Blog post by: Lauren Jackman: 9 LESSONS FROM SUPER MOMS.
If you’ve clicked on this post you are one of three people: 1) someone who wants to know how to be a Super Mom, 2) a hater who wants to criticize me for putting pressure on mother’s to be Super Moms, or 3) or my own Super Mom (thanks, Mom!).
If you are one or two, I have news for you! Chances are you already are an incredible mom! Yes, it’s true for even you haters! As far as I am concerned, you are an incredible mom if you spend quality time with your children, give them an inordinate amount of kisses and cuddles and help them to grow up to be the best version of themselves.
But what about all the other moms out there who can do all of this and with extraordinary powers, somehow achieve all the other things in their life outside of being a mom? I’m talking about the women who run hugely successful businesses, the women who study, the women who earn more money on maternity than they do in their full time employment, the women who run a seamless household, have wonderful marriages and still somehow manage to look spectacular all of the time… you get the idea! I name a woman with this ability a Super Mom! Because it absolutely takes some kind of super power to achieve all of these things.
These moms make life look so easy. They are obviously busy, but we all “think” we’re busy, don’t we? Like the old saying goes, “if you want somebody to do something, ask someone who is busy,” and I mean someone who is actually busy, not just someone who thinks they are busy!!
I decided that I wanted to be a Super Mom, or at the very least see what I needed to do to join this elusive club. So in my journey of self-discovery, I decided that I absolutely needed to know how these Super Moms fit everything into their life and still be incredible moms to their children. But I had no idea how to meet these women or where to find them. How did I infiltrate their Super Mom organization? Did I need to learn a secret handshake or sell my soul? I wasn’t sure…. Then my Sci Fi alter-ego kicked in and I knew what I must do. I launched the bat signal (Super Mom signal)!
And they responded. Of course they did… of course they found time to respond to a desperate call for help, because they’re Super Moms and they can do anything, duh!!
Anyway, I felt like I only had the right to drag them away from their busy lives to ask just one question:
1. They are super-organized
The Super Moms who answered my call reported having detailed daily, weekly and monthly calendars, and extensive to-do lists. But most us mere mortals do as well, right? So what makes Super Moms stand out from the rest of us incredible moms…. well, they stick to them!! Take Aussie Super Mom, Morgan. In nine months of maternity leave, Morgan has created her own Tupperware business, worked her way up to Manager in Training level and earned enough money to support her and her family on interstate holidays. All while doing this, she has quality time with her a 9-month-old baby, built an educational playroom, cooks all of their meals from scratch and somehow is able to support her shift worker and part time University student partner. Morgan says, ‘We use a shopping list, weekly planner, to-do list and month to month calendar. For me, if I write it down I will do it. Maybe not on the day I scheduled it for, but either a day early (winning) or a day later.”
“For me, if I write it down I will do it.” – Morgan, Super Mom to one beautiful little angel
2. They work when everyone else is sleeping
Being a Super Mom takes incredible power. And like every other Super Hero we know, it includes getting up and working while the world around them sleeps. Take Super Mom Becky, for example. Becky is a biological and foster mom of five bilingual and multicultural children aged between eight months and 9 years old. Becky is a teacher, she runs KidWorldCitizen.org, is a published author of The Global Education Toolkit with another book on the way and runs diversity trainings. How does Becky fit everything in, I hear you ask? Well she gets up out of her warm cozy bed and works! She works until her children are up and she gets them ready for school. When her youngest child naps during the day, she works then too! Becky adds, ‘My husband and I take turns to do “super-noches” with each of our kids individually. It could be taking them out to ice cream, or just throw rocks in the creek (my boys’ preference), but the important thing is to spend quality time with each of them’.
