Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In Search of Super Mom

Lately I have been thinking about the ideal of "Super Mom." I wonder if she is really out there or if like Big Foot, she's a fantastic story that few truly believe in. I suppose it's a matter of opinion, depending upon what expectations you hold for the title of "Mom." Here are some ideas I had for myself.

Before I had kids, I wanted to be the mom who baked and decorated all of their birthday cakes instead of buying them from the store. So far, I am 3 for 3. Mia's first two birthdays included cupcakes that I frosted and then displayed on a tiered metal stand. This was fairly simple, but the effect was nice. For her third birthday, I decided on something more elaborate, a three-layer castle cake with ice cream cone towers. My practice cake was a disaster, but miraculously, the actual birthday cake looked wonderful (and was delicious, too!). Of course, the problem now is how to top that? Logan's first birthday is quickly approaching, and I feel the need to make sure his party is as nice as Mia's was! This could be an issue.

Before I had kids, I wanted to be the mom who made all of their Halloween costumes. Brett got me a sewing machine, and I attempted to learn to sew. My sister-in-law kindly spent a LOT of time working with me. I did manage to finish a couple of projects, but I determined that I do not like to sew! As far as making Halloween costumes goes, I am 0 for 4. I didn't feel to badly about buying all of Mia's costumes so far (pumpkin, butterfly, and pink poodle). Logan's first Halloween costume was handed down from his cousins, and he was a darling little sweet pea. I accept the fact that I could never had made anything so cute, anyway.

Before I had kids, I wanted to be the mom who breastfed for at least a year (exclusively for the first 6 months). I succeeded with Mia despite working full-time and frying a couple of AC adapters for my breast pump. Then, at about 23 months, I decided I was done with nursing. Now, Logan is 10 1/2 months and going strong. I am hoping to be able to let him nurse until he decides he is done. We'll see how that goes...

Before I had kids, I wanted to be the mom who made all of her own baby food. I was too overwhelmed as a first-time mom to manage this while working full-time. I feel a bit bad about that since Mia ate that awful jar stuff (although, she never complained)! Once I started making food for Logan, I realized how easy it was. I was sad when he decided he was going to feed himself, and I didn't need to keep making yummy, fresh purees for him. It's so much cheaper, plus he has had a greater variety of foods and everything looks, smells, and tastes more like actual food.

Before I had kids, I wanted to be the mom who does sign language with her baby. It definitely did not happen with Mia. However, she turned out fine! Once she started talking around age 1, she quickly strung words together, and now she is extremely verbal. People comment everywhere we go about how well she speaks, and they are surprised to learn that she is only 3. Logan is very different. He is much more active, although he is becoming more and more vocal. I am considering brushing off this ideal and trying out the sign language with him. Notice I have not committed to it, however.

Before I had kids, I wanted to be the mom who cloth-diapered. I gave up on this idea pretty quickly when considering day cares for Mia. In retrospect, I wish I had checked out the options. I didn't even realize what major improvements they've made to cloth diapers, and now I realize that we could have cloth diapered at home even if we used disposables for day care. I began thinking about this again when I was pregnant with Logan, but I still wasn't sure I could manage it. After 2 months of trying everything else to clear up his diaper rash (he was red everywhere the disposables came in contact with his skin!), we borrowed some cloth diapers from a friend and never looked back. I LOVE our Fuzzi Bunz!

Perhaps the oddest part of all of my expectations for myself as a mom is that I wanted to do all of these things while working full-time. I am finding it is so much easier to be the mom I wanted to be since I am at home with the kids. On the other hand, it makes me want to be that much more of the ideal mom! I have tried to remind myself that there is really no such thing as "Super Mom." There are women who have done all of the things I hoped to do (and perhaps, more), and they are all SUPER. And there are women who have done none of those things, and perhaps, they have found other ways to be SUPER. What I really try to remind myself is that all moms are SUPER just because they are moms. We have to be. Failure is not an option when it comes to our children. The important thing is to recognize success, no matter how small. After all, it's the little things that matter the most.

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