Monday, August 2, 2010

Do You Have The Supermom Syndrome?

When I read the below article, I can say that this year I can definately relate. With all the craziness with my grandmother I have been trying to be this super human and get everything done and still find all the time in the world for my daughter. I go to bed tired and wake up tired, I could swear that I work in my sleep. I hope that you all can relate.
The Supermom Syndrome
By Marina Chernyak, the owner of 1001Shops LLC

We see it every day: Supermom’s who seem to juggle work, three kids, a dog, and managing a home without batting an eyelash. They seem so in control of things, and that nothing fazes them. However, we fail to see that behind that Supermom, is a woman struggling to keep up with her needs against the needs thrust upon her by her world. Take for example this mom from an episode of Grey’s Anatomy a couple of seasons ago: because she was too busy keeping her children underfoot, she had failed to take time to eat and nourish herself, thus she ended up in the emergency room.

I think part of the problem is that many women are made to feel guilty about the choices they make when it comes to becoming either a working mom or a stay-at-home mom. Working Moms find themselves conflicted between the demands of work and parenting, sometimes, just like the character of Lynette on Desperate Housewives, finding themselves in a quandary when they have important deadlines to meet and a child who needs their attention. On the other hand, Stay-at-Home Moms can also find themselves questioning their choices. For some SAHM’s, insensitive comments such as “you’re wasting away (intellectually/professionally)” can be infuriating.

While I am not sure if the “Supermom Syndrome” is an official term, but in an article I came across in Women’s Health Matters, it was said that we should strive not to be “Supermom” but to be a “super mom”. To become this, it is important for Mom’s to remember that they need to take care of themselves, too. After all, how can we care for others when we are incapacitated, whether physically, mentally, emotionally or psychologically?

Here are some steps Mommies can take to keep themselves in tip-top shape holistically:

Go out to lunch with friends! Taking time out to be with other adults can allow a Mom to feel like her ‘old self’ again.
Schedule periodic self-care activities, such as pampering spa treatments, manicures, or a haircut.
Set aside a 15-20 minute “Me” time daily. During this time, no phone calls from work or yells of “MOOOOOOM” will be entertained, unless of course it’s an emergency with the children.
Having “Date Night” with the hubby on a regular basis can also keep women feeling special and loved.
Letting go of the guilt Mommy’s feel, especially those who are forced to work several jobs, is not easy too, no matter how much they love their careers. It is but a normal response to feel a tug at their heartstrings when they have to leave for work and they hear their baby crying out to them. For some, they feel jealous of the closeness their kids build with their nannies or sitters. However, what Mom’s can do to ease the guilt can include the following:

Setting boundaries between work and family that is met consistently and firmly, NO MATTER WHAT. For example, telling their colleagues/partners/bosses that they will not receive calls or work during dinner time so they can spend time with the children.
Create little family rituals, such as setting aside a regular bedtime story time for the kids or doing something together every weekend, can help ease the guilt and sadness of having to spend so much time apart.
Try to create a work schedule that can accommodate special activities your kids are involved in. For example, try to find out months in advance when your kids recitals, programs or competitions are set and plan this ahead.
Being a Supermom is no easy feat. In fact, most women struggle with trying to fit into Supermom’s shoes. The problem is, many times, we forget that we don’t have to be that person. What matters is that we are the best mom’s we can be for our kids, wouldn’t you agree? This way, we can be a SUPER MOM.

Be sure and visit the author, Marina Chernyak, who is the co-owner of 1001Shops LLC, an online store of fine imported products like Music Boxes, Walking canes and Venetian Masks.

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