Combat the Supermom Syndrome

Woman in a sweater

5 Tips Every Mom Needs to Take to “S” off Her Chest

Does the idea of being Supermom excite you? It’s a title that many mothers wear with great pride. Still others grow weary of being referred to that way. When we think of the history of the title Supermom, we know that it originates with Superman. Here’s an important thing to remember, Superman wore a costume. Clark Kent was only referred to as Superman once the suit and glasses were replaced with the famous “S” and a cape. But many times, mothers are expected to be Supermom at all times and expected to view it as a compliment.

I beg to differ. I think the title itself can be damaging to women who are already attempting to do “all the things” while putting themselves on the back burner, if they are on the stove at all.

There’s a lot to do in a day but who says you have to do it all or that it all has to be done right now? The idea of having healthy boundaries and systems in place that serve you, is of the utmost importance. If having systems in place to ensure things can carry on with or without you sounds like magic, then these tips are for you.

Here are 5 strategies to put in place now to combat the Supermom Syndrome. 

  1. Be vulnerable. Ask for help and then let people help you. The people that love you are not mind readers. If you look like Superwoman people will begin to believe that you are. Take off the “S” and let folks in your village and in your home know where you need support. Delegate and assign tasks if necessary. Or you can insource or outsource it. There are several apps and services available for a nominal fee with special offers for new customers for things like laundry, house cleaning and more. Be intentional about getting the help that you need instead of choosing to do it all yourself.
  1. Just say No”. The word no is a complete sentence. As moms we often feel we have to explain why we are unable or unavailable to assist. Have you ever tried offering a simple, “I’m unable to help with that this year but I’m sure it will be an amazing event.” Period. It feels good standing in your truth. There is only so much of you to go around and depending on the season you’re in, maybe it’s someone else’s turn to rise up and be available. Always remember that whatever volunteer position you’re in as a leader, have an assistant and a good team supporting you. Then you can simply turn over the reins.
  1. Perfection is the enemy of peace. The burden of perfection can lead to unhappiness and a lack of awareness and appreciation for what actually is. It causes us to compare the worst of ourselves to the best of others. We don’t have to cover up our imperfections with a false impression of perfection. You are good enough as you are. With a sink full of dishes, a hamper full of dirty clothes and kids who didn’t bathe tonight. It’s really ok. Tomorrow is a new day.
  1. Check your systems, Girl! What systems do you have in place? Feeling like you have to do it all and no one else can do it “right” really means you have not created systems that will allow you to step away to care for yourself and know that things won’t fall apart. Do you have the proper relationships and friendships that water you and not only pull or take from you? Are your home and life systems meeting your needs or adding to the chaos?
  1. Invest in yourself. Where have you invested in you recently? All of us have those places and areas where we know we need to come up higher and show up bigger. Have you made the investment there? It’s difficult to see our own blind spots. Is this the moment that you make the decision to put you at the top of your priority list? The goal of motherhood should be to work ourselves out of a job. The plan is that our children will eventually leave home and launch into their next phase. What will your “next” look like?

Motherhood doesn’t have to happen alone. Building a supportive village and network of family, friends and other mothers can make this journey one of collaboration instead of comparisons. Choosing the former, allows all of us to grow and move forward with the changing seasons of life.

Deborah Porter is a sought-after, influential voice on parenting, motherhood, self and soul care. She is a champion for moms everywhere and works with mothers globally to guide them through the process of learning to be gracious with themselves without the need to compare their motherhood journey with anyone else’s. Deborah is a certified life coach and regular contributor on CBS Virginia This Morning. Her advice column, Balance Life with Coach Deborah in Washington Parent, helps parents navigate the chaos, find their balance and not lose themselves in the role of mom. For more information visit Deborah’s complimentary Confident Mom e-book and additional tips are available




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