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July 10, 2013

SUPER MOM




When I meet a lady for the first time, and as we talk and get to know one another, eventually the subject of children comes up. And when she finds out that we have 13 children, her response is usually one of speechlessness or "You must be SUPER MOM!!!!"

Honestly, I don't usually know how to respond to this and often mutter something like, "If you lived with me you would definitely come to realize that I am far from 'super mom'!

SUPER MOM.....a very daunting title....and to huge to live up to, yet I think all of us moms try. Pinterest definitely has a way of encouraging us to try the impossible, to be more creative and to go all out. Blogs of other fine woman have made us want to be a better mom, given us hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and helped us feel like there are others out there in our shoes.

But all of these things, as positive as they can be on our lives, can also be very discouraging and damaging to the view and expectations we hold for ourselves. Everything on pinterest looks so perfect, organized and flawless. But we don't see the many failed attempts before this project was perfected. Blogs can make moms seem so "Super Momish"and alway joyful with never a down moment. But if we were a fly on the wall for a day we would soon find out that she has struggles of her own.

Today as I was making laundry soap I thought to myself, "A decade ago I would have laughed if someone would have told me that I would be making my own laundry soap in a few years." Why? Because a decade ago I had a small brood of children that took my every time and effort just to keep our home and lives afloat. Because if I would have even attempted to think about making laundry soap, I would have felt overwhelmed.

As moms we have to be very careful who we measure ourselves up to. We have to think through what stage we are in our lives and understand that we may not be able to do it all today....but maybe tomorrow......or next year.....or the next decade! When we pin stuff on pinterest we may have to remind ourselves that this is something we will put on the shelf until our lives permit it to be accomplished. When we read that fine mom's blog we need to understand that even though we may not be able to accomplish all that she does in a day.....but someday, when are children are a little older, we may be able to.

I have made the mistake too many time of measuring myself up to moms who looked like "SUPER MOM". And when I have done so, I have usually felt like a failure as a mom. Having 13 children means I have been pregnant 117 months or 9.75 years. It also means that I have had a newborn baby or have been getting up in the night with an infant for about 78 months or 6.5 years. That makes for approx. 16.25 years of feeling tired, ill, hormonal, unmotivated, or just plain "not SUPER MOM!" No wonder there have been days that I have only felt I am able to get the bare necessities done in our home!!! But I soon came to realize that measuring myself up to a mom who had 13 children of whom the youngest was 5, or a mom who had 4 children...all of them school age, or a mom who had children who were all 3 years apart....was just not smart. Because I was at the stage that I was right then....and it is not the same stage as SUPER MOM on the blog or down the street or on pinterest.....I was at the stage  that I was at right then....and I needed to realize that was OK. I would not be able to be all to all. I may not be able to have a perfect home full of homemade decorations with the windows clean and the floor all shiny. I may have to sit for a few hours a day nursing a baby or resting because I feel ill. But I had to realize that was OK!!!! It was not worth knocking myself out, or beating myself up because I didn't measure up to "SUPER MOM"!

Now this didn't give me an excuse to be lazy or sit around and read a book all day. This didn't give me and excuse to have a unhealthy unclean home, macaroni and cheese meals every day, or ignore my husband and children's needs. But it gave me a reason to focus on the main things....prioritize every day what I needed to accomplish and leave alone the things that I thought would make me a "SUPER MOM"! It meant that there might be fingerprints on the wall, that the dishes may have to sit in the sink for longer than I like and that I may have to buy laundry detergent :) But I needed to be OK with that.

Today I make my own laundry detergent, I can get the day's wash done, the floor is usually relatively clean, the dishes are done, I make yogurt, the garden is weeded and clean.....but tomorrow, or next year, or next decade....it may not be. Not because I am not a SUPER MOM, but because I am at a different stage of my life. A stage that God has put me in at that moment. And I will need to be OK with that.

So put away all the SUPER MOM mentalities that have been making you feel overwhelmed, frustrated and inadequate, and look to the stage you are at today....prioritize what is necessary and do those things. Go ahead and pin those things on pinterest.....read that Mom's blog that you admire....but realize that you are who you are, and you are right in the stage and place that God has put you. And remember that a real SUPER MOM is one who is content to be where God has put her today. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, not a decade from now....but today. And next time you see someone who seems like a "SUPER MOM" in your eyes....instead of trying to live up to here.....bless her and smile, knowing that she is human just like you....just in a different stage of life! And be OK with that :)

11 comments:

Leanne said...

I am not SuperMom and I will never be......

I have heard all of the comments that you've heard, and I only have 8.5 kids! The comments are usually rude and very nosy and insensitive. They used to really bother me, but now, I can just ignore them. I always say to the commenter that we are incredibly blessed and that my home is very fun.

This was a great post. I always love your thoughts on different issues and I look forward to a new post from you!

Stacey said...

I love this. I will admit that sometimes I think of you as Super Mom. But I know deep down that there are always struggles of some sort.

Indianalori said...

I've had it all. Just not at the same time. :)

Godspeed to every one of us whom has ever been called a "Super Mom" and laughed at how fraudulent it felt. But we're in on the secret: we're all super Moms, just doing our best with the story we've been given.

Missy said...

Thank you. I needed this where I am at right now...

Tricia said...

Great post. Thanks for the words. With having a dozen children I get the same comments. Like, "You must be a saint," or "You must have so much patience," "You must be extremely organized," you know the comments. And the first thing that comes to my mind is whatever, really, lady if you really knew me or even if you visited my home you would so think differently! I think, the reason why moms with lots of kids hear these things is just because when you have only 2, 3, or 4 kids you can feel so overwhelmed so the thought of 10 or more is daunting. But we were there. I remember back in the day with 3-5 children and absolutely marveling over a lady with 10 or more kids. Seemed quite beyond any efforts I could even imagine. But like anything in life, we build slowly, baby steps, and most of the time we work up to many children one child, sometimes 2 children at a time. Such is life. Constantly changing and adapting to our surroundings one day, one week, one month at a time.

Thanks again for writing this post. Certainly puts things into perspective!

Lois said...

This post is comment worthy!
This is a very insightful post about living in season. Thank-you.
This would make a great mother-day reflection.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post Rosalie... It made me smile too! I'm in the 'littles' stage, so the mere thought of 'pinning' something on pinterest makes me laugh!! Just goes to show, that life really does go in stages :) I look forward to life slowing down a bit someday, but it is wonderful to be in the middle of God's plan for your life! Thanks for the reminder to embrace this stage of life!! God bless, Merla

Marie said...

Thank you for the reminder....children do grow up in such a hurry. I needed this so much today :)

Marcy said...

Great post. I have said that blogs and facebook both can make you look at other people as having the "perfect" life. Truth is.... there isn't such thing. Everyone has struggles, it is part of life. Sometimes I wonder if the people that try to make everything seem perfect are the ones that struggle the most! The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful life and family that I wouldn't trade for anything, but it is far from perfect around here! :o)

Argon Family said...

Sooo needed this, so encouraged. I am gonna read it again!

jane said...

Thank-you. I agree with you.