I’d like to suggest we collectively stop using the term “Super Mom”. Every time I hear it I cringe a little, and I’m pretty certain whoever coined it hadn’t experienced the miraculous storm of motherhood. Here are three reasons why I think it should be shelved indefinitely. And an alternative that we hope you’ll consider.
Every Mom is a Super Mom
By definition, the term “Super Mom” divides moms, implying that some are super—and some not-so-super. Spoiler alert: Every mother is incredible in different ways. There is no one “right” way to be a parent. Biological moms, adoptive moms, attachment moms, free-range moms—we’re all just hoping to raise good little people who grow into good big people who reflect values we hold dear (whatever those may be). To try to “rate” moms is a baby step (pun intended) away from mom-shaming.
It’s Giving Society an Easy Out
Anyone else hearing the “Super Mom” more frequently now than ever before? It’s not a coincidence—mothers were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Working moms even more so. Second shifts of childcare and housework and mental loads increased exponentially. It surprised no one (well, no moms) when record number of mothers left the workforce. What we needed and still need to hear from employers, the government, and yes, co-parents, is how can we help. We keep hearing the term “we’re in this together” throughout the past year-plus, but why do we feel so alone sometimes?
It Sets An Impossible Bar
Moms in the 1950s were expected to take care of the kids with no help, cook homecooked meals every day and be dressed perfectly for their husbands. During the pandemic we lost so much of our help (in particular, childcare), yet we’re still presented with images on social media that showed influencers and celebrity moms looking slim and put together, with a clean house and smiling family. If you’re wearing leggings, haven’t showered, are serving dinner exclusively from the freezer and have lost your temper more times than you’re proud of—I see you. I hear you. And I am with you.
So what is the alternative? First of all, instead of calling someone a Super Mom, tell them they’re doing a fantastic job, you’re proud of them, they’re a *good* mom, you appreciate all that they’re doing and most importantly, offer help in any way you can.
If you are called a Super Mom, take it as a sign to look inward before it’s too late. Ask for help. Put a plan in motion to ease the burden. Take that break before you break.