Supermom is a Myth


2014-08-28 19.53.10

Supermom is a Myth.

I missed three parent teacher conferences, two dentist appointments, ignored 7 voicemails and neglected to volunteer to make a meal for the cast of the HS musical all in one week…and that’s on a good week.

Life with five children, as a work at home entrepreneur with a dairy farmer who works an average of 79.5 hours per week for a husband is far from glamorous.

I have been a stay at home first time mom of one, full time college student pumping in the commuter parking lot mom, married mom, active duty military mom, separated mom, divorced mom, single mom, re-married mom, working part time mom, volunteering part time mom, working from home mom, working outside the home mom, stay at home mom of two under two plus one more, and on and on and on.

Currently my role is full-time work at home mom, though many aspects of being a small business owner involve me leaving the home front. So there’s also that. I don’t have set hours. My husband’s hours are somewhat fluid depending on the season, weather, and well,the day.

Each and every role I have held with the word “mom” attached to the end of it has been difficult, rewarding, amazing, tear inducing and stressful. And only very humbly, and with trepidation, do I dare say that after 15 years of mothering, five children, and the aforementioned roles: that being a stay at home mom, while not garnishing an income outside the home was, (for me), the hardest of all.

Please notice I said for me.

But regardless of which combination of roles I have had (and currently have), at any given time, there was one thing that was always just out of reach: that perfect parenting balance we see pictures of on Pinterest. I never seemed to be able to get everything “together”. And I felt like a failure.

I’ve seen infographics and read blog posts with fantastic advice and magic steps one can take in order to achieve that balance-nirvana that eludes so many, (myself included), but at least for me, things are rarely in balance, in fact, my scale is more like a tee totter on meth most days. Tilted and skewed one way or the other has become the new norm.

It wears on us. Yes even us, here in the boondocks capital of New England, surrounded by hay fields and cows. And no, we are not sitting in rocking chairs snacking on Ben & Jerry’s pints in a circle singing a family chorus of kumbaya. (Though we did actually all sing a few verses of “These are a few of my favorite things” from the Sound of Music soundtrack the other night when the power went out and we had ALL FIVE kids in the bed with us. Brittany, my oldest has some pipes!)

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I don’t like staying up late working, waking up tired, and losing my temper with my little cherubs. And they don’t like scrounging for snacks because mommy has been too busy to go grocery shopping at anything other than the gas station in who knows how long. (Note: a trip to town for us is at least 25 min drive in either direction, one of the pitfalls of rural life).

When I get weary from answering everything that is mompreneurship, and want to throw in the towel, or lock the door and hide under the covers, I think of the amazing young people in our home, who are growing up with two parents who care about each, their vocation, -who work hard, and don’t expect things will be handed to them.

They are the reason I get out of bed every day and keep on going. They may not enjoy mom and dad being busy now, and they may lose out on 7 nights of from-scratch meals, a spotless house, and a dozen other ways we may not necessarily be able to dote on our children.

Oh but what they are gaining!

They are gaining examples of two people, male and female, who work hard to provide for the family they love and cherish beyond words, they are growing up knowing that accountability and responsibility trump entitlement, that life isn’t always easy or fair or make any sense at all, and that’s a good thing.

  • My kids have cereal for dinner on the reg.
  • Laundry? We buy lots of underwear.
  • Appointments require multiple reminders and must be posted on no less than three calendars.
  • Birthday parties are more like polaroid moments than Kodak.
  • One activity per child per season, or my brain will implode.
  • Siblings help each other and the chore chart IS happening, no allowances, money is earned.
  • My husband and I both clean up poop on any given day, and the next day we do it all over again.

I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have to be supermom and I may never have it all together, and that’s ok. My kids are dressed, fed, sheltered from the elements at night, schooled, disciplined, Spiritually guided, and deeply loved. Pass the apple jacks please.

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