The Myth of ‘Supermom’

There is no denying that life as we know it today is intense. We have heard it from our grans over a hundred times; we are too busy, there is too much pressure on us, and we need to slow down. We can’t though, can we? We can’t be the only ones going slow, while everything around us spins faster and more out of control! We have to try keep up or we are sure to be left behind. At least that is how I feel. If I take my foot off the gas there is no way I will catch up. It is pretty crazy that this is just life as we know it now. 

If you happen to have little people you call your own, and you automatically respond to the word ‘Mommy’, you will know a thing or two about spinning so much that you go out for the whole day wearing your leggings inside out, and you are too tired to even care. Mom-life can be all-consuming as we throw ourselves into this (enormous) task of tiny raising humans, preferably good humans, and what I hope to be awesome humans! If we are worth our salt then our hearts are to do our best for our babies. And that can be hard. Every so often, though, we get it right. We get it so right that our own hearts glow with pride, our mom-tribe looks at us with a glint in their eyes, “Well done, SuperMom”.

We often hear this word thrown around when any mom achieves something that we think is a job well-done. It can be anything from making cute sarmies in kids lunch-boxes, to throwing a Pinterest-worthy party without a planner. But, guys… what does this word actually mean? And is there such a thing as a ‘SuperMom’, or is it just a word we use to fluff up other moms in our circles?

Personally I think it is a bit of both. I think it is often a word easily bandied around in order to make another mom feel a sense of achievement. Often in cases these achievements are not life-changing, they are relatively minuscule in the grand scheme of things… but to one mom they can be a tiny pockets of sunshine. I truly feel that this word actually cannot be said often enough! Motherhood holds so many thankless duties and expected tasks, that Moms can very quickly be left feeling completely sapped of all energy and inspiration to do more or do better. A little acknowledgement can go a very long way to a mom who feels like no matter how much she gives she is never thanked or recognised. Using this word to love on other moms is, in my mind, a way to praise and lift other moms up. There is enough judgement and negativity we have to deal with, so again, I say that there can never be enough moms telling moms they are super-awesome! It can go a long way to make them feel enough and loved.

Now, is the SuperMom just that? Just a word used to ‘fluff’ up fellow mamas? Or is there more to it? Well, a SuperHero is only a SuperHero because they have a super-natural strength. In my opinion there is incredible strength in the mom who gets up every day to spend a whole day at work to help provide for her family and then when she eventually gets home to be present enough with her babies in a relatively short space of time to ensure she remains in-tune and connected to them, even though her tired body and mind long for a hot bath and her bed, but she chooses them instead. Every time. 

I believe there is serious power in the mom who stays home with her babies everyday, making sure their every need is met by herself who gets the brunt of all their little (and big) emotions, because we all know kids behave so well until us moms walk through the door; we are their mama a.k.a safe place, and human punching bag. 

I know first-hand how tough it can be and how much strength it takes working from home when your kids are in the other room and coming in every so often begging you to come play “Just one game of UNO mommy, please?”. The pull on your heart is real. And so is the guilt. 

I salute moms with one child who are their child’s primary source of entertainment, companionship and sidekick. I believe that takes strength on another level, and patience I can only dream of. 

I can seriously only imagine the super-powers that the mom of five has. Feeding that many mouths, nurturing that many characters and having capacity to get through any social event with the multiple head-counts is, to me, next-level-amazing!

The reality is though, that while us moms are able to do many things, juggle many balls, and have these small pockets of sunshine, I believe it is utterly impossible for us to do everything and do everything well. We are still human. I know in my life that over the past 18months we have done so much. I had my third baby. We built a house and moved three times. I went back into full-time (flexi-hours) work, in business with my husband. Our boys started a new school and so so much more happened in-between. Many of these things we/I did well, but as much as it pains me to admit it, there are areas of my life that I have neglected. There are areas that have not flourished purely because I have not had the time to invest love and energy into them. One of these areas is that of my friendships. My friends have always meant the world to me and I have best friends who are like sisters, but even still I wasn’t there for my friends as much as I should have been. I didn’t contact them as much as I should have or could have and I wasn’t able to join them on social events as much as I would have liked.  I had friends who had babies, friends who moved country, and friends who just needed me and I let them down. Unfortunately and fortunately though, I know that in order for me to survive through a very tough and intensely draining season, there were sacrifices I had to make. I wish more that anything that I could be amazing at everything all the time, but there are seasons we go through in life where we may have to let a few things slide in order to plough and sow into places that need it the most at that time. Thankfully I have some of the world’s most incredible friends, many of whom are filled with unending grace, love and understanding. They know it is not my heart to not be present in their lives (sorry about the double negative!), and they extend that grace to me.  They are 100% better than me at keeping contact. They still continue to invite me even though I decline 9/10 invites, and they love me anyway. Those who matter didn’t mind and those who did just didn’t matter. 

I honestly believe that in order for any Mom to be super at anything, she needs to have grace with herself and with others. When moms fall into a place of hating on themselves for the things they didn’t do well they stop seeing the many, many things they did do beautifully. They stop seeing those tiny pockets of sunshine. That is a literal killjoy, and the effects can breed into resentment of oneself and of the ‘job’ of motherhood and it has no place. We are human and we cannot physically do everything… but we sure can be SuperMom some of the time, and when that is where our focus lies we are able to see more of the beauty and sunshine all around us, not least of which the ones we made <3 .
So don’t let anyone tell you your powers are not real, go find that sunshine, SuperMom!

Author: Shan Fourie

Shan Fourie is a busy mom of three, based in Ballito, and is a full-time lifestyle blogger/Content Creator. With over 14 years of experience in marketing, Shan began blogging in 2018, and embarked into full-time content creation in 2021. Shan uses her platform to share brands, businesses as well as to raise awareness and funds for causes and initiatives close to her heart. Somewhat of an activist, Shan has helped bring people together for multiple causes, including A21 Walk for Freedom, multiple Bone Marrow & Blood drives, a peaceful protest to stop NetCare Alberlito from closing its paeds ward, as well as other movements she is passionate about. Her biggest focus this year is on raising funds, alongside The Rise Up Movement, for a GBV safe house in Kwadukuza, along with a lab for facilitating rape-kits on site, instead of having to send them to Pretoria. Shan is an official Ambassador for (a) The SA Bone Marrow Registry, (b) the Red Movement (a movement intent on eradicating period poverty), and (c) and a partner of the Rise Up Movement - an NPO that stands against GBV, Child abuse, and Human Trafficking. Shan was a Mrs South Africa 2022 finalist, 2023 CANSA ambassador for Mrs South Africa, and Discovery Bank was her gold sponsor. Shan is also the official Wellness influencer for Gateway Theatre of Shopping and The Pencil Club Umhlanga. Shan believes that wellness is all-encompassing - mental, physical and emotional. She believes it is important to keep your life clean of toxicity. Self-care is super important to her.

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