Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Confession: I’m not supermom

This post was supposed to go live on Monday but life got in the way. Better late than never, I suppose.

The last few weeks I’ve done some parenting confessions and this week is no exception. I didn’t think I had so much to confess as a parent but clearly I do so we’ll keep this train rolling until it falls off the tracks. 

This week, I confess that I stopped trying to be supermom. As in, I don’t even try anymore. I turned in my cape and shield. And I’ve never been happier. 

supermom

When my daughter was born, I had this notion in my head that I’d be the mom I’d been brainwashed to believe that I should be. I’d lose all the baby weight really quickly (ha! That’s a cruel ass joke. We’ll be diving into my weight issues in the next few weeks), I’d always look put together, my house would look Pinterest worthy (or whatever it was called in 2007, right after my daughter was born), I’d cook healthy meals, I’d be the classroom volunteer, and I’d be able to balance everything. My kid would always look supercute, I’d be organized, and I’d do all these fun crafts and projects and I’d look like the type of mom you read about on all those “I’m a perfect mom and you wish you were like me” blogs.

Which was insane of me to think. I am not that put together. If I got 2 of those done on any given day, I succeeded. But I had put so much pressure on myself to be the perfect mom that it led to some not so healthy behaviors, both physically and mentally. I’d beat myself up daily that the house was a disaster or I forgot to do laundry (again) or we had to get takeout (again) or I was a hot mess when I left the house. And we won’t even get into the mommy guilt about putting my daughter in daycare. 

Actually, yes. We will.

>>>steps on soapbox<<< My daughter was a daycare kid. I had to work because the income I was earning far exceeded the cost of putting her in daycare. My family needed that money to, you know, eat and survive, and so I worked. I felt guilty for awhile, mostly as a result of people trying to make me feel like shit about it. Then I realized they didn’t live my life and if they weren’t willing to pay my mortgage and other bills, then they had no business spewing their opinions at me. Also, I LIKED WORKING. I liked earning my own paycheck and not relying on someone else and getting out of the house and engaging with other adults and using my working brain to be something other than someone’s mother. So I let that guilt go. And if you’re in that situation, you need to let it go, too. No one has any business telling you what is best for your family. If they try, politely tell them to shut the fuck up. >>>steps of soapbox<<<

I think letting the mommy guilt about daycare go was the first step in realizing I’ll never be supermom. I was never going to be the mom that devoted her entire life and existence to her kid. And I was actually okay with that. And becoming okay with that meant that I could come to terms with my other perceived shortcomings. 

Accepting my shortcomings as a parent actually made me a better parent. Because now, instead of focusing my energy on the unimportant things, I could focus on the important ones. For instance, I stopped worrying about whether or not my daughter looked cute and trendy all the time. There were, and are, some days when as long as her clothes are clean and free from holes, I don’t care what she wears. So I confess my child will never be a fashionista or catalog model on my watch.  But her clothes fit and are seasonally appropriate and I keep them in good enough condition to pass them on to others. 

Here’s another mommy point to deduct–I have no interest in being part of the PTA. As in, I genuinely don’t care and will not join. It would just frustrate me and take time away from everything else that is exponentially better than joining the PTA. I don’t feel the need to be that involved with her school, and by opting out of that commitment, I have time to help with homework or volunteer when I feel like it instead of being obligated. I can enjoy her little concerts instead of working them and I can preserve my friendships by not harassing people for money. 

I know it’s trendy to do so because clearly the more you share, the more you love your kid, but I do not overshare my kid’s life on social media. I know “good moms” post every little mundane detail about a kid’s life on Facebook or Instagram or whatever, and I do share the big stuff like losing a tooth or the first day of school or the training wheels coming off her bike, but the every day stuff? Nope. I don’t need to share every picture of her being cute or every snarky, crazy comment that comes out of her mouth. There are moments I like to keep for myself. Call me selfish, call me private, say I don’t love her enough to brag about her all the time. Doesn’t matter to me. Her life doesn’t need to play out on social media.

And we already know I’ve given up on having a perfectly clean house. My interior decorating skills are shit, my crafting skills are minimal at best, and I have really given up trying to look at all decent on a daily basis. I figure as long as I get a shower every day, I’ve won. When you take all of this into consideration, not a super mommy do I make.

I’m sure I do some things that people perceive as overachieving. I like to make cute food crafts for her on special occasions. I bake and decorate her birthday cake or cupcakes every year. I plan semi-elaborate birthday parties (her birthday is in December and I refuse to let it get lost in the shuffle of Christmas and Hanukkah). I have her places on time. I remember and stick to commitments (and please don’t give me this “oh, you only have one. It’s so much easier for you” nonsense. My parents had 3 of us and I learned this behavior from somewhere). I cook dinner most nights and I pack her lunch every day. But I don’t consider most of this overachieving. I consider it being a responsible adult. 

