We live in a culture where women (and stay-at-home dads or single dads) are conditioned to believe we should “do it all.” We should have the perfect marriage, children, job, and home. The old cliche of suburban America is still ripe within our culture. Time and time again, we see this portrayed in our own lives as well as television, movies and books. My question is why?
What women do on a daily basis to take care of their families is admirable. Regardless of whether we are stay-at-home moms or working moms, we all want one thing: what’s best for our families.
While I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for eight years, there’s one thing that makes me bristle: supermoms. Now before you get all huffy and start shouting obscenities or writing hate mail, just hear me out.
Why Being a Supermom Isn’t a Good Idea When You Have a Mental Illness
1. You stretch yourself too thin, unable to take care of yourself too
I’m a huge advocate for taking care of yourself, especially mentally. Taking care of ourselves is something as women we often neglect, regardless of whether we are married or single, with or without kids. We often think we need to sacrifice ourselves for our kids.
Selfish as it may seem, I won’t sacrifice my health or who I am as a person just to show I can do it all. Because the truth is…I don’t want to do it all. If I stretch myself so thin, what good am I as a parent and a wife?
2. You feed into competitiveness
There is fierce competitiveness between women, especially in regard to parenting. Many of the moms I’ve been around are nearly intolerable. They are rude and catty, and many are phony. They are peacocks, flashing their feathers, saying, “Look at me! See how good I can be. I have a perfect life. I have the perfect kids.” And should the truth be known, behind closed doors, it’s a very different picture.
Women gossip and compare their kids, there is no denying it. And while I’m not going to lie and say I’ve never done this, I refuse to speak those thoughts out loud and play the game. I have no desire to feed into their comments: “I’m a better home-school teacher than you.” “My kids have created cooler crafts.” “Oh, look what my special kids did today.” “My kids don’t eat that.” “My kids don’t do that.”
3. You feel obligated to over-schedule your life and your kids
There is a need in the modern American family to constantly be going and be involved. In our fast-paced lives, we rarely slow down and take the time to relax. The day starts very early in the morning and ends late at night, leaving us feeling exhausted physically and emotionally, only to get up and do it again the next day, not realizing how thin we wear ourselves down. I think it’s important to teach our kids balance between obligations, fun, and taking care of ourselves.
“Trying to be Supermom is as futile as trying to be Perfect Mom. Not going to happen. ~ Arianna Huffington ~
Sound off, give me your thoughts on this situation. I look forward to reading your comments!
When faced with challenges in life, we all have ways we cope. But what happens when you suffer from anxiety? Things can seem ten times worse and it’s easy to get lost in negativity. For those of you who suffer from anxiety, I hope this short story helps. And if I can leave you with one thought: always remember there are rainbows after a storm.
I have tried to fight it off but I can feel it coming, slowly brewing deep inside. The darkness is forming and moving closer, taking on its threatening shape. I’ve seen darkness like this before but I convince myself this time is different. This time is worse. This time it won’t work out. I feel my breaths come in shorter intervals and the air is being locked out of my lungs; it’s nothing short of feeling like I’m suffocating.
I’ve tried for an hour to find the silver lining but it’s hidden in the darkness. And now I am losing control.
“Everything will be okay,” Brandon says from behind me and I feel his hands on my shoulders.
I want to believe him but the overbearing storm is upon me. It has finally taken over my mind and negative voices scream inside me. This time it’s going to be bad. I just know it. This time we won’t be okay. This time I won’t hold on. I will quit.
“You know there’s no way we could have predicted this,” Brandon says as he turns my face to him, his eyes searching. “It sucks that nothing seems to be going right. But just because it’s something different this time doesn’t mean we haven’t seen this storm before.”
I know he’s right. I turn from him and sit on the couch, hands in my lap, fidgeting. “What are we going to do when the money runs out?”
“We’ll figure it out.”
And what if we don’t? I grab Brandon’s hand and squeeze, holding on. If you had just… I shake my head, trying to get the thoughts to go away but they dig their claws in and hold on tight. It’s been one thing after another and I’ve hit the threshold..
Before I know it, tears are falling from my eyes and I’m blubbering like a two-year old throwing a temper tantrum, rage building inside, hot and debilitating. My mind will win this time. It always does. It always unravels me. I cannot think straight. And more than anything, I cannot breathe. It’s terrifying, every time it happens. My chest pounds and hurts and I wonder for a fleeting moment, Is this what a major heart attack feels like?
I grab handfuls of my hair, the pressure at my scalp offering comfort from the negativity and madness swirling in my mind. “This cannot keep happening. Something’s got to give,” I say.
Brandon puts his hands on mine, pressing gently, trying to get me to let go but I refuse. I try to take a breath, but my lungs continue to lock out the air. I feel the room closing in on me. I’m getting dizzy.
“You’ve got to breathe.” Brandon says.
I look up and see the fear in his eyes. I see myself reflected in his eyes, a monster losing control. He wraps his arms around me and my rigid body stays there a few seconds before collapsing against him. I force myself to take deep breaths. I focus my mind on this one moment as I take in the smell of his aftershave and allow the warmth of his body to calm me. After two long breaths I feel the storm start to slow. The pains in my chest are slowly going away. Gaining control once more, I take deep breaths and feel myself return to the here and now.
My mind is starting to give up; it knows it’s defeated. With Brandon by my side it cannot win. And I know when I finally regain logical thinking, the negativity will slither away. I know the storm will come again at some point, but I will make it through, even if my mind tries to convince me otherwise and make it worse than the last time.
I will be prepared next time. Because every time it happens I become stronger. I refuse to quit. I refuse to give in. I refuse to let it win.
No material on this website can be used without permission. All Rights Reserved. Christy Zigweid - 2018
**I am not a licensed counselor nor a medical doctor and the views on this website are solely mine. **
If you are in crisis and need immediate medical assistance, call 911 or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273- (TALK) 8255 or text "Start" to 741-741
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