Friday, April 13, 2012

Super Mom Debunked


I will have jeans without holes in my knees from crawling around after my kiddos,
I will do the dishes more often and not let them sit in the sink for days,
My floors won't be covered with apple juice and squished raisins and sticky fruit snacks,
My car won't have crushed cheerios and moldy sippy cups hiding under the seats,
I won't step on Legos every time I walk across my son's room to check on him in the middle of the night,
My living room will have a comfy couch and stylish curtains instead of a big rug and loads of baskets of toys,
and I will be wearing something other than workout clothes with my hair in a ponytail at school drop off.

But for now...

I will take the cuddles in our cozy nook while I read Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the tenth time of the day,
I will love that doing chores takes twice as long because it is more fun to watch little ones run through piles of folded clothes than it is to put them right away,
I will relish our afternoon runs at 4pm to the park and the exercise I get climbing to the top of the play structure and doing choo choo trains down the slide with both kids in tow,
I will smile every time that my son turns on our piano and teaches his sister how to dance and twirl around the living room and do somersaults,
I will giggle when we arrive at the park and I've forgotten that my son is still wearing his underwear over his pants from when he was pretending to be a superhero,
I will enjoy the extra food that I get to eat when I've made two different meals and my kids decide they don't like any of them,
and I will cherish every toothbrushing battle than ends with a sweet little bedtime prayer and a big tuba kiss on my cheek.

Every once in awhile I feel like I am super mom. I have my house put together, I have a schedule that we stick to, chores are done, I host little crafting parties, and I even make my bed.

Most of the time though, my car is a mess, I have piles of unfinished projects lying around on counters or stuffed in cupboards, my temper is short and I get impatient too quickly, I stay up too late and am tired during the day, and the clothes are dumped in the bottom of my closet instead of hanging up neatly like they should be.

I loved this post called Your Children Want You! by April over at the Power of Moms that has been circulating all over the internet this week. It is beautiful and I highly recommend you read it if you haven't yet. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what sort of mom I am this week and although it looks appealing when I see women doing so many extraordinary things, I personally don't want to be super mom (which is fortunate, because I am far from it).

When I am trying to be super mom, I do too much, am overly stressed, neglect what is most important, am never really present, and only appear to "have it together" on the surface, when really pretty much everything else is falling apart.

Instead of aspiring to be Super Mom, I want to be more intentional about "trying to be a good mom." I think that will look different for everyone, but here are a few things that I plan to concentrate on:

1. Use kind language. I need to remind myself about this every day. Sometimes I am so bossy... and then I wonder why my 4-yr-old is bossing me around. Hmm?

2. Remember I am on team together with my kids. I shouldn't complain about them, I made them! I don't want to bring down the team by being negative. Just like I tell my son that families stick together and stick up for one another, I need to always do the same for my kids and my husband. I don't need to lie about things that are hard, but I don't need to broadcast the terrible or annoying things that my kids do either. Building up the team means looking for the positive, reinforcing the good things that you see, and working together to improve what isn't working. Writing this makes me think we need to start having family "team" meetings more regularly!

3. Be still. Cuddle, read books, just sit in the room with them and "be" there- unplugged and present. We have been doing this a lot this week and undoubtedly every ten minutes or so my daughter comes over and randomly hugs me. It is the most precious thing ever and it is almost like a spiritual experience for me because I just feel like I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing right then in that moment. It feels awesome.

4. Be fun. This is hard when I am overtired... though always helps a lot to change the mood of the day. Mix it up and do things a little different. Make it backwards day, pretend you're on vacation and go be tourists in your town, go on a spur of the moment field trip, or just go grab a cookie at your favorite store and chat. I've got it easy because all I have to do it pull out baking soda, vinegar, and playdoh and make volcanoes and eruptions and my son seriously thinks I am super mom.

5. Take a break to recharge. Taking a break doesn't always have to mean finding a babysitter or leaving your kids with your spouse, but it can mean doing something that you love or need. You can include the kids if you want, or get them occupied doing something else so that you can recharge your batteries. Sometimes for me this means going upstairs briefly to go to the bathroom by myself! :) Another activity that is a break for me is going running. I love getting out in nature with my kids, they love sitting in the jogging stroller, and I really enjoy the workout I get pushing sixty plus pounds to the park! For some people that is not a break... that is a nightmare, so pick something else for your break! :)

(Photo Credit: Meghan MacAskill)

How about you? How do you want to be more intentional as a parent? What else would you add to my list? I have a feeling it will keep growing and growing!

Do you set goals for yourself each day (and then reset them again the next day) like me?

PS- My friend Alissa over at Creative with Kids has a wonderful Positive Parenting pinterest board that I highly recommend that you check out. She also has a great series on her blog with Positive Parenting resources that you can find online and in stores. I can always use new tools in my parenting tool belt, so these are great places to start.

