Waiting for Supermom

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Waiting for Supermom

  Do you have a “Supermom” friend? You know the one that:  

  • Has the answer for every parenting problem?
  • Works out all the time (and always seems to have the energy for it)?
  • Is always so stylish and put together?
  • Chairs every committee known to man (and brings actual home-baked goods to school functions)?

  Since many of us are figuring out this “mom” gig via trial and error, we may end up studying the women around us to help us gauge our own performance. Too often we may look at another woman and think, “What a Supermom, I wish I was like her.”   I’m so guilty of this. Why else would a perfectly reasonable woman stash piles of dirty laundry in a closet before Supermom and her kids come over for a playdate?   But until recently, I never gave thought to how my desire to “clean up a little” could be impacting the women around me. Let me elaborate:   A couple weeks ago, I had taken my kids over to a friend’s house for a playdate. While the older kids bounded down the hall to the playroom, the youngest (barely a year old) wanted very badly to stay in the kitchen with her Mama and me. After pulling pots out of the cabinets and throwing food on the floor, this little lady finally got it fixed in her mind that she would crawl up on the counter and play with the kitchen sink faucet.   At first her (already exasperated) Mama resisted, though I sensed that if I wasn’t there she’d probably just let her have at it. I so wanted to tell her, “I don’t mind- I’ll even help you clean her up!”   But I didn’t. I was afraid of being the friend who undermines another mom’s authority. So I just sat there. Doing. Nothing.   After a few minutes of continued whining, the tide turned in the Battle of Wills and Mama finally decided this was not a battle worth fighting. Within seconds, the little one was gleefully splashing in the sink and the three of us were enjoying a little sprinkle.   After this impromptu sink-bath, I held my friend’s sweet little water baby as she sopped up the mess. As she cleaned, she turned to me and said, “I’m so glad you didn’t mind her getting into the sink! Normally, I’d just let her jump right in but I wasn’t sure what you’d think!”   At that moment, my heart totally broke. I was so disappointed that in a moment of conflict, that I’d not taken the opportunity to encourage my friend to be her mom-self. To tell her that I would do the exact same thing. To let her know that I am not one of THOSE moms, who would judge her for doing what she felt was right for her family.   Now, do I really think she thought of me as a Supermom? No. But I hated the thought that perhaps I’d not been “real” enough with my friend- that who I’d portrayed myself to be had caused her to second guess what otherwise came naturally.   The whole exchange made me keenly aware of the illusions of motherhood that we tend to see in others, or perhaps that we want others to see in us. I’d never considered that perhaps:  

  • The mom who seems to have all the answers might also bear the shame of choices she isn’t proud of.
  • The mom who works out all the time might also be desperate to control a lifelong battle with her health.
  • The super-stylish mom might also be suffering in silence from a broken relationship.
  • The committee mom might also be searching for meaningful friendships to cure a chronic sense of loneliness.

  Sure, these women may not really have these particular skeletons hanging out in their closets. But the truth is we may never get close enough to the women around us to discover what truly is troubling their hearts.  If that’s the case, let’s commit ourselves to doling out an extra helping of encouragement to the women in our lives on a daily basis, to remind each other what a treasure we are in the eyes of our Creator.   Hebrews 3:13 tells us to “encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”   My challenge to you- encourage a mom today!

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