07 May 2011

Motherhood Manifesto: Because ALL Moms are Super

Because ALL Moms are Super

This entry has been a long time in the writing. A lot of different ideas, words, conversations, etc. have been brewing in my mind for a few months. I thought it would be fitting for them all to come together on this day (commercially) set aside to celebrate motherhood.

It all started off with a short tangent during Tuesday Morning Bible Study early on in the new year.

As a side note, I love the ladies that gather together on Tuesday mornings. We are at different stages of life as women, wives, and mothers and yet we all come as Daughters of a King - Who loves us immensely and unconditionally. I love being able to share “war stories” with other mothers of young children. Often, while sharing a story, I am able to laugh at an experience that had originally stressed me out. It is good to learn to laugh and perhaps not take myself so seriously. I also deeply appreciate the wisdom that comes from women whose children are older – who have been there – and are generous with their encouragement and kind in their wisdom. Truly, a blessing.

Anyways, one morning we went on a tangent and someone shared how sometimes she felt inadequate when she read on Facebook how someone she knew had kids bathed, ran a mile, baked bread, washed the clothes, etc., fill in the blanks... and it was only 10 in the morning.

I am rewriting what she said but the gist is the same. And we all are prey to it. The comparison. The how-do-I-measure-up? The I’m-still-in-my-pajamas-at-10-so-there-must-be-something-wrong-with-me. The pressure. More often than not it is self induced.

Nowadays, it is not enough to be Mom or a Stay at Home Mom. (note that I didn’t say “just a Mom”. Really. There is no such thing.)

Perfection is required. Or at least the allusion of perfection. Our hair: coiffed. Our clothes: stylish, clean (as in free from those shoulder mucous swipes or the greasy hand prints at thigh height). Our kids: neat, tidy, and presentable at all times (never mind the runny noses or the dirty knees or the scraggly hair coming out of the bows). We bring our kids to play dates two times a week as well as music groups and gymnastics We do this, all the while keeping our house sparkling and cooking healthy meals for our family. And, if that’s not enough, we might even be a WAHM (Work At Home Mom – which is a misnomer really, because what Mom doesn’t work?) and have some sort of cottage industry going one where we make boutique _____ (insert craft here) and sell it on Etsy or eBay. We wake up at 6 am to work out, thereby keeping our firm form, even after having two or three kids.

Am I exaggerating? Is anyone else laughing at this unattainable idea of perfection that is being foisted on us women? Does anyone else ask Who are we being perfect for? or Why the pretense?

This Mothers Day, I’d like to take a stand against the “SuperMom syndrome” that is so prevalent and pressuring. I ask you to do the same. We need to come together and agree to stop doing this to each other. We need to agree to be real with what life is like and accept ourselves and each other and life without comparison or worry and with love, grace, and humour – even in the face of snot swipes on sleeves or spit up on shoulders or being late (yet again). Let’s agree to stop playing the perfection game.

We have been called by God to be mothers and caretakers of His little ones. It’s a daunting and scary and challenging task. It sometimes – or often – feels undoable. But we have hope. He calls and also equips. He is always with us. He forgives our shortcomings. He is the ultimate Encourager through His Word. We “can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.”

So let us agree to encourage each other in this shared calling and spur one another on with love and kindness and a listening ear. Let us share our joy on the days when we do feel like a “supermom” and the laundry and the baking and the cleaning does get done in record time. Perhaps not by 10, but by the end of day. Let’s share laughter (and learn to laugh) at the days where, when we’ve been up with crying babies half the night, we are still in our PJs at 10 and the house doesn’t get too much attention that day. Those are often the days when Murphy’s law applies and someone unexpectedly shows up. Let’s realize that being a mother or housewife means more than a clean house and some days you just want to spend the whole time playing with your children. Let’s all recognize and be able to openly acknowledge that we don’t have it all together all the time.

Being a mother is busy and dirty and noisy and seemingly goes from one diaper change to the next. It is wiping noses and cleaning up spills and vacuuming up cheerios and fish crackers every day.

Being a mother is smiles and hugs and songs and giggles and love and joy and excitement and amazement. It is a calling. It is a blessing. When you’re a Mom, every day is Mother’s Day, whether Hallmark says so or not.


Anna said...

What an encouraging post! I'm not a mother. I often wonder though how my friends and colleagues who have children manage to do as much as they do while raising their children and maintaining households. I feel overwhelmed with my own to-do list and it's just me to worry about! It's really all about being faithful to your calling at whatever stage of life that you are at and not comparing yourself to others!

Anonymous said...

Most definately I agree who are we painting this illusion of perfection for? May GOd bless us all as we raise our little ones for the kingdom.