Forget Supermom, Go for “Good Enough” Mom

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Somewhere floating around each person’s mind lurks their own personal ideal of what a mother should be.

Maybe she looks a lot like your own mom—or the complete opposite. Your supermom could be Betty Crocker, Betty Friedan, Betty Shabazz, or hell, even Betty Draper. I think we’ve all cumulatively piled a whole heap of expectations into the shape of a mythical Supermom, and she looms large for each woman as she begins her own motherhood journey. I used to think a Supermom did everything perfectly, from her hair to her job to her parenting. She made healthy meals for herself and her family, kept the house immaculate and running smoothly, got regular promotions at work, and looked stellar no matter what.

Fast forward nine years, and now I see just how unrealistic and downright ridiculous those notions of Supermom were. What human being could possibly pull all that off, all at once? Not me. That much I know.

Forget Supermom. These days, I’m aiming for Good Enough Mom. And not because I’m giving up. I’m just being kinder to myself, to all moms, and more in favor of … a reasonable amount of sanity.

Good Enough Mom loves her kids and makes sure they stay alive and are reasonably well cared for. She values her own well-being, and does her best to take good care of herself. She recognizes that the quality of her relationship with her spouse/partner/significant other/coparent matters, and tries to work on keeping that relationship intact. She frequently leans on her “Mom Squad” support network, without admonishing herself for weakness. When she screws up, she forgives herself. When life throws the inevitable curveballs, she recovers and learns what she can. Most of the time, she’s pretty OK with the life she’s created and choices she’s made. She has a sense of humor about the whole damn thing.

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