5 Reasons I’m Hanging Up My Super-Mom Cape in 2018

I will never forget the woman who made me aspire to be a Super-Mom. I was a young wife and a new mama with 2 kids under the age of 2. I worked full time and felt like a failure at pretty much everything. But I had hope.

There was this seasoned mama that my husband worked with and from my vantage point, she could do it all. She worked full time as a nurse while raising a family. She canned her own homemade salsa and made delicious baked goodies and was always doing something amazing for her friends and family. I never visited her home but I bet it was even clean. I wanted to be her so bad, I couldn’t see straight.

Fast forward about six years.

I was walking through Walmart one day after work pushing a cart full of groceries and lugging all FOUR of my kids with me. I was a newly single mom, still licking my wounds but holding my head up high as I strutted through the frozen food section in my high heels.

That’s when I caught a glimpse of myself.

There in the reflection of a frozen foods door, I saw the woman I had always imagined becoming. I was thin, I had on a super cute work outfit and killer heels. I had four adorable children including a precious baby girl. I was googling a recipe on my Blackberry as I shopped so I could ensure I had all the ingredients I needed. I was smart and resourceful. I looked like I had it all together even though I was falling apart. I could multi-task with the best of them. I could do it all. I had become a Super-Mom.

Fast forward nine more year.

Being a Super-Mom isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve achieved most of my Super-Mom goals. I make amazing cinnamon rolls from scratch. I can successfully can my own salsa and apple butter. I sew new Christmas stockings for my kids every year. I homeschool. I teach at our homeschool co-op. I write curriculum. I edit books from author friends. I’m a freelance writer. I have my own direct sales business. I’m on the Operations Team and Board of Directors for an international ministry. I have kids taking drum lessons and guitar lessons and ukulele lessons and going to cheer practice and soccer practice.

And let’s just talk a moment about multi-tasking. This is where it gets real.

Super Mom

I write while my youngest daughter works on her school work. I text while I’m making dinner. I organize data in spreadsheets while my husband drives. I makes sales while I’m at Disney World. I edit books while I sit with my daughter at chemo. I Facebook in the bathroom.  I answer ministry-related questions during dinner, during movie night, during date night, during cheer practice, during breakfast, while I’m shopping, while I’m reading, while I’m baking, while I’m writing and cooking and watching my daughter dance all at the same time.

It’s too much.

At what point did I decide that being a Super-Mom meant that I had to spread myself so thin?

At what point did I decide that being a Super-Mom meant that I had to multi-task myself into a frenzy?

Sure, I wanted to do it all – but why have I been trying to do it all AT THE SAME TIME?

I know the answer to that question, though… it’s time. There’s not enough time in the day to do everything I want to do so I thought doing multiple things at the same time would free up other parts of my day to do something for myself like watching TV or reading a book. But it’s just not worth it. I need and deserve a few minutes to myself whether I meet all the demands of the world or not. Relaxation isn’t a reward, it’s a basic human need.

So, here are 5 reasons I’m hanging up my Super-Mom cape in 2018:

  1. Multi-tasking seems like an effective time saver but it keeps me from being focused and present. After almost ten years of being a master multi-tasker I’m finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate on any one thing. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times my kids have asked me a question while I was in the middle of typing something and it’s literally taken me a solid 30 seconds to form verbal words in response. That’s unacceptable. Nobody’s brain should be that tied up.
  2. Constant input has become a compulsion. While I’m a huge proponent of relaxation, I find it more and more difficult to relax. I check my phone while I read. I rush a hot bath if I hear my phone beeping in my room. I can’t sit still in a car, at the table, or in the bathroom more than a minute without feeling the need to check my phone for emails, texts, or Facebook messages. I’ve developed a need for constant stimulation and an addiction to distraction.
  3. I can’t sleep. My brain is so used to running at such a high power and high speed all day that it’s impossible to shut down at night. I start dreaming before I fall asleep. I wake up exhausted. It’s become impossible to fully disengage.
  4. My kids deserve better. My husband deserves better. My customers and friends and associates all deserve better than what I’m giving them now. They deserve my best not my frazzled leftovers.
  5. This isn’t who God wants me to be. Nor is it who my husband wants me to be. Or my kids. Or my friends. I’m the one that has placed these impossible ideologies on myself. I’m the one that gets a high off of martyrizing myself on an altar of busyness.

But not this year. Not in 2018.

This year I will focus on the two words that God gave me in 2017: Focus & Consistency. While I learned a great deal about them, it has only been within this last month that I’ve truly started to embrace them.

This year I will hang up my Super-Mom cape and give myself permission just to be who I am. I will give myself permission to let people down. I will give myself permission to not volunteer every time I see a need that I could fulfill. I will give myself permission to put the phone down and walk away. I will give myself permission to say No. I will give myself permission to relax.

This year I will work hard to be in the moment with those around me.

This year I will be content with my messiness and my imperfections.

This year I will do one thing at a time.

This year I will breathe.

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Conflicting Comments

They say that men are like waffles; women are like spaghetti. Men can easily compartmentalize things while women tend to connect and intertwine every thought, event, and action like a big ole pile of slippery spaghetti.

It seems like everyone from your mother to your mechanic has advice to offer on a daily basis. We love to criticize the media for their role in negatively impacting our self-esteem but the same barrage of criticism in the form of advice often comes from the pulpit, the women’s Bible study, and our own posts on social media. And not all criticism is bad. Constructive criticism has saved me from many poor decisions. Yet, how do I sift through the onslaught of advice I receive every day?

I wish I was a waffle.

But I’m not. It takes me forever to detangle the mess of critical remarks that the world throws my way… especially when they are conflicting comments. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

*It’s good to get up early before your children so you can pray, spend time with the Lord, and enjoy alone time before your day begins.

**A tired mommy does nobody any good. Get plenty of rest so that you can be the mom they need.

*We need to cleanse our bodies from the impurities that we put in them. It’s important to drink water, eat healthy foods, and get plenty of exercise every day.

**It’s harmful to compare ourselves to others. Be happy with who you are and what you look like. We can’t all be a size 4. Embrace your body the way it is and stop living for the acceptance of others. Besides, God loves you just the way you are.

*If you make a commitment, you should keep it.

**Your family should always come first. If they need you, you should break all other commitments.

*It’s our job, as parents, to protect our kids from the outside world.

**If we shelter our children, we are not providing them with opportunities to learn and grow.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

That’s why it’s so important to have Truth to filter such comments through. While it’s certainly a blessing to have experts in the fields of medicine, marriage, health, children, employment, and so on, there’s only one Expert that I know will never give me conflicting advice.

God.

It’s not easy to know what to do. It’s not easy to make decisions as a mother, a wife, a woman. It’s not easy to muddle through the piles of advice we receive every day and to clearly discern which advice is worth applying to our lives and which advice should line the bottom of the bird cage.

And often both sides of conflicting advice are good…. given the right circumstances.

Only God knows the plan He has for our lives. So ultimately, it should only be Him that we seek when we are unsure of what to do.

Only he can make a waffle decision out of my pile of spaghetti.