In the last couple of years, I have had many friends become moms for the first time or have added a new member to their ever growing families. I enjoy watching them go through the ups and downs for motherhood. Not is a sick, mocking way but the fact that brings back memories of my baby years. My youngest is eight, so those years are a thing of the past in our family. I enjoy watching their little one grow and develop and see their little personalities form. It is exciting to watch new life discover and learn.
The one thing, though, that breaks my heart is what I see in the moms. I know I did this. I am sure every mom goes through this and then wee wonder why we are so depressed. It is like a switch that gets flipped and we go from feeling helpless and vulnerable to ultra independent and sometimes defiant in the face of our limitations. It get worse if there is more than once child in the family.
I call it the “Super Mom Complex”!
What is the “Super Mom Complex” you ask? It is where you try to do everything on your own (or almost everything) and you don’t ask for help. You don’t want to burden people with your needs, so you keep it in and you take care of things yourself. You get the mindset of “If you want it done right, just do it yourself”. The problem with this complex is we start to push away those around us and we don’t even realize it. After a while, we don’t understand why we no longer have someone offering to help us and then bitterness and resentment creep in. Do you see the pattern?
Here is an example- Your spouse comes home for work. You can see it has been a long day for him, so you let him relax for a while. There is nothing wrong in that. He needs a minute to relax before dinner. Instead of handing him the baby to cuddle with, you keep your darling strapped to you and you keep going with your chores or begin preparing dinner. When it get to working over the stove, you still don’t give the baby to your hubby, you put him/her in a swing or on the floor where you can see them and go about your task. Baby gets fussy and you start to get huffy because he doesn’t get up and aid in baby’s needs, you tend to baby yourself and try to keep an eye on dinner. If you have older kids as well, you are helping them with homework at this time. Dinner time comes and you flop into your chair, with baby still in your arms, and you try to eat. After dinner, you do the dishes. You help everyone get ready for baths and bed. By 9 pm you flop into the couch to get a five-minute breather before you get yourself ready for bed.
Now all day, you have played with baby, fed baby, gotten older kids off to school, gotten hubby off to work, cleaned your house, done your laundry. If you are a working mom- you have gone to your job after a crazy morning of getting baby ready to go to the sitters and have changed your clothes and baby’s clothes more than once due to projectile baby vomit. Did you at any point, stop to ask your darling husband to help kids with school work, if he didn’t just automatically do it? Did you have your older children do the dishes and sweep the floor under the table? Did you delegate some of the duties at all? At the end of the day, after kids were in bed and baby was sleeping, did you curl up with your husband and watch your favorite TV program? OR Did you do it all on your own?
I think, as moms, we forget there are other people around us who are there to help. We start the day off doing it all and we get into the routine and we just do not stop. We don’t see anything wrong with it because we are “doers”. We are caretakers. We are the go-to person when someone else needs something. That is how we were built. It is in that chromosome somewhere that makes us the kind of person we are. The problem is that today’s society tells us we HAVE TO do it all and we don’t need help. We are weak females and not woman enough if we don’t do it all.
LADIES!! THAT IS A LIE!!!
God gave us these abilities, but we also need to know when enough is enough and we need to ask for help.
IMO- in my opinion- I believe this is one of the big reasons there is a high divorce rate. Our men are created to “do”. They want to feel needed. Mostly by their wife and kids. If they feel useless, they become the couch potatoes we start to detest. There is nothing wrong with asking him to keep an eye on the baby while you make dinner. He would probably love to play with the newest member of the family. There is nothing wrong with asking him to get a load of laundry started while you sweep the floors. you are a team. You are meant to work together. Have him carry the baby carrier or your toddler. There is nothing wrong with it. If you show him you need him in your life, even for the little things, he will not become the couch potato and you will not become the butter wife who feels like she has no value but a baby machine or a housekeeper.
I know there are many who do really on the help of their husbands and others, but then there are Many others who do not. For some, there is no one to help. Typically these are single mothers or mothers whose husbands work away from home or are overseas. To them I still say, ask for help. You have friends and family who would love to help you. Have someone babysit for a couple hours so you can have time for you.
So what am I saying?
You Don’t Have To Do It All By Your Self!
You have people all around you. Ask them, they are willing to help.
Pray and talk to God as well. He will get us through so much more mentally and spiritually than anyone else ever could. Don’t get so caught up in your day to day that you forget to spend time with God and relax in His presence. It is refreshing and spending time with God fills that”bank” in you that you empty every day into others. When you set time aside for a quiet time with God, He nurtures you and loves you like you do those in your family. You never feel like you have nothing of yourself to give your family when you spend each day with God.
Same can go with your husband. If you spend time with both at the same time it is even better. It will strengthen your marriage and your spiritual relationships.
Once you start to focus more on your relationships with God, your husband, and your children and less on your chores, there will be a lot less stress.You will enjoy life much more. You will be a true Super Mom.