We can discuss that if you’d like. 

Here’s the thing.  I know I’m a good mom. I don’t need to live a Pinterest ready or be an overachiever in order to prove it. And neither do you. We’re all just trying to do the best we can. So if you need to hang up your supermom cape, go ahead.

I’ll clear a space for you.

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28 Comments

  1. Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout

    Oh my gosh, I am SO not a Supermom! A younger friend of mine who doesn’t have kids is always saying that I am, I think because she’s just shocked when I talk to her about all the parenting stuff that has to be done, but that’s just hanging on for dear life, not excelling!

    PS, I love your soapbox! I am pretty lucky that most people in my life didn’t make me feel bad about working, but those that did sure had a *lot* to say on the matter. Argh.
    Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout recently posted…Finding my place in a new townMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I don’t know why people feel the need to open their mouths about this stuff. If a woman wants to work, that’s fine. Her obligation is to take care of her kids the best she can, not surrender her whole life to them. Daycare isn’t poison.

      It is amazing what other people think of us.

      Reply
  2. Jenn

    I had an argument with someone about the daycare thing (not even a mom and I’m having these arguments). He said, “Why would you have someone else raise your kid?” I spent a whole day fuming about it until finally someone else said, “It takes a village to raise a child” which made me think about all the people who are going to have influences on your child. Sending your kid to daycare is just increasing the size of your village. I, personally, don’t see the difference in daycare vs school later on. Either way, a lot of people are going to have an influence on your child, but yours as the parent will still be the strongest.

    Good job on setting new expectations that work for you and for hanging up the supermom cape! And I quite enjoyed your soapbox, so feel free to whip that out whenever!
    Jenn recently posted…Fracture Fashion – Style with Mismatched ShoesMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      The whole “daycare raising your kid” argument pisses me off to no end. As in, it sends me into a blind rage every time I hear it.

      Reply
  3. Bri @ My Life As

    My brother & I were both daycare kids…& ya know what? We loved it. I made friends that I stayed friends with for a long time (it helped that I grew up in a small town). We learned to socialize & therefore weren’t effing awkward when we went off to school.
    Bri @ My Life As recently posted…Confessions of a TeacherMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      My child had such an easier time adjusting to school because of daycare. She’s much friendlier and social, too. Daycare does have its benefits.

      Reply
  4. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    I will argue that most of the things you point out as indicative of you not being a supermom are in fact what make you a supermom. You are teaching your daughter that she has to find her way and stand her ground in a world full of opinions and expectations – and those are two really vital things for girls to learn from an early age. You can’t instill those things in them later.
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…August RecommendationsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Thank you 🙂 I want her to be independent and confident and it’s part of why I do what I do.

      I think maybe the word I should have used was “overachiever” because I am definitely not that.

      Reply
  5. Nadine

    Steph said basically everything that I was going to say. So dido.

    I hate the whole daycare argument thing. The bottom line is, most families are two income families because we have to be. The bills need paid and you are showing your daughter that you help provide for the family. Besides, daycare socializes kids and readies them for school. I didn’t go to daycare when I was younger, and I had the HARDEST time fitting in and not crying every day in kindergarten. I had zero socializing skills.
    Nadine recently posted…ConfessionsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Daycare has so many benefits that people choose to ignore. I can’t stand how it’s socially acceptable to stay home and raise awkward, dependent kids but if you send your kid to daycare, you’re ruining them. Seems ridiculous to me.

      Reply
  6. Lindsay

    Found you through Liz and I’m so glad I did! This is a beautiful post. I have been thinking about a lot of these things lately as everyone is asking when I’m going to have kids. I don’t think I’ll ever feel ready because I will never be a perfect mom. This post is great!
    Lindsay recently posted…One More Reason Women Need Exercise: The “Silent Killer”My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      There is no perfect mom. It’s a myth. You will never be ready and when you are, you’ll be just fine. Actually, this has just inspired a post 🙂

      Reply
  7. Kristen

    i think this whole post sums up that you ARE a supermom, or at least, you are the kind of mother i want to be.
    and i wrote that and then saw what Steph said and I swear I didn’t copy, but if we think it, it must be true.
    I really think you are showing your daughter what life is really about and that shit doesnt always go pinteresty.
    I hate people that make others feel guilty for not breastfeeding, or for using disposable diapers, or for putting their kids in daycare.
    i am obviously not a mother yet but if and when we have kids, i would love to breastfeed and use cloth diapers because they are what i want to do – people have already told me i’ll fail, and i’m not even pregnant! wtf. but anyway. i would absolutely, no questions, continue to work if my pay was far more than daycare but from what i have researched, i’ll come out on top like $100 a month which is not enough for me to continue to work when i could stay home. besides blogland, i dont know any stay at home mothers. i just cant handle people making others feel guilty – its always something. if its not one thing its another. gah!
    Kristen recently posted…Thoughts on dieting + body imageMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Stay tuned because this is getting turned into a post.

