The Supermom Mentality: Super from Day One
Many of us adopted the supermom mentality the moment we saw those two lines on the pregnancy test. We researched e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. in order to do it all perfectly. We knew the lists of x, y,& z that we could and couldn’t do like the back of our hands. We wanted to do everything right. We wanted to be supermom. Fast-forward to the birth of our babies. That little bundle was placed into our arms and a love stronger than anything we had ever known washed over our hearts. Our secret resolve was solidified that day: we love this little being too much to fail. We must be perfect. We must be strong. We must not make a mistake. We must know it all. We must be supermom.
And so we strove to be perfect. We strove to be supermom. We agonized over the simple decisions and resolved to fake it until we made it if need be. Exhausted? No, I am supermom. Struggling? No, I wear a cape. Need some help? No, I can do it all.
The days and nights rolled on and our resolve wore thin . . . but we could not show it. We must be strong. We must not fail our little loves.
The days were long, but we pushed to do it all. We needed to clean the house. We needed to breastfeed the baby. We needed to get right back into shape. We needed to cook dinner. We needed to find a way to pay for the best baby necessities. We needed to make baby food. We needed to volunteer. We needed to . . . we needed to . . . we needed to . . .
And through it all, we couldn’t flinch. We couldn’t show weakness. We must be supermom.
“Do you need anything?” they asked. “No, we are doing great, thank you!” We smiled while our hearts screamed “YES! I need a break, I need help! I don’t know what I’m doing, I cry at night because I think I’m failing. I haven’t slept a full night in months and I haven’t been on a date with my husband for just as long! I’m treading water here and I don’t know how to stop!”
Have you been there with me, dear momma friend? Let me share with you what I have learned as I work to conquer the supermom mentality:
First, we are only human, dear friend. We cannot expect superhuman strength and energy from ourselves. Even Jesus—God in the flesh—wept, found solitude, and slept.
For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. -Psalm 103:14
We are human, and that is what we were created to be. It's ok to not have it all together. It's ok to need help, to make a mistake, to have a moment of weakness. And you know what? It's to just be yourself. You don't need to be a great cook, breastfeed, cloth diaper, co-sleep, let the baby cry-it-out, be outgoing or soft-spoken to be a great momma--the best momma for your kids is you. Focus on the areas you enjoy and don't worry about having to "prove" you are a good momma by doing x, y, & z.
Second, the expectations and pressure you feel to be supermom come from your own heart--God has not required this from you.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”- Micah 6:8
At the end of the day, that is all He requires dear friend. God doesn’t ask that you have it all together or that you mother perfectly. In fact, the areas that we are weak in as mothers are opportunities to allow God to show Himself.
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:9
It matters little how you feed your infant, where the baby sleeps, how you diaper, when you start solids, organics vs. non, if you've made mistakes . . . what matters most is your heart before God. The momma whose heart is fixed upon the Lord has succeeded at the greatest thing in life--and the beautiful thing about this is that being a great momma is a natural by product of a heart fixed on Christ!
Finally, my attitude matters more than what I am able to accomplish or what I can add to my "mommy resume".
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. -1 Corinthians 10:31
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. -1 Corinthians 13:1-3
I've learned to check my motivations. Am I doing x out of love and for the glory of God? There is a lot that I could do for my family . . . but much of it I wouldn't do out of love and for His glory--it would be out of guilt, pride, and the desire to conform to the supermom mentality.
I could be supermom, but it is more important that I am just . . . mom. Mom is human and messes up at times. Mom doesn't do it all, but does that which she does do out of love and for His glory. Mom isn't perfect, but she loves with all her heart. Mom can't do it all or be it all all the time, but she knows the One who can.
I may not be supermom, but I am His . . . that is all He has required of me. And that is all He has required of you too, dear momma friend.
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