I Can’t Be Your Supermom

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No mom can possibly achieve the unrealistic expectations of a mythical "Supermom." Here's how you can "Lose the Cape" and redefine what being a mom means.

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.

So what does my Supermom look like?, I wondered as I read Lose the Cape: Realities from Busy Modern Moms and Strategies to Survive, a new ebook by Alexa Bigwarfe and Kerry Rivera. (My overall take on which can be summed up by the quote I gave the authors for promoting the book: “Finally, a how-to manual for working moms that’s actually fun [and funny] to read! Lose the Cape is equal parts informative, inspiring and a huge sigh of relief that this supermom thing ain’t happening. And that’s perfectly OK.”)

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.

Supermom had her shit together. She didn’t let her kids watch TV or laundry pile up in the basement. She made sure they did wholesome, fulfilling family activities during their quality time at home. She magically coordinated all household chores so they ran like clockwork. And when she went to the office, Supermom switched immediately to full-on ass-kicking mode, taking on every project like a boss and only thinking of her family or home life when she lovingly gazed at the smiling photo of them on her desk.

Simultaneously, she stayed true to her pre-kid self. Supermom kept up with her busy social schedule, pursued her personal passions and interests at full speed, entertained and hosted parties with her friends and coworkers, volunteered in the community for good causes, went on lots of dates and cool vacations with her husband… I could literally go on and on.

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.

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,” as the authors of Lose the Cape refer to your 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.

Whether you’re considering becoming a mom “someday, maybe,” recently joined the Mom Club, or have been doing this gig for a while, I highly recommend that you read Lose the Cape. If for no other reason than to re-examine your own version of “Supermom” lurking in the back of your mind. Alexa and Kerry, along with a whole host of real-mom contributors, paint an honest picture of everyday reality as a modern mom.

You also might learn a thing or two. Lose the Cape is bursting with resources, including suggestions and tips from a diverse group of moms to make life run smoother. Organization, meal planning, morning and evening routines, battling new mommy worries, and more are all tackled in one place to provide a handbook for any mom looking for some relief. This veteran mom of two thinks it’s a pretty super read.

Finally, a how-to manual for working moms that's actually fun [and funny] to read! Lose the Cape is equal parts informative, inspiring and a huge sigh of relief that this supermom thing ain't happening. And that's perfectly OK.

Pssst … get your copy now while it’s still available on Amazon at a super low price.

Susan Wenner Jackson

Susan Wenner Jackson is the cofounder and editor of Working Moms Against Guilt. She lives in her hometown of West Chester, Ohio, with her husband, two children, and their dog.

15 Comments

  1. absolutly love this book!! Must read for all moms!!

  2. I also had the same pre-kids supermom thoughts of what a parent should be, including never letting her kids watch television, doing a brain development activity every day and cooking wholesome food every day. I think it’s good to still strive for it and we shouldn’t just give up and be lazy and get a pass, but we shouldn’t strive for this perfection we sometimes set ourselves up for. Otherwise we’ll always be disappointed!

  3. This is right on time. I’m currently struggling with finding time to do the things I think I’m supposed to and I’m coming to realize that I’ve let my priorities go askew in the quest to be perfect.

  4. this is really great, thanks for sharing! I may need to check out that book, I’m a new mommy & will be returning to work later! Thanks 🙂

  5. Thank you for this fantastic review! I’m so glad the book resonated with you and I really appreciate you sharing it with your readers! xo – Alexa

  6. […] Does this topic resonate with you? Here’s another post you might enjoy about the supermom phenomenon. […]

  7. […] going to break this down for you. I am not a superwoman. I really didn’t have time to prep and make a traditional Thanksgiving meal so I did the best […]

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  11. Guess what.. I’m a super-dad reading mom’s blog.

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  14. maybe this book will help my job

  15. Be yourself. because no need to force to be perfect.

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