13 Apr The Chronicles of a Not-So-SuperMom
When I was coming up with a name for my blog, I was struggling at first. How was I going to be able to sum up what I wanted to share with the world in ONE title that would also give readers a little idea about my content? While I knew I wanted to talk about Everett’s journey, I also wanted the flexibility to talk about other things that tickled my fancy.
I started going through my old Instagram posts for inspiration, but it wasn’t my words that inspired me, but my readers comments.
Time and time again, I was told in a variety of ways that I was a “supermom.” It popped up in almost every single post, usually multiple times. From there I started thinking about why people were calling me one and when it started to happen. The majority of the comments came after Everett’s diagnosis. It didn’t end there. If you look up anything about special needs parenting, you’ll quickly run into how parents of special needs kiddos are somehow “superior” to parents with neurotypical children. We “love more,” “have more patience,” and our daily struggles mean that we win any “tough day” pissing contest.
Nothing had changed but a diagnosis, yet now that I was a mom to a non-neurotypical kid, I somehow became a “supermom” overnite.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the support my friends and family send my way, but I’m so far from being a supermom it’s not even funny. What really upset me, was seeing how society portrays mothers of kids with special needs. They act like mothers of typical children have it so easy. They’re sitting at home, drinking a glass of wine, eating chocolates, while their children are teaching themselves how to speak 5 different languages and solving world hunger. Their children are always so well behaved, they never have to repeat themselves, raise their voice, exercise patience, or flexibility. While their lives with their easy children are so heavenly, you have to feel sad for us poor, exhausted, at wits end supermoms.
Back that train up. EVERY MOM STRUGGLES.
I don’t know when this great divide between mothers happened, but it’s a real issue. somewhere along the line “we are equal” became “we are better.” We toil more, we mother more, we are superhuman. It’s a myth—and it sends a dangerous message.
The truth is that all mothers are allowed to be tired. All mothers are allowed to be frustrated. We are all just trying. We are just regular people raising the children we love. The flaws we had before we were parents are still the flaws we have today. Our special needs children have not perfected us by their very presence.
Does dealing with a special needs kid sometimes drain you more than a neurotypical child, leaving you feel spread thin and overwhelmed?
Do we sometimes feel grief for our children that those mothers might not understand?
Does this make us supermoms? Hardly. We are all doing the best we can. ALL OF US.
So here we are, this Not-So-SuperMom is just starting her journey, knocking down societies misconstructions one post at a time!