I've copped a little bit of flack from a couple of people over my use of the term 'Supermum' in my new online programs. I think those who don't like it believe it has a meaning of being 'perfect' or having to be better than everyone else. But I disagree.
I want to explain why I think 'Supermum' is a great name, what it means to me and what it means to you.
I've always loved the idea of Superheroes, having certain powers and fighting off the bad guys. Obviously this is a fantasy because they aren't real, but the notion behind them is very cool.
If you know anything about Superheroes and who they are, all of them have an alter ego. Usually one that is quite subdued in comparison to their Super 'persona' and considered 'normal' by society. What I think is very cool though, is that there are so many Superheroes and they are all unique in their own way.
There are both male and female superheroes and they each have various and differing 'powers' as well as, wait for it....weaknesses.
Let's look at some examples:
Superman - he can fly, has X-ray vision and incredible strength, but he can also be crippled by Kryptonite.
Spiderman - he can cling to walls, trapeze through the air on a thin piece of sticky web and also has incredible strength, but lacks faith in his abilities at times leaving him open to self-sabotage (sound familiar?).
The Hulk - is massive, stronger than anyone, but tends to be clumsy and break things easily.
Wonderwoman - She's strong, smart and can fight, but she isn't very quick or powerful.
Elektra - can fight pretty much anyone, but rates low for strength, speed and durability.
Catwoman - similar to Elektra, she's a super intelligent fighter, but lacks speed, strength and power.
Supergirl - this girl is pretty much as 'perfect' as Superheroes go. She's strong, almost indestructible, smart, quick and pretty powerful. But just like Superman, bring a long a little bit of Kryptonite to the party and the girl goes to pieces.
The point I'm trying to make here is, every Superhero has their own strengths and weaknesses and so do we. Every mum does an AMAZING job bringing up their children the best way they know how. Here are a list of things I see in the hundreds of mums I know. Most are strengths, but some can also be seen as weaknesses.
- Multitasking - can do like a million things at once!
- Organisation - able to pack three lunches, find lost socks, do the washing, dishes, vacuum the floors, have a career, exercise, socialise with friends and even brush their hair once in a while.
- Knowing where all children are at all times (try asking the Dads to do this!) - it's a 6th sense.
- Fierceness in protecting their children - will do anything they can to prevent their children from being in harm's way.
- Insurmountable Love - No matter how much their child upsets them, they will always love them with all their heart.
- Patience - will sit there with their child for 30 mins just so they can tie their own shoelace.
- Incredible Teachers - teaching them all about the world from cooking, to the alphabet, to taking them to the zoo. Every experience for your child teaches them something.
- Selflessness - always doing things for everyone else instead of themselves.
- Empathy - listens to their children and makes them feel that they understand.
- Strength - both in body and in mind.
- Resilient - even when the chips are down, they keep going on and on and on.
- Fun - love having a laugh and playing with their children.
- Authoritative - is able to set boundaries to teach their children how to behave.
- Wonderful cook - serves delightful meals the whole family loves.
Obviously this list could keep going on and on for a long time. For me, personally, I believe my strengths are teaching my children to have fun through play and exercise, resilience (I have been knocked down many many times and just keep on plugging away), strength (although strength of my mind has been falling short lately) and a fierceness of protection for my kids. My weaknesses that I'd like to improve on are my patience, my inability to just sit still and enjoy the small moments before they disappear and not shouldering stress for too long without asking for help.
I had a discussion recently with a lovely group of women who were concerned that as women, we always want more instead of just being happy with what we have and who we are. It was really interesting to see the different points of view. To give a quick summary, it was basically along the lines of constantly comparing ourselves to others instead of being happy that we and our families are healthy and well (in retrospect to families who have lost loved ones through tragedy and so forth).
I think every time we hear of or are touched by someone else's loss, we are always forced into looking at our own families and being thankful for them and not taking for granted each and every day we get to spend with them. However, I also think that despite these terrible things that happen, we still have to live our own lives the way we want to live them. It's ok to want to be better or to improve yourself in whichever area you see fit. It's how we grow. We wouldn't tell our children to not bother learning anything new or try to improve, so why should we tell ourselves that. If anything, it would be selfish not to strive for the things you want if you are capable of achieving them. It's ok to want more.
You are all amazing Supermum's, regardless of which 'powers' you have. You play to your strengths and work on improving areas of your life that aren't so powerful. But, the biggest and most important thing I want to get across to you is - stop comparing yourself to others. We are all SUPER in our own unique ways. Flaunt what you're good at, learn from those who you aspire to be like, but DON'T compare yourself and make yourself feel less than worthy.
Don't let anyone make you feel less than that. Ever.
Write down your super powers (strengths). Do it in the comments below. Make them real and be proud.