happens, your routine falls down and you're now running 15 minutes late (have you ever tried to get a 2 year old unbuckled, back in the house, nappy changed and back in the car in less time?), you now get stuck in traffic, you're less than calm and lets face it less than interested in the 20 minute version of last night's dream and you come face to face with the realisation that you're not a Supermum and that you're unlikely to ever be one. The reality is you're a mum who somehow manages to get everything done that needs to be done. You may not do it perfectly every time, your house may not be immaculate, your daughter's pig tails may not be perfectly straight, your son may sometimes wear a fairy dress over his clothes, but hey, your children are happy (well 99% of the time), healthy and very much loved.
Let's put it all into perspective. In fact let's put it into a format most mothers can relate to - a list (after all how else can we remember to do more than 2 extra things?)
Mum's Priority Checklist
- Are your children loved
- Are your children safe
- Are your children healthy
- Are your children stimulated
- Are your children being appropriately educated
- Do your children sleep well
- Do your children sleep enough
- Do your children eat healthy meals (90% of the time)
- Do you spend quality family time together
- Do you communicate positively with each family member on a regular basis
- Do you encourage family members to communicate positively with each other
- Do you and your partner agree about your discipline/parenting techniques
- Are you flexible with your routines when necessary
Don't get me wrong I'm not simplifying the mothering role to the above things, but come on all you "Supermums let's forget about the perfect house, the perfect outfits and the perfect punctuality - it's not going to happen 100% of the time, if you can do all of that even 80% of the time, you're a legend and I'll have to take it all back, there is such a thing as a Supermum.
The only question I'd ask is what does it cost to be a Supermum? Do you actually have time to finger paint with your children and to clean the toilets every couple of days. Do you have time to cook 3 course meals and let your children bake cookies? Are your walls/fridge perfectly clean or are they covered in artwork you and your children have created?
We all have different ideas about what it takes to be a great mum and whatever that means to you, as long as your spending time with your children, playing with them, talking to them, listening to them, letting them know on a very regular basis how much you love them, disciplining them and just being there for them, - then you have to know that you're doing a great job.
Congratulations, you're a fabulous mum.
About The Author
Ute Fumeaux is a fast-paced educator who blends the experience of raising her own 3 children with years of study and observation. She provides solid practical advice that answers many of the questions parents have about raising and educating their children.
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