Maybe you’ve met her. Perhaps you can spot her at fifty paces: One of the Supermoms. You know the ones. They don’t just craft a delicious, whole-food, preservative-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, yet still magically delicious dish for the class potluck. They also full-color-print-out-and-laminate the country flag to represent the dish’s origin and list key facts about said country.
In its indigenous language.
And then pass out a hand-carved pan flute from that land for all the kiddos, which their own precious darlings constructed as their history project last week.
These kind of moms have always created an instantaneous “You Are Not Enoughness” reactions in me. Followed by a rash. Until, one day, I had an epiphany, possibly Starbucks-induced, but it still counts:
I can appreciate the Supermoms’ committedness to the event without it being a reflection upon my perceived inadequacy. I can be grateful that these moms exist, if only so that my kids can at least see what a project could potentially look like. And then I can say, “Sooo…Mommy didn’t hand-sew your historically accurate costume for the end-of-the-year presentation, but hey! let’s go to Chick Fil A for a milkshake to celebrate! We might get crazy and throw in fries!” I guarantee that is the moment my kiddos actually care about.
And if not, they’ll soon be in enough of a sugar coma to not recall the day.
I jest. Sort of. I can applaud those moms for their talents while recognizing that, if I tried to compete with those efforts, I would be a tangled up ball of stress and nerves. That’s just not who I want to be.
And even more, that’s not what I want my kids to remember about me.
This year, as we head into summer and all of the expectations for Olympic-level swimming skills and creative crafts and The Exact Right camp for our people, let’s take ourselves off the treadmill of being the Supermoms. Let’s just be moms….moms who love our kids and are mostly ok with being good at what we are good at and accepting of what we’re not. Without a hint of comparison or condemnation. Because sometimes we save the harshest words for our own interior monologue, words we would never think of uttering to a friend.
Who’s with me? Let’s give ourselves (and each other) credit for the things we totally nail and give ourselves (and each other) a break for the screw-ups. Let’s sincerely celebrate when someone does it better than we do, instead of competing with her. Let’s enjoy the days and weeks ahead. No Supermom cape required…And by the way, the water sure is a lot more fun without it.
Jessica Otto lives in the country with her family, a flock of ducks, and a dog. She’s a former missionary, a teacher of children (hers and other people’s), a pianist, and someone who would have a really hard time choosing between coffee, books, or a day in Paris. You can find her musings at www.jessicaottowrites.com