I became a supermom, and now I hate my life.
I’m just gonna say it. Every supermom who pretends to have her sh!t together is a fake.
They’re sitting so high on the pedestal of disillusionment they can’t see the sticky toast their kids mashed into the carpet this morning.
Don’t get me wrong – I take my hat off to them. So many supermoms are living the “fake it till you make it” dream. They’re robust enough to carry three slow-moving kids under one arm (laptop under the other!) and can part traffic with one pissed-off glance.
I’ll raise my hand – I’ve lived in their brutal world, red-lining my life and fueling my dream with double-strength cappuccinos for the past year.
Three kids. A full-time workload. An excellent career and pay. What could go wrong?
Life is an exhausting, white-knuckle roller coaster ride.
The kind of ride that you’re convinced will end with you sharing your latest meal with the crowds below, but you line up for it anyway.
Breakfast for myself is rare or eaten while performing a Dukes-of-Hazzard-esque leap into my car. My kids have pseudo-ponytails, rapidly scraped together in a poor effort to conceal the knots I don’t have time to fight. Their lunch boxes contain more foil- and cello-wrapped packaging than actual food. And homework’s done at the school bus stop with a few frantic calculations on my phone as the bus looms on the horizon.
Do you ever feel like you just want to get off this ride?
Every morning I resemble a baseball player skidding into the base plate.
And then my work day starts, and I’m expected to have it all together as I waltz into the office all cool, calm and collected – towing a cartload of guilt.
I’m living the dream, right?
Energy in abundance, my supermom lifestyle is sure to reap huge rewards.
One day… or so people keep telling me.
Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret.
I’m older than I’m willing to admit to my unstoppable “drink till 2:00 a.m. and still feel great in the morning” self.
The reality is that I’m a 70s shag-pile-and-brown-toweling-raised babe.
Just to be clear, for those of you born toting a smartphone. I’m not so old that I’m walking in circles chanting “Where-a-ma-glasses?” – But I am old enough to remember the sequined delight of Wonder Woman on TV. My childhood idol, I’ll add.
It’s only fair we pay our respects right now – cue wistful music. Remember those blue satin shorts? Who needs long lists of goals when you’ve got shorts (and legs) like that? She was superhuman and could do anything. Being Super Woman and Supermom was what I aspired to, and by God, I would be just that one day!
For all you bewildered gals out there, here she is in all her glory.
But I figured it out.
The trick to being a supermom is to fake it. Fake it to yourself. Fake it to your kids. Just be an all-out fake in a trying-to-better kind of way. (Not that I’d ever dare to suggest that Wonder Woman was a fake – blasphemy!)
Faking it makes it real. Just get the roll of Tums or glass of wine ready to deal with all the added stress.
Here’s what my supermom life looks like.
I justify paying squillions for a lettuce-leaf lunch every day because all that money I’m earning can pay for it. And I get to choose from all those ever-so-tasty chia-loaded delights I’ll never have the time, nor the inclination, to whizz up in my shiny new Vitamix myself.
I chalk up the day my kids wore their school uniforms on Casual Day as an essential life lesson in resilience.
And the fact that “freezer surprise” has become my kids’ most requested dinner item is a vote of faith in favor of the technological advancements of boxed food, not a cloak-and-dagger game of survival.
My relationships with friends are stitched together with strings of panicked text messages asking for copies of lost school notes and depreciating jokes about needing a glass of wine at 10:00 a.m.
And Sunday, the day of rest. Pfft. It’s a day to retrieve lost socks from down the back of the washer and move objects around the house in an attempt to find the carpet (and to prevent impaling my foot on a Barbie hairbrush).
So yes, I’m a superhuman working mom – but I secretly hate my life.
I yearn for the time to join the kale-smoothie-loving, lycra-clad weekday yogis as they flow out on onto the street looking glowing and relaxed.
I wish for the spare hours to sit through mind-numbing school assemblies to receive a flash of a smile from my kids just because I showed up.
My dream is of a split-second in which to feel as if I’m not running life on a treadmill and about to fly off the back at any moment.
The working mom thing is not all it’s cracked up to be. You’ve got to want it badly to make it work. And I mean so bad that you’re prepared to throw every inkling of a standard to the wind and be ready to ride life’s rollercoaster holding on by your fingernails.
In truth, I want to stick it to my job.
I want to stick it to my colleagues who think I care that their kids are sick when I don’t even know if my kids left home today with their heads screwed on correctly.
So, you can shove those blue satin shorts right back where they fit – ‘cause they sure as hell don’t fit my unexercised butt any longer.
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