It is time to retire ALL the prefixes. Because just being a plain old “mom” is hard enough without adding a prefix filled with expectations – most of which are completely unattainable. So let’s just let go of:
- Full-time mom
This is applied to women who do not work outside of the home. Seems harmless… until you recognize that the opposite of the full-time mom is the “working mom”, implication being that those of us with paying jobs must be parenting only part-time. Really?!? Is that a thing?!? Because as far as I can tell, parenthood is a 24/7 sort of endeavour, regardless of what else you have on your plate.
- Working mom
So I guess that makes the mother who doesn’t have a job someone on a permanent vacation? There are no working dads. There are just men with jobs. Some of them are dads.
This one is interesting because it gets thrown at women who have jobs outside of the home and women who do not. If your kids get to school on time, play a couple of sports, and have homemade birthday cakes, you are at risk of being labeled a “supermom”. If you manage these things while still finding time to take a yoga class, go for a run around the neighbourhood, and/or hold down a job, it is unavoidable. You WILL be referred to as a “Supermom”… probably behind your back… definitely in a snarky tone.
The implication is that you are somehow doing all of these things to show up other mothers. Your children will clearly end up in therapy, your marriage is no doubt in trouble, and you must be botoxing…. Or could it be that you are just well-organized, health-conscious, and accomplished? Just sayin’.
Parenting is hard. Being a woman is hard. So let’s apply a little kindness. I love the word “mom”. It’s what my kids painted on the coffee mug I use in the morning and what they call me when they aren’t arguing with me (in which case, I become M.O.T.H.E.R). So let’s not sully such a beautiful syllable with a bunch of pasted on descriptors that are really only there to make us all feel bad about whatever choices we have made.
I always like the alternative phrase: NON working mother. Which means taking care of the house, the family, the kids, the dogs, the cats, the shopping, cleaning, organizing … that’s NOT work. That must be why it is so restful.
As opposed to dads… who are just… dads.
Good post. I have always disliked the term “super mom”. I think it pushes women even further beyond their limits, in an effort to somehow ‘prove’ they deserve such a silly description. All mothers are super, end of.
I think Supermom is a media term. I’m not convinced that there are women out there trying to be Supermoms. In fact, I think that it just makes women feel somehow bad about accomplishments that should be viewed as positives. Just a thought…
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Well I have seen many women around me putting themselves under huge pressure to do SO much, which can then be rattled off while waiting to pick up kids at school, as a list of tasks completed and/or yet to be ticked off, that I believe they are responding – subconsciously – to this newly created description. I did it myself, now and then! Before realising I needed to chill a bit more and just enjoy the experience before it was over! Glad I did… 🙂
When my first two were in elementary school I ran half the fundraisers, went on every field trip, and organized damn near every class party, while I worked full-time. With my third one, I do none of that (except the working… ha ha) And while I still believe firmly in participating in school success and all that, I have to say that I don’t miss any of it. In fact, I like hearing my youngest tell me about her trip to the Museum far more than I liked actually being there. And we spend far more time just enjoying each other’s company than I did with the other ones. Sadly, you can’t really have much bonding when you are constantly strapped into various rows in a mini-van, racing from one activity to another!!
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Moms juggle while they walk forward. The key is to keep juggling and keep walking, which can be harder than hell. But, keep a good sense of humor for when the balls drop and have a good Chardonnay in the fridge.
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I am okay with the juggling and the walking forward. Not so pleased to be juggling or walking forward on a mine field where a single misstep might detonate a nasty label and nuke my self esteem.
Love it. Very funny. Since I am tall, in my case, when I watch my head, I step in something. When I watch where I am walking, I hit my head. Oh well.