Supermom Syndrome… do you suffer from it?


photo credit: jeangenie via photopin cc

I am a definitely what you would call a ‘yes’ mom. No, I don’t let my kids have whatever they want… actually they rarely hear the word ‘yes’ come from me. So who do I say this dreaded little word to? I agree to playdates that I can’t fit into my schedule. I say yes to doing charity work that I can’t possibly manage without taking away from the sparse six hours of sleep I typically get. I never decline family events or parties. I always offer to bring things even though I can barely get to the grocery store to fill my own cupboard. I always offer to attend the school field trip. I am constantly volunteered for the most time consuming daunting tasks you can imagine. Why? Because I say ‘yes’. I have what I refer to as super mom syndrome.

What is supermom syndrome? I will tell you my dear mommy friends. It is the constant need to say yes… to do it all… to make motherhood look effortless. Why is it so hard to just say ‘NO’? And the funniest part of this syndrome that I suffer from, is that when I should be saying yes, it’s as if the word has magically disappears from my vocabulary. I very rarely agree to let others help me. I will never ask for help. When I should be reaching out to my support systems, I feel like I am somehow less of a mother. I suffer daily from my condition, and unfortunately I don’t think that I’m the only one.

I read this book recently that describes North American mothers as the least likely to accept or ask for help. We apparently think that we can ‘do it all’. Why is this? I know that I don’t ask for help because I feel like none of the other moms do. How insane is that? I often think that if everyone else is doing it all, then why shouldn’t I be able to manage by myself. It’s like being the only kid in the class that needs to have a tutor to help them with their homework. Am I less of a mother if I admit to needing help? Do we really need to feel guilty about saying ‘no’ to things that we know will add unwarranted stress to our lives? Seriously, is selling those ridiculous tubs of muffin mix and penciling playdates on my barely legible calendar going to make me a good mom? I think not.

Before I go any further I need to clarify one thing. I don’t say ‘yes’ so that I can compete or outdo other moms. I say ‘yes’ out of guilt. I feel guilty about being honest and saying that I can’t take on anymore. And I don’t turn down help because I want to be able to SAY that I can do it all. I am embarrassed that I can’t do what other moms seem to do effortlessly.

Today is the day that I start my recovery. I will no longer be the ‘yes’ mom. I refuse to suffer from supermom syndrome. I will only take on tasks that will NOT take away from my family. I will say no to events and responsibilities that will take away from what little sleep I already get. I will happily receive and help that is given. And more importantly I will stop feeling bad about any of this. I am a mom. Not a super mom. I am a real mom that is struggling to ‘do it all’. To all you moms out there that are suffering from supermom syndrome… take off the cape and be okay with not being able to ‘do it all’. You’ll thank yourself one day… and so will your family.

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