Critters And Crayons is a Mom Blog about kid activities, cooking, literature, community, greener living and any other intriguing and odd things that bring happiness and laughter. It seeks to find humor in the most humorless of parenting situations. There may be some bad around us, but there’s also a lot of good.
I always laugh when I hear someone use the term “Super Mom”. The term has been thrown my way on occasion, which is flattering, but there is no pride in a compliment when you know it’s not true. I want to dispel the myth of the Super Mom. She’s a paragon. A noble aspiration. And a total crock of crap.
I want people to understand, that when mom bloggers like me, or Alpha-moms in your social circle, put out great photos and narratives about a fantastic day at the park, a creative and time-consuming kid activity, or baking a yummy made-from-scratch-with-all-organic-ingredients-10-step-cardamom-buttermilk-cake, that moms put the good stuff out into the ether because they’d rather not put out the bad stuff.
To announce the bad stuff, is frankly, embarrassing. And it chips away from the brittle facade of the ever-patient, loving, magnanimous and selfless Super Mom.
Let us be clear. No one can do it all. Anything anyone does well comes at the expense of something else. Choosing to exert time and energy in one Mommy direction causes an equal and often compounding reaction in the opposite direction according to the unfair First Irrefutable Law of Mommyhood Physics.
We, as mothers, must choose what we can afford to let go.
For me, I love to cook, play with my kids and write. I hate laundry. Loathe it. Detest it. I would pay someone a lot of money to come over every day to do it. I will happily bake a loaf of French bread from scratch, and watch it rise, while writing a research paper on the mating rituals of cicadas, than do laundry. So, this is the thing that suffers in my house. And I’m about to make a lot of moms feel really good about themselves.
Behold my bi-weekly laundry pile.
Every two weeks or so, when we’re all down to our very last pair of skivvies, I consolidate all the hampers of dirty clothes and become a hermit until all the laundry is done. I have friends who are uber-efficient and they do a load a day. That’s what’s important to them. I guarantee something else suffers. They’re not baking French bread from scratch or writing research papers on the mating rituals of cicadas.
So, mid-month, every month, and here I am. I wash that pile and hope I get a load done before anyone has an accident and we’re out of underpants. And then I dry it and pile it on our guest bed.
Then, I grab a Diet Dr. Pepper and flip on DVR’ed episodes of Chopped or The Next Food Network Star and I sit there like a Chinese prisoner and fold that odious pile for hours. I put it all away that night. And then I coast for another two weeks doing my mommy things, playing with my kids, cooking healthy meals, writing about how awesome we are as that laundry pile mounts and mounts. Child Protective Services hasn’t busted my door down yet.
You might judge my system as inefficient or lazy and I’m okay with that. It beats my former pre-kid system of just buying new underwear every week and trashing the old. I’d say this system is a major improvement.
So, don’t be fooled. Anyone that acts like Super Mom, calls herself Super Mom, or sees someone else as Super Mom should know that Super Mom is a complete farce. We all carry figurative dirty laundry on this mommyhood journey. Mine just happens to be literal, too.
Not you? You sure? Think really hard. I guarantee you suck at something. We all do.
So, remember that the next time you look at someone and think she’s got all this mom stuff figured out.
We. All. Suck. At. Something.
It’s the Second Irrefutable Law of Mommyhood Physics. Don’t forget it.