“My husband and I take turns to do “super-noches” with each of our kids individually” – Becky, Super Mom of five children
3. They forgive themselves and learn from their mistakes
The majority of mother’s I know have tremendous guilt, “Mommy Guilt.” When I first had my son, I had lots of mommy guilt. I felt guilty when my son wouldn’t latch properly in the first week of his life, then I felt guilty if he vomited as I thought I was feeding him too much and when he didn’t vomit I felt guilty because I thought I didn’t feed him enough! Too much guilt! Although it sounds completely irrational — and my examples are — there are also other areas where moms feel guilty. Such as being away from their children. The difference, however, between Super Moms and the rest of us, they forgive and learn from their mistakes as mothers. Super Mom Betsy is a qualified portrait photographer and mom of two children. She has received awards for Photographer of The Year, Top Ten Photographer Under 30, and Master Photographer, as well as many others. Betsy sees her mistakes as a mom as teaching/learning opportunity, and says ‘Being able to let go of my preconceptions about what “should be”… and see the world through the perspective of a toddler helps me to understand my son’s fears, needs, and desire to understand the world around him.”
“Being able to let go of my preconceptions about what “should be”… and see the world through the perspective of a toddler helps me to understand my son’s fears, needs, and desire to understand the world around him.” – Betsy, Super Mom of two children
4. They prioritize what is important
Despite what you might think, Super Moms claim they can’t do everything and they can’t be everything to everyone. But I guess the difference between this group of women and the rest of us is, they realize it! And this is demonstrated by their prioritization. Take Super Mom Alicia. Alicia is a mom of two busy boys with special needs, and works full-time from home as a Community Manager for Collective Bias. She started blogging in 2008 with Making Time for Mummy, and in 2014 was named in the Top 50 U.S Mom Blogger by Cision. Alicia says, ‘When people ask me how I “do it all” my answer is that I don’t. I had to realize that I couldn’t do everything so I made a list of what was most important to me and what was least important.” Alicia’s prioritizes her family first, and the things she doesn’t prioritize include cooking fancy meals and having a spotless house.
“When people ask me how I ‘do it all’ my answer is that I don’t. I had to realize that I couldn’t do everything so I made a list of what was most important to me and what was least important.” – Alicia, Super Mum of two boys.
5. They utilize their supports around them
Almost every single Super Mom who responded to my Super Mom call talked about how they utilize the supports around them. Whether this be in the form of their own “Super Mom” mom, other family members, friends or their community. Let’s take Olga, for example. Olga is a blogger from the Netherlands (her blog is called The European Mama) and she is a regular contributor to BLUNTmoms, World Moms and Multicultural Kids. Olga has three children she is raising to speak three different languages. Olga says that living in the Netherlands, which is neither her or her husband’s native country, and sending her children to the local daycare helps her children integrate into the community and learn the native language. This Super Mom says, “I think sending my children to daycare doesn’t make me any less of a super mom, on the contrary, it gives me a chance to raise my children with three languages!”
“I think sending my children to daycare doesn’t make me any less of a super mom, on the contrary, it gives me a chance to raise my children with three languages.” – Olga, SuperMom of three children
6. Their children and partners ALWAYS come first
There is such a stereotype that working women don’t prioritize their children or relationships above their working commitments. Well, I can tell you that’s not true. Super Moms always put the needs of their children and partner first, then they make time for their dreams. Take Super Mom Paula. Paula is 20-something wife and mom of two adorably rambunctious children aged 2 and 3. Paula has two blogs (Beauty Through Imperfection, and Blogging on the Side), and has just released her first book. Paula’s family comes first, she schedules play time with the children, time out with her hubby, then she runs two successful blogs and writes books. Paula says, “At the end of the day I would rather have 10,000 hugs from my family than 10,000 page views on my blogs or 1,000 books sold, but whenever possible, I strive for all three!”
