We live in a world where we are surrounded and bombarded by the ideal of motherhood. You know that patient, smiling, serene, and in-control mother who pops up on your Instagram or Facebook feed with her equally unsmudged and divinely cherubic little ones caught mid-giggle or peacefully enveloped in nurturing arms? Find me a real mother who could possibly live up to this expectation, this torturous societal ideal. Is it any wonder that mothers often struggle to recognize their value and their worth in the complex, multitasking role that is motherhood?
Motherhood is a lifelong journey of learning in which we selflessly prioritize the needs, wants, desires of others, and even mundane tasks over ourselves. It is a 24/7 on-call position of endless to-do lists that offers no paid leave or sick days.
Recently, I spent some time with a group of amazing mothers who seemed to have difficulty in identifying some sense of achievement or accomplishment—what I call a “Super Mom moment.” And yet each of these women, many with multiple children, had gotten their older kids up and dressed and off to school while also meeting the feeding demands of their very youngest, and they had made it to the workshop before 9:30 a.m., armed with platters of home-baked goods to share—their actions spoke volumes!
I wondered, what time had their days started? How many had arrived surviving on minimal sleep? How many had spent their mornings filling lunchboxes and little bellies while working on yet another load of laundry? How many had employed the patience of a saint when reluctant little ones had balked at the ticking time dictating action and deadlines?
How many had compromised their own need for nutrition, leaving half-drunk, lukewarm coffees as they cleared and stacked the fallout of others? How many had kissed and cuddled and reassured at school gates while subconsciously scanning the needs of their younger ones?
How many had already anticipated the checklist of what would be needed later that day: the swimsuit, the leotard, the ballet shoes, the cleats, the soccer ball? How many had made the call for an appointment—the doctor’s office, the dentist, the school—or had sent reminders to spouses or partners that a bill was to be paid?
How many were steeling themselves for the ensuing supermarket dash, knowing that their young accomplices would be tired and reluctant to cooperate? How many were distracted by a concern about teething or symptoms of an incubating sickness?
And yet, they continued
to be gentle,
to be kind,
to be loving with their young ones.
And calmly, they offered friendship, support, encouragement, and comfort to one another in an unspoken language that they each understood.
The image before me may not have fit the marketing agendas of social media. But here before me was an image of unspoken inner strength, immeasurable love, and incredible devotion of personal, selfless investment.
Here before me was a room full of amazing women whose connectedness, instinct, and tireless efforts continued minute by minute, day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year, without question.
These are mothers—real, amazing, incredible, awesome, wonderful Super Moms!
QUESTION: Are you mindful of all your Super Mom moments?
CHALLENGE: At the end of each day, write down one thing you have accomplished or achieved that makes you feel good about yourself.
Edited by Kat Tilby and Kimberly Price.
Image from Pixabay; graphic by Anna Jenkins.