I’ve heard the terms “Super Mom” and “Wonder Woman” an uncomfortable amount of times over the past year or two. The more I’ve shared about our journey through Autism, homeschooling and life with four children in general, the more I heard them and the more I grew to dislike them…until yesterday.
I’ve been wrestling with God over my blessings. While incredibly thankful for them, I can’t seem to wrap my mind around why God would entrust them to me…scarred, damaged, no-idea-what-I’m-doing me. Having been raised in a dysfunctional home, I’m winging it most of the time. No parenting examples to pull from; no one to call when I need wisdom for the endless demands of motherhood…I feel utterly inadequate and yet, here I am. In the thick of it. Buried in therapy appointments, curriculum, toddler tantrums, Cheerios, and mountains of laundry. Then, you toss in society’s impossible-to-live-up-to version of what a housewife should look like and, what was already overwhelming, becomes devastating. So, when someone looked at my life from the outside and labeled me “Super Mom”…cue the chest pains. The stress was suffocating me. I felt like a fraud. How could anyone possibly think I’m a super anything?! And “Wonder Woman”??? I mean, come on…I think it’s fairly clear that that girl’s never given birth.
Then, yesterday morning, my children helped me realize that being a Super Mom doesn’t mean being having it all together. It doesn’t mean wearing high heels and a freshly-ironed apron while baking homemade chocolate chip cookies, as my children sit quietly around the kitchen table together doing their schoolwork. (Unless that’s your reality. If so…go, you!) It doesn’t mean always having the right answers or never making huge mistakes. It doesn’t even mean that you have the first clue about motherhood. Being a Super Mom means giving it your all and then a little bit more; doing your best, and admitting when you’ve been at your worst. Being a Super Mom means putting down that book you’ve been dying to read and picking up your son’s favorite book for the millionth time. Super Moms drink ice cold mugs of coffee and throw their unwashed hair up in a ponytail because they’ve been too busy changing diapers and talking through sibling fights to tend to themselves. Super Moms leave the laundry in the washer too long because they’ve been busy playing Barbies or Batman. Super Moms sacrifice. Super Moms hide in the bathroom and cry. Super Moms encourage other moms, and let them know they’re not alone on the journey. Super Moms are wholeheartedly poured out for the sake of pouring in to the next generation. Super Moms are a beautiful mess.
Yesterday, as I simultaneously painted my daughter’s teeny fingernails and read a preschool book to my son, I longed to drink my coffee while it was still hot. Then, my son looked up at me and gave me that smile. The smile that says, “Thank you for choosing me, Mom.” In that moment, I realized that I needed to give myself grace and learn to accept the compliment of “Super Mom”. I needed to hush that continual voice in the back of my mind that says, “You’ll never be enough.” I needed to own the titles God has given all mothers: Strong. Loved. Blessed. And, to truly be a Super Mom, I simply need to ensure that my children know those titles are theirs as well.