This is a post I first did for Positively Oakes in May 2015 but I wanted to share with you here too because it’s a theme near and dear to my heart. Be encouraged, mom, that you can still reach for those aspirations, but in the end, our little children love us just as we are.
He’s three and a half, this sweet, precocious firstborn of mine. He’d live on snacks and fresh outdoor air. And about a month ago, this kid started calling to me from the other room, each shout of “mom!” increasing in volume and intensity. He didn’t even stop to catch a breath.
I tried to respond but knew he couldn’t hear me. (How many moms out there can attest to their children hollering just to hear their own voice? *nods* Frustrating. And sometimes hilarious!)
“I’m coming! I heard you the first time—I just can’t be there in an instant. Who do you think I am: Supermom?”
In typical toddler fashion, he didn’t hear me. Or he didn’t acknowledge that he heard me. But this “super mom” idea struck a chord with me. I stay home with my two boys full-time but also design websites, blogs, and social strategies for small businesses and creatives (learn more here) so life can sometimes be a juggling routine—amen, right! Between classes and work projects and wearing the mom hat 24/7, I had been burning the candle at both ends. Honestly, it was a lot.
So I asked my son, “Do you think I’m Supermom??”
First he nodded enthusiastically, with his big heartbreaker eyes and a signature smile melting my heart. He’s always been into all things superhero. As soon as he was potty trained, he had wanted to pick out which superhero underwear he would put on each morning: Batman, Superman, Green Lantern… I thought this idea of me being Supermom would be pretty cool to him.
Then he cocked his head (again, signature) and look pensive.
“Um, no. You can just be mom.”
You can just be mom.
At first I didn’t know what to say. What? I’m totally Supermom. My kid has no idea.
Then I got it, my friends, and in a BIG way. And it humbled me to my core. “So, you just want me to be regular mom?”
“Yeah. Regular mom.”
Yep, I got it all right. Regular mom. My little boys don’t realize what goes on in big adult life. They don’t realize why mommy does what she does with “computer stuff.” They don’t know why I have people over to work and why sometimes mommy is pretty (extremely!) tired. All they want is their mom to play with them. They just want to read books and be outside and eat snacks and laugh together. They just want their mom.
And I don’t ever want to take this crazy, beautiful life with my two impressionable, hilarious, sweetest ever sons for granted.
You’re a busy lady, too, mommy. I know.
You have household responsibilities, work outside the home, little kids with lots of needs, a business you’re trying to build, maybe health issues, maybe a stressful situation you’re trying to handle. Maybe you’re just barely keeping your head above water.
If you’re a mom boss, you wear a lot of hats too—perhaps more than I do. There are you wonderwomen out there who work outside the home in addition to caring for your families, and you STILL are chasing your own small business dream after hours. You’re burning the midnight candle to get things done because you have this fire in your belly that won’t be extinguished.
Mommy, there’s something I want to whisper in your ear.
Don’t try to do it all.
Do what you have to do, do what you feel led to do, do what your family can handle—but don’t feel like you have to do it ALL.
Even if you can in the short-term, you don’t have to. I totally get chasing after more than what feels comfortable at present for the goals that you have for your future. I’m doing it right now. Being a mom and running a business is attainable; don’t let people scare you away from your dream.
But perhaps remember one of the reasons you decided to take on a side gig in the first place. For me, it was a creative outlet and means of income so that I could fully enjoy staying home with my kids. It’s a blessing—a challenge, but a huge blessing. So remember, you don’t have to feel that intense pressure to take on the world because all our kids crave is unconditional love and undivided attention from their mothers.
So run after that dream. Chase that lead. But don’t set the bar on yourself too high. Take a breather. No matter what, nothing is more important in the grand scheme of life than my kids knowing that nothing was more important to me than them.
Our babies don’t need super mom. It is oh so good to remember that they like us as just mom.