May 1, 2017
I am not a perfect mother. I am not Supermom. I cannot do everything right for my daughter. I can’t always be the best spouse to my husband. And I cannot be the perfect career woman. Simply put, I’ve abandoned the myth of the Supermom, and I feel so much better. You can too.
When I returned to work shortly after my baby was born, I tried to be Supermom. I thought I could do everything, and then some. I thought I could seamlessly juggle family, career, and my own self-care. But I had to let go of that idea very quickly as I rushed home from the office to breast-feed, rushed back to meet my next client, then rushed to the grocery store and home to cook a beautiful dinner. It was all too much, and I was constantly exhausted.
Throw that baby on your back and get to your chores. It’s a 24/7 commitment and the “work” doesn’t end at 5p.m. But somehow, that normal urge to sacrifice for our families leads to an expectation that we never limit our sacrifices. And, more destructively, that setting limits makes us lesser moms.
Sure, unrealistic messages about working motherhood surround us, but the pressure of high expectations is ultimately self-imposed. You can start by consciously recalibrating your expectation of yourself from “perfect” to “good enough.” Then, implement some strategies to help structure your life to be less stressed and more balanced.
Here’s an example of a concrete, achievable plan:
“I will try to get eight hours of sleep most nights by shutting down work half an hour before I need to go to sleep. I will then give myself 30 minutes to wind down before I start getting ready for bed. I haven’t been doing this because I feel guilty that the housework isn’t done. I can ask my partner or kids for help, or I can hire more help. Or I can adjust my expectations for myself and my family.”
Try one or more of these simple strategies and see where they take you. But remember: simple doesn’t always mean easy. If finding balance were easy, we would already be doing it. It’s so tempting to want to be a Supermom. But when we abandon perfection and go for “good enough,” both in the way we think and the way we act, we can begin to experience greater life satisfaction.
If you’re struggling with finding more balance as a parent, Lyra can connect you to a therapist. You can get started today if Lyra is offered by your employer. Sign up now.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.