Do You Expect to be a Super Mom?

by Melanie Edwards on May 10, 2010 · 22 comments

in Wahm,Women,Working Mothers

woman balancing

This post was first published on July 11, 2007. At that time, I was still working full-time outside the home and struggling to find some work-life balance. Though I know I can still improve areas of my work-home life, I’ve come a long way. *Note: Slight edits have been made to the original post.

What a hectic week so far. Work is super busy. Of course, the home life is always hectic.

I find that more often than not, I have an inner battle going on. Part of me knows that I can’t possibly keep up with everything – home, work, husband, daughter, myself, parents, etc.

Yet, the other half, for whatever unknown ridiculous reason, has it in her head that she should be able to keep up with everything. Not just should, but MUST.

It’s insane.

I realized the other day that this is probably due to years of brainwashing from my mother. And, when I say brainwashing, I mean that in the nicest way possible. Obviously, she did not set out to corrupt my mind. But, through example, it happened.

You see, my mother was a stay at home mom – way before that was even a term; in fact, I believe the term at the time was “housewife.” ;)

Since she stayed home with us until I was about 12 or so, I watched her keep the house in an impeccable state of cleanliness. She had no clutter, no baskets of laundry just waiting to be folded, no dust, and always had dinner on the table when my father came home from work.

Even when she did start working, she still managed to come home from work, and get right to the kitchen. Maybe it had something to do with our Puerto Rican culture. But, whatever it was, it still amazes me how she did it.

I struggle on a daily basis to be able to just put a quick dinner together. To spend some time with my baby girl after a long day at work. Don’t even mention trying to squeeze in some time for the husband.

I think (well actually, it was brought to my attention by the husband recently) that because I grew up seeing her manage so well, I now have these extremely high (and false) expectations of myself. The fact that she often talked with me about having to be a “good wife,” probably added on to it as well. Let me give you an example of something I grew up hearing. Verbatim, my mom used to say, “You have to learn how to cook and clean, because when you get older and get married, you’ll need to take care of your house, husband, and children.”

Though I’m extremely grateful that my mother taught me how to cook and properly clean, hearing this growing up and seeing her manage the “super mom” role well, has resulted in me trying to achieve the same. It’s actually quite frustrating.

How do you manage to keep up? Do you find you have false expectations for yourself?

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tracy B May 10, 2010 at 10:37 am

I can definitely relate to this article. I am starting an online business, work full time and am a single mother on top of that. There are many times I over extent or exhaust myself and have to remember to slow down – as long as my son and I are happy & healthy, nothing else matters. The “chores” will be there when I get to them because no on else is doing them. ;)

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2 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Maybe someone else *SHOULD* do them! LOL

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3 Angelica Perez May 10, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I have very clear core values in my life, that I live by. Having a clean house or being a good cook is NOT one of those things I value in my life. I do value my children's education, and my involvement in their emotional and educational lives. So when it comes to choosing between cleaning or sitting down to talk or read to the kids, cleaning doesn't even make the list. I learned long ago, that some things won't get done. And that's totally fine with me.

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4 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I'm finding I don't value those as much as I thought I did. I think I have more of that “guilt” that I was brainwashed with. The “que diran la gente” stigma and not being able to have visits unless planned well in advance so I can get house in order. Kinda sad, actually…

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5 Fran May 11, 2010 at 2:30 am

My mother stayed home with my sisters and I until I was almost nine. That's when my father became terminally ill and she was forced to go to work. She worked in entry-level jobs and would come home exhausted. She was a wonderful mother and raised us well, but by no means a SuperMom. Because of that I had no expectations of being able to “have it all” when I grew up and had children. I did know I wanted to stay home with my kids as long as I could and that's the only goal and expectation I have now.

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6 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm

It's a cycle. I have expectations because of what I grew up seeing. You don't have them, since you saw a more realistic view of things.

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7 Laura P May 11, 2010 at 6:30 am

I think that I am struggling with big time right now. I work full time outside the home and am trying to get an online biz going. I have two little girls, 3 dogs, and oh yeah, a husband. :-) I want to be able to do all things, but I am realizing that I need to prioritize and I just can't do it all.

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8 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Indeed. Can't do it all. I was in your position up until late last year. Well minus the 3 dogs and I only have the 1 girl, though now expecting another. It's definitely hard and exhausting. Hang in there!

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9 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 7:53 pm

I’m finding I don’t value those as much as I thought I did. I think I have more of that “guilt” that I was brainwashed with. The “que diran la gente” stigma and not being able to have visits unless planned well in advance so I can get house in order. Kinda sad, actually…

Reply

10 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 7:53 pm

I’m finding I don’t value those as much as I thought I did. I think I have more of that “guilt” that I was brainwashed with. The “que diran la gente” stigma and not being able to have visits unless planned well in advance so I can get house in order. Kinda sad, actually…

Reply

11 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I'm finding I don't value those as much as I thought I did. I think I have more of that “guilt” that I was brainwashed with. The “que diran la gente” stigma and not being able to have visits unless planned well in advance so I can get house in order. Kinda sad, actually…

Reply

12 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Maybe someone else *SHOULD* do them! LOL

Reply

13 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Maybe someone else *SHOULD* do them! LOL

Reply

14 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Maybe someone else *SHOULD* do them! LOL

Reply

15 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Indeed. Can’t do it all. I was in your position up until late last year. Well minus the 3 dogs and I only have the 1 girl, though now expecting another. It’s definitely hard and exhausting. Hang in there!

Reply

16 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Indeed. Can’t do it all. I was in your position up until late last year. Well minus the 3 dogs and I only have the 1 girl, though now expecting another. It’s definitely hard and exhausting. Hang in there!

Reply

17 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm

It’s a cycle. I have expectations because of what I grew up seeing. You don’t have them, since you saw a more realistic view of things.

Reply

18 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm

It’s a cycle. I have expectations because of what I grew up seeing. You don’t have them, since you saw a more realistic view of things.

Reply

19 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm

It's a cycle. I have expectations because of what I grew up seeing. You don't have them, since you saw a more realistic view of things.

Reply

20 modernmami June 17, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Indeed. Can't do it all. I was in your position up until late last year. Well minus the 3 dogs and I only have the 1 girl, though now expecting another. It's definitely hard and exhausting. Hang in there!

Reply

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