Written by Sana Ilyas, The Meraki Project Team
According to the definition by Google, a Supermom is “an exemplary or exceptional mother, especially one who successfully manages a home and brings up children while also having a full-time job.” But isn’t that every mother we know of? So how has the perception of it changed in recent times?
Women now have burdened themselves with these endless expectations and demands where they- manage the house: have no dirty dishes in the sink, do all the cleaning, finish the laundry, make sure everyone’s routine doesn’t get disrupted, pick and drop the kids to and from school, have meals prepared and served, try their best to raise kids with manners and values that get remarked at and appreciated in social gatherings, organize play-dates for their children and whip up fancy snacks, all from scratch, help their children with homework, have them enrolled in extra curriculars, while being invested in keeping a record of their child(ren)’s achievements, have a decent paying job, all the while being emotionally and physically available for their husband.
And the thing is, women manage to do it all without asking for help. When we’re stuck or lost, when the situation is unmanageable and things are falling apart, we refuse to ask for help, we refuse to pause and take a break. Because asking for help will make us feel guilty and insufficient, because patriarchy has made us believe that we should do it all, without any help and with a smile on our face, it is after all a woman’s job to multitask and take care of everyone around her. Asking for help is never an option for women, because deep down we want the world to know that we can do it all. We have this burning desire to prove ourselves capable of managing everything. And if we can’t then it means that society was right all along and we are not worthy or capable of anything. And here’s where the need for validation stems from, we want to do it all because we want it to be acknowledged, we seek out approval, we want that praise because if we aren’t able to do it all, what are we really worthy of then?
But in this search for validation we forget the fact that we are humans too, and frankly no blame on you because we were never made to feel like one, by society, in the first place.
But the truth is that women are human beings and being human has its own limitations sadly. We are bound to be tired, frustrated and emotional and those are our cues to stop, take a break and relax, and ask for the help we deserve. Asking for help doesn’t make us weak. It only makes us stronger because we are recognizing our limits. There is no shame in reaching out to people, it only empowers us to know that we are taking steps to take control of our life by asking for help.
Another thing that most of us lose sight of in this quest for validation is whether we want to be a great parent or raise a great child? Because all the effort we put into raising our kids starts becoming a measuring scale for our success or failure as a parent, as a person. Our worth as a person is not dependent on our child’s character, behavior or education. We are worthy regardless of how our child turns out to be. So it is really pointless to expect perfection from ourselves and our children. We need to remind our self that we aren’t robots, we have emotions, we make mistakes, we learn and grow from there, we all have a choice and are free to do what we please. All we can do as a parent is teach our-self and our child about choices and its consequences.
Don’t you agree that for the sake of our-self and our children's well-being we need to stop this toxic cycle of seeking validation and instead spend time focusing on being an individual, a mother, a woman to the best of our abilities and ask for help when we need it. And maybe then we can finally start experiencing the joys that come with being our-self and being a mother proudly without having the added stress to pull us down.
Don’t hesitate or feel guilty if you slack off, or have tasks pending, you are a super mom regardless of how much work you do, you are worthy regardless of how your children turn out, you are strong even when you ask for help, you are valued and appreciated even if you take a break and rest.