“At the end of the day I would rather have 10,000 hugs from my family than 10,000 page views on my blogs or 1,000 books sold, but whenever possible, I strive for all three!” – Paula, Super Mom of two children
7. They are honest!!
Super Moms are honest! They are honest about what they can achieve each day and are honest when they look at how they balance their priorities. When their kids need them, they are there! Take Super Mom Jennifer, for example. Jennifer is a single mom of a 3-year-old girl. She blogs six days a week at Study At Home Mama and is studying psychology (of which she has received outstanding research in psychology awards). Jennifer says, “The biggest thing that has helped enable me to successfully achieve everything in my life, and be a hands-on and devoted mom, is honesty. Honesty about who I am, what my goals are and honesty about what my daughter actually needs from me versus what I would prefer she need (or other moms, articles, Pinterest) tell me that she needs.”
“The biggest thing that has helped enable me to successfully achieve everything in my life, and be a hands-on and devoted mom, is honesty.” – Jennifer, Super Mum of a three year old girl
8. They involve their children
Of course Super Moms involve their children in their daily tasks, that’s why they are Super Moms! Let’s look at Super Mom Kelly. She was a single mom (yup, definitely a Super Mom!), a full-time student, full-time teacher and blogger at Kelly Classroom Online. Kelly says, ‘My son and I would sit down at the kitchen table together to do homework. We had two computers side-by-side. My son’s computer and mine. While I was working on my assignments on my computer, he’d be sitting next to me doing his thing on his.”
“My son and I would sit down at the kitchen table together to do homework.” – Kelly, Super Mum extraordinaire
9. They don’t see themselves as Super Moms!
Every Super Mom who answered my call said something to the effect of, “I’m not sure I’m Super Mom, but I can achieve a lot.” The thing that I learned from Super Moms is that they are modest and don’t see themselves as perfect. Super Mom Becky of Your Modern Family, is mom of four children ages 1 to 7 years, is a full-time blogger, author of two ebooks and play therapist for children with developmental delays. Becky says, “I do not expect perfection in myself, in my children, or in my life. You have to remember that you are blessed, in order to keep from being stressed.” Super Mom Morgan told me how she cannot achieve everything in her day as her two acres of land often gets neglected and her dogs need more attention, and Super Mom Jennifer says “I’m not perfect, and keeping up the façade of perfection would be exhausting. But I try to do my best at what’s important’.
“I do not expect perfection in myself, in my children, or in my life. You have to remember that you are blessed, in order to keep from being stressed.” – Becky, Super Mom of four children
So there you have it… the nine lessons I learned from Super Moms!!! After my experience with these Super Mums, I started reflecting on whether I had what it takes to be a Super Mom. I know I’m super organized, I work when others sleep, I call upon supports and I prioritize. I also don’t have a TV, which means while others in the world sit down to watch the box every night, I’m pattering away on my laptop.
For a brief moment I thought to myself, Am I already a Super Mum too but just didn’t realize it? I have achieved a lot on maternity leave — I’ve created a successful blog (called Canberra Mummy), written an ebook, and supported my husband through his first Ironman event (those of you involved in this scene knows all too well the family commitment of supporting someone with this goal!). But in the midst of my reflection, I was brought back down from my Sci Fi planet. My husband had developed an infection in his elbow after a cycling accident which resulted in me caring for him for a week, and my little boy, who is all of 10 months, developed a highly contagious virus which led to me basically running around after him with a poo bag, pair of tongs and gas mask! And as I stood in the bathroom with baby poo up my arm and quite likely a little bit on my chin, whilst trying to rinse out a pair of size one pajamas in the bath, holding a naked screaming child and letting my blogging, study and book writing fester away into the abyss, I thought to myself…. I’m probably not a Super Mom after all!!
But believe me when I say, the irony of me writing this article and then me finding myself in that situation was not lost on me. I am no Super Mom, these moms are truly amazing and have super powers we can only hope to achieve. But I am still a pretty incredible mom — just like the rest of us — even you nasty haters!
So as a final sign off, I want you, my favourite incredible moms, to do me a favour. If you know someone who is a Super Mom, tag them here or send this article to them. They will probably deny being one (as they secretly watch the skies for the next Super Mom signal), but I know they will really appreciate it!