Please forgive me, but I’m going to put this out there; you’re not Supermum, so stop trying to be! I don’t mean this in a “you’re a shit mum” kind of way, in fact I man the opposite of that! Confused yet?!
Modern society has created this ideal of the perfect ‘Supermum’, that pretty much every single one of is battling daily to keep up with. We’re fed daily doses of things that we definitely should, and definitely should not be doing. And then, just to trip us up, sometimes those goalposts move without any warning! Is it 5-a-day or 7-a-day? I’ve lost track. Whatever, Amelia ate some broccoli today, so I’m happy!
No matter what we do, or how well we do it, there is always someone out there seemingly doing it better, getting it right more often than we are. But I’m about to let you in on a big fat secret – They’re probably faking it. Ssshhhhh, don’t tell anyone!
Quite a few of my mates with kids have said to me recently that I’m “like Supermum”, and I’ve found it really difficult to understand, because I am definitely not! Then I started thinking about what they are seeing that’s making them think that way, and came up with this list of 5 things that I do that probably make it seem like I’ve got all my shit together (even though I really don’t!)
When you’ve got a houseful of kids, yours plus about 8 of your mates kids, there’s basically no point worrying about anything they do. Climbing on the coffee table? Yeah, whatever. Hurling brand new toys around the bedroom? Yeah, whatever. Sneaking into the snack cupboard for another lollipop? Yeah, whatever! This chilled attitude to the absolute hell hole of my house when our friends visit gains massive Supermum points, apparently. The truth is, when everyone’s gone I’m all military mum, yelling orders from the kitchen where I’m on my hands and knees scraping sticky crap off the floor like a mad woman! Yes, I don’t allow it to bother me at the time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t go mental trying to fix it all later, yelling at anyone in view that “the house is a bomb site you better pick that up, I swear to..!”
“How the hell have you done a whole day at work, got home, fed the kids, washed them, put them to bed, AND got a freshly cooked Shepherd’s Pie on the table before 8:00pm?” I cooked it on Saturday and nuked it. Simple as. It might seem boring, and it might make me a Supermum (I really don’t think so) but the truth is I try to take an hour or two on a Saturday, usually when the kids are napping or having quiet time, to cook some meals for the week.
It might sound like I’m great for doing that, but we basically have the same meals every Monday-Wednesday (my working days) because they are the ones I can make and freeze quickly in that hour! Think Shepherd’s Pie, Spaghetti Bolognese, Spanish Omelette, Chilli Con Carne. And I make HUGE portions! That means we usually have enough food in the freezer to do dinners, lunches, and cater for unexpected guests for about a week at a time.
Leave Them Alone
People ask me a lot how I get everything done, and still do things like crafting with the kids, trips out, going to the park etc. My big secret? I leave the kids to it sometimes. Sorry, not so great after all am I?! I feel quite strongly that my kids should be allowed to develop a sense of independence from me from as early as possible, and to be honest, that works quite well in my favour too! So yeah, my 9 month old regularly gets left in the bedroom with Amelia to play, and I’ve been leaving him alone to play basically since he could sit up without tumbling over! He comes and finds me if he wants me, as does Amelia.
The result is a pretty self-sufficient and confident baby! He rarely cries when I leave a room, explores the bedroom (and the rest of the house) like a ninja, and definitely knows what he wants! Not having him attached to me constantly means that I get a few precious moments throughout the day to get stuff done, or even just take a breather to regain my sanity!
The Mad Half Hour!
Mr C and I have a routine that involves a mad half hour somewhere in between the kids going to bed and us having dinner. In that half hour we get a few essentials done, like packing bags for nursery, pre-portioning formula powder, sweeping, washing up, loading/unloading the washing machine. We don’t really talk in that time, and we move like whippets! At the end of the half hour, anything that hasn’t been done pretty much gets left and we chill out.
Getting those few bits done in double quick time means that we get to properly relax in the evenings, and is way easier than doing it with the kids floating around and, lets face it, getting in the way! So how is the house spick and span when you arrive for a dinner date at 8pm, my friend? Because me and the other half just had a mad half hour! NOT because I’m Supermum!
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff… Or The Big Stuff!
I’m pretty laid back about most things when it comes to the kids. When they fall over, I don’t rush to their side – if they’re really hurt I’ll know, and if they need/want me they’ll come to me. If Wills would rather smear spaghetti in his hair than eat it, whatever. Maybe some will reach his mouth! This laid back attitude seems to add the Supermum ruse, but every mum no matter how chilled, has those things that just make her brain itchy, I think!
I might not panic over when the kids hit developmental milestones, and I might not stress over a spilled cup of juice. but kids still awake after 7:30pm has me literally tearing my hair out and declaring that “we’ve failed at parenthood!” Glitter in all forms makes me want to literally scream like a banshee, and more than one person talking to me at a time makes me want to sit in a corner rocking and covering my ears! So while it might seem like I’m a totally laid back, chilled out Supermum, the reality is that when you’ve gone home I’m probably screeching at my poor children because there’s glitter on their bed and they’re not asleep at 7:38pm!
You’re probably Already There
So there you have it. No one is perfect, and there’s no such thing as Supermum, especially not the one that modern society and the media keep telling you to be! I guess there a few tips in this post that you could use to fake it like I do, but that’s not my point. My point is that trying to be that mum is probably what’s making it feel so hard to begin with.
Trying to be that mum who is seemingly always engaged in Pinterest worthy activities with her kids means that you never have time to do anything else, and stress out when their crafts end up looking like smooshed up snot with glitter on it (aaaargh!) Trying to be the mum whose house is always spotless is probably just making you miserable and taking away from real time you could be spending with your kids. Just do it later. Or tomorrow. Trying to be the mum who never gets stressed, pissed off, or raises her voice for most of us is near impossible. You’re human, and things are going to wind you up, some more than others. Embrace the things that don’t, and deal with the things that do, even if dealing with them means allowing them to piss you off without feeling guilty for it.
The truth is, the simple fact that you’re trying to be Supermum means that you already are! You care so much about your kids that you want to be the very best for them that you can be, and as far I’m concerned that means you’re basically there. So give yourself a break once in a while, relax, sit back, let the baby pull all the crap off the coffee table!