The Unattainable State of Super-Momhood

I wonder sometimes if anyone else shares my psychotic compulsion to be the Perfect Mom? Is it just my issue, or are there other Mom’s desperately trying to endear themselves to their children with ballet classes, lunchables and building block towers?

I was thinking, what does the Perfect Mother look like? Does she even exist? And why do we always feel like were less than stellar compared to other Mom’s on the playground? Or on the flip side, why do we judge the mothers we see if their parenting style differs from our own? Where do the evaluation requirements come from? Our own Mom’s? Mothers we have known in our lifetime? Television? How do we decide what we need to do to be a Great Mom?

When I was young (and knew everything), I based most of my decisions on what my mother did when I was young, or what I imagine she would have done in my shoes, then I would reactively choose opposite. I was convinced that this was the best way to handle each decision, everything from dressing my children to feeding them, and most specifically things like discipline and extra curricular activities. I also read every parenting magazine ever printed from the time I got married 10 years ago until…well…my subscriptions run out next fall.

I’ve come to the realization that as I mother I am always trying to be better than the mother I had and better than every mother who ever walked the earth and more often than not I fall short of my goal. No matter how many cookies I bake, books I read or how many hours I spend volunteering in the school; I still manage to forget gym clothes and popcorn day money, I still lose my temper when the children fight, and inevitably step on and crush the tiny polly pocket pieces. (although to be fair, they are usually strewn haphazardly all over the floor) And yet, my children still love me and they still manage to function (most of the time) in society with all the other children being raised by less-than-perfect mothers.

I think it’s time for Mom’s to throw off the chains of unfulfilled expectations and leave the shackles of inadequacy imposed by child-rearing gurus everywhere! We are trying our hardest and we are doing the best we can with what we have been given; and no amount of peer pressure, academic rhetoric or playground discussion will dampen our spirits as we go about the business or raising our children to the best of our ability.

So, remember that next time you are running back to your child’s school for the 3rd time in a day to deliver forgotton snow pants or milk money. Despite your feelings of failure and less-than-stellar performance as a mother, you are very likely a fantastic mother and your children probably don’t realize that you aren’t a super-hero…and even if they realize it today, they will love you just as much tomorrow.

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