PPPPS- The title of this post came from an awesome parenting workshop I went to recently. I was utterly inspired when I left.

Have a Happy Friday and a wonderful weekend! Love you guys! You all inspire me daily to be a better mom!


  1. What a wonderful post! I still jump when JDaniel asks me to do something (most of the time). I know there will come a day when he might stop asking.

    1. You are such a good mom! :) I agree, someday they aren't going to want us so much... so we better enjoy all the love now!

  2. Beautifully written, genuine, honest and inspiring thoughts - to be true to yourself as a mother and as a person to yourself. Love it :-)
    I love the part about you and your kids being a team - a team that you made! How true.....

  3. Love this post of yours. You're right, being a super mom is not exactly a very good goal. Here's one I would add to your list: be slow to anger.

    1. Yes, I completely agree! That is one I am working on often and posted about recently. Such a hard thing as a mom on some days when we are underslept and exhausted!! But it needs to be worked on!

  4. Thanks so much for such an EXCELLENT post....sometimes I need the reminder!

  5. I know I'm the umpth person to say this- but love all the truth behind this!!!
    I would add we have to stop comparing ourselves to other mothers, or at least be a lot more mindful of how we go about it.
    My oldest is a special needs kid (with SPD) and I'll freq 'compare notes' with other moms or school teachers etc to see if there are things I can easily fit into what we're doing to help him thrive. But the more selective I am, the better it pans out for everyone. I have friends who are avid crafters, and I LOVE crafts- but they tend to create more stress for my kiddos if I'm going out of my way to make it happen. So, we only do them occasionally. What does work for us is using my other passion (I'm a triathlete) to play, enjoy, and rock life with them. It drives me CRAZY if someone tells me I'm a supermom or if a friend feels like a loser when they're an awesome crafter, instead of a crazy athlete (or fill in the blank). We're all doing the best we can- hugs and gratuitous numbers of high-fives should be the rhythm we rock motherhood out too. But that's my $.02 ;0)

    1. Agree wholeheartedly about comparing ourselves to other moms! I hate when people put themselves down because they don't do something as good as me (but do far better at something else that I can't do at all). We all need to compare ourselves to ourselves and keep working to be the best that we can be for our family/kids. Everyone looks different! Thanks for your comment!

    2. Totally agree!! I am am not an athlete but admire my friends who are!! I do a lot of crafts with , my kids, my house is clean and a spend a ton of quality time with my kids and I am tired of some of the articles circulating implying thT it must be fake we are all different people and have different strengths--I should not feel bad if I can spend quality time with my kids AND have a clean house --the comparison has to stop on all levels it is just silly /:

    3. Missa, I came across this article on Pinterest while overwhelmed with life in general tonight. A SAHM to 4 beautiful children and my 3rd child with Childhood Apraxia of Speech and SPD. :) Kristina, you have spoken everything I needed to hear. My laundry is unfolded on my love seat, dishes about to be washed for the first time in 3 days, and 1 child even went to sleep before getting her teeth brushed. I have to remind myself that these babies come first and foremost......but I have to fit in somewhere myself! Thanks for such an amazing article! Exactly what I needed!

  6. Great post!! I loved the Your Children Want You post and this one was just as great! :)

  7. This was great! (I pinned it to Pinterest, too). I completely agree and can relate to everything you said. I definitely find myself sometimes trying to be a super mom. Those times usually occur after I've perused Pinterest or one of the amazing blogs I follow, such as Play at Home Mom. I have to step back and realize, "I can do some of these awesome things some days, but not every day. Even though I don't create some amazing activity each day for my child, I am still a good mom." In fact, sometimes I'll come up with something that I think, "Oh, she'll [my daughter] will love this!" and even though it took me a while to get together, she has no interest. But then I can just lay on the floor and make a tent with a blanket and she thinks I'm the bees knees. Most of us are good moms - we have to realize that even though we may think we're not meeting our children's expectations, we're probably exceeding them. It's our own expectations that need to be reevaluated.

    1. Natalie- I totally agree with you! What a great comment! We do need to reevaluate and should probably check in with our kids (that can talk). I'm sure we could learn a lot from them about what we're doing well and what we don't need to be doing!!

    2. Natalie,

      I can so relate to what you wrote and of course Kristina, thanks for the post--good suggestions--I am going to make flash cards to post on my fridge (seriously). I feel frustrated about not being crafty enough or encouraging creativity in my kids and though I get good ideas from Play at home mom and pinterest they have a large capacity to make me feel like crap. I kind of wish there was a blog about being crafty with dumping, destructive, incredibly messy boys. B/c even when I get a craft together, they seem to enjoy destroying it more than actually doing it. And stressing me to the max when something that PAHM's kids calmly did and my kids take it so out of bounds that I never want to craft again. I'm trying to find the balance, but it is hard. And so many websites are either about being crafty or crazy children, but not how to craft with crazy children. I digress. Laura E.

