Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for The Motherhood on behalf of the makers of Children’s MOTRIN® and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
You know what makes me uncomfortable?
Pointy toed heels.
Jeans fresh out of the dryer.
Underwire stabbing that under boob part.
(No, really. The texture. I can’t. Gives me the willies.)
Being called Supermom, or any other variation thereof.
I want to believe that every mom has been called this at some time or another. It’s often a young, single kid who grins and says something like “I don’t know how you do it…you must be Supermom!”
Thing is, I think moms should get an Atta Girl from time to time. And I firmly believe that moms should take all the encouragement they can get.
But there’s something that makes me fidget in my seat about the proclamation that I’m somehow more capable than any one else. Because the truth is so far from that, it’s laughable.
The other day, as I loaded up the car to drive home with my crew of four while my husband got into a different car headed to the airport and a week in Europe, someone said “And you’re the Supermom who keeps it all together and running smoothly…”
“No. I’m the mom who keeps it mostly together and running. It’s not always smooth and it’s very rarely all together.”
I don’t like the idea of portraying myself as the Stepford Wife. Not just because I don’t care to be Her, but also because when we give into that persona, play the part, smile and don’t correct, it does nothing but continue to perpetuate the mom guilt on others. When we pretend we are Practically Perfect In Every Way, whether by what we share, or what we omit, we aren’t doing anyone any favors. Not ourselves. Not our sisters in the trenches of motherhood.
Can I cook a mean pasta fagioli and even post it on my blog? You bet.
But my house is likely a mess that day.
Is my house tidy and decorated? Yup.
But on those days, we’re probably going to have take out.
Do I have a daughter with special needs who takes a ride in an ambulance several times a year? Absolutely.
But those are the days we don’t get much (if any) homeschooling done.
It’s all a give and take, friends.
The glimpses I give you into my life here on this blog may give you pause and reason to believe that “Jeannett’s house is so clean! Jeannett cooks! She throws fancy parties! She makes her own laundry detergent! She has chickens! She homeschools!” But my hope is that the words I write play balance to the photos. Sure, all of these are true, but they are very rarely aligned all on the very same day. In fact, I would venture to say that they have never, ever, ever in the History of All Time all occurred even within the same week.
So when the maker’s of Children’s MOTRIN asked me what inspired me this year to be unstoppable, I thought long and hard and decided on this:
1. I say no. AND I don’t feel guilty about it. When school needs volunteers to run the book fair and it’s the same week my husband will be out of country, I don’t even consider adding to my already overflowing plate. When teachers ask for snacks for the class party, I either politely decline or I send Lu with a bag of store bought cookies. But most importantly: I feel ZERO PERCENT bad about it. There is absolutely no reason to stress myself and tax my family for some outside, unnecessary commitment.
2. Forget the stuff you suck at. And focus on the stuff you’re really good at. There are so many cool Pinterest projects out there that yeah…I could do them. Sure. But it wouldn’t be easy and it wouldn’t be without cursing. For example, I can cook and bake. But I cannot decorate or pretty up food stuffs. I not only do not have the knack for it, but I most certainly do not have the patience for it. So while my friend Tracy is a magician when it comes to elaborately decorated flood cookies, I stick to melt in your mouth chocolate chip and perfectly sweet sugar cookies. If my kids balk, I’ll send them up the road to live with her.
3. Focus on the things that make your family happy, and go all out on those things. As a mom in the age of Pinterest, it’s easy to feel like you have to GO GIGANTIC on every single cotton pickin’ thing. Elaborate parties. Fancy, color coordinated foods. Organic Everything. And elves that get into mind numbingly creative hijinx every single day in December. The truth is, you (and your kids) probably have a strong preference for one of these…so do those. And do them really really well and really really BIG. Your kids will remember the one or two things you go over the top for, more than if you try to do everything and it’s a half flop (or mom is just a crazed lunatic from the stress of trying). So bake an elaborate cake and then hang store bought streamers. Or buy a cake from the grocery store and hand make every glorious decorative detail. But don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do both. Because really: who cares?
The moral of the story: to be a truly unstoppable mom, I vote you say no to most and when you say yes….yell it from the rooftops. I truly and deeply believe that moms can make childhood magical…and magic takes time and energy. So yeah, it’s work…but put the work in where it matters most and skip the other junk that isn’t YOU.
And then own it. Don’t make more or less of it. Don’t pretend. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t let people believe that which is not true of you…even if it happens to be flattering.
Because that’s real. That’s supportive of your mama friends. And that’s unstoppable.
The makers of Children’s MOTRIN are asking Moms to post their tips and tricks to the MOTRIN Facebook page under each week’s Kelly Ripa question video and for every post, Children’s MOTRIN will doante $1 to Safe Kids Worldwide, a global nonprofit that provides moms with tthe tips they need to help keep their children safe. Moms could even win weekly giveaways of $100 gift cards just for posting!
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY, OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES & D.C., 18 AND OLDER. VOID HERE PROHIBITED. Promotion ends 11:59p.m. ET 12/28/14. Sponsor will donate $1 for each approved Submission made as part of the promotion, with a minimum donation of $30,000 and a maximum donation of $50,000. For Official Rules, and complete details, visit www.unstoppablemoms.com. Sponsor: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. To learn more about Safe Kids Worldwide visit safekids.org.