      It all comes down to doing what’s right for you and your family. And the fact that people tell you that you’re going to fail shows what jerks people can be. That is utter nonsense to say to you.

      Reply
  8. Kerry

    My best friend had issues with her MIL and SIL judging her for putting her daughter in daycare. It was so rude and judgmental. If you aren’t going to pay the bills than keep it to yourself. Life is not lived on Pinterest, as much as I love it for ideas or new items it can not be that picture perfect every day!
    Kerry recently posted…No-Bake Samoas CheesecakeMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I think life is what’s lived in the Pinterest fails. I don’t want a picture perfect life. That’s too much pressure.

      I sympathize with your best friend. That is just terrible of her MIL and SIL to do.

      Reply
  9. Kate

    As someone who hopes to eventually join the “mom” bandwagon, this post was very refreshing. It’s good to know that most people aren’t Supermoms and that I really shouldn’t put unnecessary pressure on myself to become one.

    -Kate
    http://www.theflorkens.com
    Kate recently posted…Humpday Confessions: Round 3 (Plus! A “Florken” Friend!)My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      No! Don’t pressure yourself to be supermom because it’s a crazy aspiration. You’ll be fine being you.

      Reply
  10. Amanda Elizabeth

    bahahahahaha seriously who wants to join the PTA???
    Amanda Elizabeth recently posted…Some Quick Confessions – The Time I Got Stuck In…..My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      OMG, I don’t know. There are some SAHM I know who live for being in the PTA. It’s perhaps why I am no longer friends with them.

      Reply
  11. Liz @ Fitness Blondie

    God you are just so freaking down to earth and if I was a mom, this post would be like reading my own. I know if I ever become a parent, I will be the exact same way and it is comforting to know I would not be alone. Some of the Pintrest and “Mommy” blogs out there make me want to scream and head for the hills. I was also a daycare baby and I loved it. I developed GREAT social skills and learned numbers and such before even starting school.
    Liz @ Fitness Blondie recently posted…An Average Day in the Life of LizMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      My daughter was overprepared for kindergarten thanks to preschool and daycare. She knew how to behave and make friends and all that. So no one will convince me that daycare is bad.

      Pinterest and some mommy blogs do more harm than good. It’s definitely a fine line between between help and setting unrealistic expectations.

      Reply
  12. Amanda

    Everyone always thinks they know what’s best for everyone else. Children are a HUGE deal. And every family is different. If it works for you to send them to daycare, then send them to daycare. If you can stay home and that’s what you want, then do that. What the fuck do people care as long as the child is safe and healthy?!?!

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      A-freaking-men! This is exactly what I believe.

      Reply
  13. Amber

    I am so far from a supermom….

    My house is NEVER spotless.

    I do post about my kids on social media, but not every little detail like some people. “She’s eating! She’s sleeping! She’s skipping! She’s playing! She’s pooping!” Um, no.

    Also, the PTA is not for me. I hear drama can occur there and I wouldn’t have the patience. I’d be kicked out because I’d tell everyone I didn’t want to deal with the nonsense.
    Amber recently posted…Things That Annoy Me Thursday: Homework!My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I’d be kicked out because I am passive aggressive and would just stop showing up.

      I share some stuff but all the mundane details are so unnecessary. Also, show me some real pictures. I know your kids aren’t perfect. Stop pretending.

      Reply
  14. Rachel @ Live. Learn. Lift. Repeat.

    I love this! I’m not a mom yet but am a firm believer that I can’t pay my bills with other people’s opinions so I am still trying to stop caring about what others think. I always keep the quote, “Do not let the actions of others destroy your inner peace” in the back of my mind. It’s hard but in the end, their opinions don’t matter at the end of the day. It’s so hard when we live in such a social media driven world too. I also love the point about not sharing your kids lives on social media. I know when we have kids I will not be sharing probably anything really because like you said, it’s none of anyone’s business :p Great post!
    Rachel @ Live. Learn. Lift. Repeat. recently posted…Weekend Recap! + I promise I’m not lost…My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I love that line “I can’t pay my bills with other people’s opinions”. It’s perfect and so, so true.

      Social media has it’s benefits but I have seen it do more harm than good. It’s a fine line to walk.

      Reply

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