    3. Hi Laura, actually there kind of IS :-) Have you seen :-)
      Big winners in our house are making (really easy, messy and cheap) a big bowl of playdough, color it with food color, then ride over it with plastic cars and trucs and turn the kitchen table into a 'work zone' (making balls, put them in the truc, let them fall again, pick them up with another truck...) Keeps mine & friends busy for sometimes upto an HOUR ( which means an hour of not jumping on the couch and running like wild pirates through the house... you imagine I take the messy part for granted, since it anyway remains concentrated on a few m2 :-) and bonus... in the meantime this lets me do things in the kitchen as preparing for dinner or cleaning up or whatever while chatting with them. Favorite two: treasure hunt in the dark with a flashlight. For instance I hide a certain number of cows/animales/cars, we put the light off and they go looking for them with a flashlight in their bedroom. But you could also have them look for their legoblocks and put them all in the legobox and see if they managed to find them all when the lights turn back on ;-) Ok it's not real craft, but it makes me feel a lot less frustrated and gives me these moments of feeling 'in control'. Oh and another thing which works with mine is turn a huge paper box into a little house which they can decorate with stickers from the inside, especially with a flashlight. Actually, thinking of it, flashlights do miracles with my crazy kids. Hmmm, but that's all not really crafting huh... Anyway, I guess your 'crazy' kids (at least mine) are just kids which are full of energy and therefore might be more interested in crafting activities which include movement and are quickly finished, guess you'll find some inspiration on the website I mentioned :-)

  8. I love this post, thanks for the encouragement, sometimes life feels like an endless juggle. Also like the idea of asking our kids how were doing/ what they want us to... sometimes my priorities(or the things I think should be my priorities)are a bit muddled.

  9. This was super helpful to me today. It's been one of those weeks where I feel far from a super mom...wondering if I'm even touching the good mom category. It's just such a great reminder of an attitude shift more than anything. I'm working so hard to do it all, that I know I just need to let some of my self expectations go and just enjoy them more. Thanks for that! Perfect timing.

  10. Hey, This is an awesome article. I can so connect to the way you have written it. Its just so interesting to know that moms around the world share the same feeling. Just couple of days ago I wrote this article when I was in a self doubting mode about Am i a good Parent: and now when I read your article I feel like wow I am not the only one thinking this.
    Thank you for sharing a brilliant article on your children want you.

    Happy Parenting!

  11. This is a fantastic piece of writing. Everything you wrote describes me perfectly!

    I have 4 children with special needs, and playing "super-mum" (fighting the education system, the medical system, dealing with day to day life...) for them has me so run down that I am crabby and short-tempered, and then wonder why my kids are turning out the same way.

    You have thumped some home-truths in to me!
    Bella :)

  12. really need this post today, thank you! I know there are oh so many of us in the same place right now. Thanks for taking the time to put my feelings in to words --- excellent post!!

  13. Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. At the start of the year I started mediating on the verse from Psalms that children are a blessing from the Lord. And looking at my children as MY blessing and my reward. This has helped me enjoy them more and to stop and have more fun times playing with them.

    Thanks again for sharing your heart.

  14. Lovely post, Kristina dear! Great reminders for us all. :)

  15. I found your article through and just wanted to say thanks because it really hit home for me. Sometimes I feel so alone with my messy house and short temper and it seems like every other mom is better than I am. Thanks for helping me see that I'm not alone at all.

  16. Kristina I love this post so much. It is so easy to forget that everything comes to an end... we won't remember the grubby car but we will remember the memories of our little ones having fun. you are making such wonderful memories with your kids. (my car is treated as our extra room which is quite useful if the kids are bored in the car - there is always something to find to keep them amused).

  17. I can't tell you how relieved I was to read that someone else finds moldy sippy cups in their car. My neighborhood has lots of stay-at-homes, myself included, and when I'm in their sparkling clean house w/ vacuum lines in the rug at all times, I feel like a failure. But after reading this, and knowing my neighbors, I know that spend 80% of their time cleaning and 20% playing with the kids. I'm the opposite, and they will just have to live w/ the mess in my car and in my house. :-)

  18. Thank you for inspiring my blog post:

    Great post!

  19. Thank you for sharing this. I need it today.

  20. Thank you, this post made me pause and smile. We all try to be super mom but we already are because we are there for our kids, spending time with them. The days are long but the years are short, I love that quote.
    Nice to hear I'm not the only one who gets holes in the knees of her jeans as fast as a four year old boy! I actually did the iron-on denim patch thing to my favourite jeans I couldn't throw out. Embarrassing, I know.

  21. You all rock. Thanks so much for taking a moment to respond to this post! We need to be kinder to ourselves as moms/parents/caregivers.


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