Work at home moms need to let go of the Supermom image that causes so many women to feel like they aren’t being a good mothers unless they are living up to some stereotype. I can understand why this author, Sara Bieda gets annoyed by the Supermom syndrome.
Work at Home Moms Need to Let Go of the Super Mom Image
A recent Yahoo! article called “5 Secrets of Supermoms” caught my attention earlier this week. The tagline read “Supermoms juggle the responsibilities of work, kids and husbands without batting an eye. Somehow, they still have time to host dinner parties, bake cupcakes from scratch and volunteer for charity events.”
I felt immediately annoyed. Haven’t we mothers evolved past this “supermom” image? We don’t aspire to look like the Barbie doll anymore and we certainly don’t want to be the next Martha Stewart. Don’t you think it’s time to put supermom to pasture too?
The first reason for my irritation is the pitting of the working mom vs. the stay-at-home mom. This debate has been going on for decades and I’d hardly call it a debate. It shakes down like this: Some moms want to stay home with their kids and they can swing it financially.
Some moms go to work because they need the income and some go to work because they want to. Some moms go to work for both reasons. All moms have to strike a balance. All moms have to struggle with the issues that come with staying home or working. No matter how you slice it, becoming a mom is a life-changer that you cannot fully anticipate until you are doing it. Can we move on?
My second layer of frustration centers on this magical list of supermom secrets revealed in the article. Consider the following:
- Get enough sleep.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Stay organized.
- Go on dates with your husband.
These are not secrets. Parent or not, we all need to get enough sleep, be comfortable asking for help, stay organized and relax. If we are married, then we should also attempt to go on dates with our spouses. How about telling me the secret to making work-related calls from home when one of my kids in impatiently whining for homework help? Or how to be three places at once?
Back in 2002, there was a book about a quintessential supermom called I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson. It was a bestseller. Last September, Sarah Jessica Parker starred in the movie version of the book. If you missed it, don’t feel bad. It was given one star on Rotten Tomatoes and was beaten in its opening week at the box office by Lion King 3D.
There are many moms in my life that I would consider super. Some of them earn a paycheck, some of them don’t. All of these mom friends know that homemade cupcakes and dinner parties are nice, but so are cupcakes from Jewel and a casual potluck dinner. They also know that they will volunteer for activities when they can, and say “no” when they can’t. You know what, supermom? It’s time to hit the road. We are all good here.
I think it’s more productive to support the efforts of all moms and dads who are trying to raise their kids and make family a priority. Consider these labels…single, married, divorced, working, work at home, stay at home, or works outside the home. Now mix and match those descriptions of life and work situations and you’ll quickly see that work at home moms need to let go of the supermom image because it’s a myth.