A few years ago, when my twins were babies and my oldest was still in grade school, I wanted to do it all. I wanted to prove I could help and be one of those moms that could accomplish a million things. Everything.. You need a room mom? Of course I’ll do it! A coach for the team? Sure, I will fit that in. Looking for a teacher to work part-time at your school? I’m your woman! There’s an opening on the PTO board? Yes, I’ll take it.
I was sure I could juggle every task, do it well, and take care of my family duties with ease. I saw other Super Moms in my neighborhood, and I knew I could do what they were doing too. They made their lives look so easy, and how they loved to talk about all their accomplishments! I was jealous of all they were achieving, and I wanted to be able to talk about accomplishments too. I wanted other moms to look at me and see how much I could do and how amazing I was. I could be a Super Mom just like them.
That year, I helped coach my oldest’s fall and spring running groups while dragging my little ones with me. I rearranged my schedule to make it to all the class events and parties with two year-old twins in tow. I attended all the monthly PTO meetings and spent hours at my computer putting together PTO newsletters and updating website material. I started a job as a new preschool teacher and had to create lesson plans, communicate with parents and learn the procedures of a new job. Along with all those duties, I still had to find time to help with homework, make dinner, and tend to my girls’ needs each day..
To say I was exhausted was an understatement. I burned out–fast. But I’m not a quitter, so I did finish up all my duties I had agreed to for that busy year. Here’s what I learned trying to be Super Mom:
- No one really cared about all that I was doing except for me.
I don’t think anyone really gave a crap about how many “titles” I rattled off to them when I’d attempt to tell them how busy I was as a mom. Been there, done that moms probably wanted to tell me that I was on the crazy train and at some point I’d realize I needed to jump off. In the end, I was attempting to do it all and really didn’t get any accolades from anyone for it. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I guess I was hoping I’d outdo some of the Super Moms in my town, and that I’d hear lots of compliments about how amazing I was as a mom to work, volunteer, and raise three little children. I don’t remember hearing much of that.
- I yelled a whole lot more.
I took on way too much (totally my fault) and I ended up being a super-stressed mom who constantly had to work or volunteer. I had a husband who was always on the road for work and late most nights he was in town, and I was trying to raise three little girls and give them everything they needed. Trying to get anything done became stressful. I was anxious all the time, and on a tight schedule each day. If the kids grumbled or cried about having to come along to any of my Super Mom duties, it would just add to the anxiety and I’d yell a lot more. My over-full plate was what was causing all the stress at home, not the kids.
- I had absolutely no time to do things I loved.
While trying to prove myself as an amazing mom, I missed out on most things I enjoyed. I had no time to read books I had purchased and had on my list to enjoy. I had to say no to lunch dates after work and evening events with friends because I was too busy trying to be Super Mom. Get a manicure? When the heck would I have time for one of those? Go to the movies with the kids? Sorry, kids, you’ll have to ask your dad because mommy’s too busy getting all her lessons ready for school this week. I missed out on a ton of fun with family and friends because I took on too much.
- I was completely exhausted, and so were my kids.
How greedy I was to try to do it all! As I look back now, my poor girls were exhausted and didn’t have much fun being pulled to all my meetings and scheduled events. I’m so lucky they were so patient and well-behaved through that year. I am sure it was an and even more exhausting and rough year for all three girls than it was for me. I was nuts thinking that I could do it all, and that they could do it all with me too. It was unfair and greedy of me to put myself first.
As that school year ended, I realized I needed to lessen my load. I decided to drop some of my volunteer duties so my kids had more time to hang at home and wind down. I made plans with friends I had neglected from being so busy. My girls and I had time to go to the movies or the playground after school. My stress and anxiety went way down. I remember my oldest daughter telling me one evening, “Mommy, I’m so glad you aren’t doing all that stuff anymore. You yell way less than you used to.”
I tried hard to be Super Mom, but it was something I couldn’t do. It simply wasn’t worth it for me. This simple life is way more my style. And we are all happier.