We all know her.
The perfect Mom.
She always keeps her cool. Her hair and make-up are always done (or she's so effortlessly beautiful, she doesn't need "doing"). Her kids are always cute, happy, clean, and perfect. She cooks, she bakes, she cleans the house, all while breastfeeding her little one in the Storchenwiege wrap. She makes her own organic baby food. She cloth-diapers all three of her little ones. Her eight-month old can recite the alphabet while walking backwards.
I actually know a few of these SuperMoms. They are my friends, and I love them.
I also hate them. Well, I don't really hate them. But I do hate that their SuperMom powers bring out my competitive side.
I see their limited edition, German woven wrap, and I convince myself that if only I had one, I could be a SuperMom, too.
I hear them talk about co-sleeping with their infant and their toddler in the family bed, waking up to lazy Sundays in bed, snuggling and bonding, and I convince myself that Jack will be scarred forever for being banished to his own room to sleep (through the night, I might add).
I read their Facebook status posts about going to the museum, the Co-op, and the gym all in the same day. And when they got home, they made dinner together (from scratch, using organic ingredients, of course), took gorgeous photographs of it, and blogged about it on their wildly popular Mommy Blog. And I convince myself that if I only had that new lens for our DSLR, my blog would be just as good as hers.
Then, I stop myself.
I get a grip on reality.
I realize that the wrap, the co-sleeping, the cooking, the blogging -- all of it is just a small piece of their parenting puzzle.
I'm not seeing the little baby who won't stop screaming unless he's being worn in the woven wrap, and the Mama who just wants to be able to take a ten minute shower without feeling guilty that she's breaking his heart because she's not holding him.
I'm not hearing about the sleepless nights spent nursing every thirty minutes which make the Mama feel like she needs to co-sleep even though a part of her might be wishing she could have her bed back to herself... And I'm not hearing about how guilty the Mama feels for wishing for something so "selfish."
And I'm not reading about how the self-imposed expectation to do it all and be it all is causing the Mama so much stress and resentment that she doesn't even know who she is anymore...
We see such small glimpses into each other's lives -- often in idealized situations, where the babes are having fun playing with their little buddies -- it's just really not fair to think we have the complete picture. We take the lovely parts we see and extrapolate them to create a pretty picture of the parts we don't see. We compare ourselves to a standard which is completely unattainable because it's not real.
When I start comparing myself to these SuperMoms, I just end up feeling terrible. And I know that I'll end up feeling terrible, yet it's still a struggle. I struggle with it most days.
And the best antidote I've found is to find some quiet time with my son, and realize that he's okay. Actually, he's more than okay. He's growing and learning and thriving. And I can take credit for a big part of that.
I'm doing the best that I can, and most days, that's more than sufficient.