Feature Image Credit: pagingsupermom.com
Motherhood is not easy. It truly is the toughest, yet most rewarding job there is. It is a nonstop, continuous adventure that starts the moment a mom wakes up to the moment she attempts to fall asleep. Whether a mom is stay-at-home or works a full-time job, she never quite loses that title of “Mom” – which has perks and downfalls to it. Every mom should be seen as their own human being with unique interests and passions. They shouldn’t always be seen as a fast-moving, exhausted, overly caffeinated maternal figure – even if to their little one, that’s who they are. Finding that in-between state can be tough. Focusing on what strengthens a mom, and the unique person she is, can help.
However, like all things parenthood related, it isn’t that easy.
Not every mom is going to feel like she did her very best every single moment of every single day. She may run around nonstop caring for her baby, but feel as if she did more to mess up than keep her little one content. She may feel as if all the work she did in “cubicle country” that day was useless as she clicks on that “Bill Pay” button to send away her paycheck (and then some). She may make a “To-Do” list just to realize that only one item actually got done that day.
This may be reality for many moms, but another reality is that every new parent conquers some kind of tiny success during the day. From that tiny success grows bigger accomplishments and from there, even more, successful moments occur. It takes time and each step can be seen as a positive move towards more positive “momhood” moments.
Remembering when times were tough and simply knowing you got through those times can help a new mom climb out and conquer the rest of her day with full-force.
20 Little Successes Make All The Difference
Focusing on little accomplishments helps when you aren’t feeling confident stepping into motherhood. It isn’t easy getting through a day when you feel as if everything you’re doing isn’t up-to-par. Remembering the little successes and wrapping your head around those can hand over the confidence needed to positively move forward.
“As I've added more kiddos to my crew (I now have four kids), I have learned to appreciate more everyday Supermom Moments like when I bake a pie from scratch, do a craft with my kids, or even just get a home-cooked dinner on the table by 6 pm,” explains Bettijo B. Hirschi, a blogger and mom of four.
19 Making It Through That First Night
Whether it be the first night in the hospital or that first night home with your little one, simply making it through the night should be looked at through a positive lens. Sometimes your newborn will sleep for three-to-four hours before needing to be fed and, if that’s the case, take a moment to be grateful. If you are able to breastfeed right away, give yourself major credit because that is a struggle so many new moms have during that first overnight. If you’re recovering from a c-section and can physically get out of bed to care for your newborn, you deserve a huge round of applause. Even if your baby is in the nursery or NICU for that first night and you are laying in your bed wide-eyed and worried, you still have something to be grateful for: Your little one.
18 Keeping Your Cool During Times of Tantrum
“My Threenager had a major meltdown at a huge family party after a relative called her out for withholding a toy from one of the babies,” says Mom, Abbey Cole. “Instead of getting snarky at 'said relative' or losing my cool at my tantrum-ing daughter, I gathered my girl and we sat in the corner together until she calmed her napless self down.”
Tantrums are the worst. They sometimes can seem like the end of the world not only for the little one, but for the parent as well. If Mom is able to redirect and handle a tantrum appropriately, that moment should be cherished forever. This is not to say it will not happen again because, well, children are only human. However, living in the present is important if a tantrum was prevented and Mom was able to somehow hold onto an ounce of her sanity, grab a glass (or bottle) of wine and celebrate.
17 Feedings, Baths, Bedtime, and Mom Time
Evening routines aren’t always the easiest to do. If a mom is doing the routine on her own because her partner is working or because she is a single parent, the routine may not always go as smoothly as hoped. This may be because the baby is wide awake or gassy or overtired – or, hey, maybe Mom is. Also, it being the end of the day, both members of the party are often just on the verge of collapse.
If you are able to push through and complete that routine with a few minutes left to focus on you – you are one heck of a "Supermom." The first time this happens, it’s important to remember the feeling of accomplishment you felt. Keep that feeling of success with you for times when you feel disheartened.
16 Lions And Tigers And Toddlers – Oh My!
Public adventures are thrilling, but sometimes can be chaotic for moms. This chaos doubles (and sometimes quadruples) when venturing into the public with your own little ones and the little ones of others.
Jess Steiger, a pregnant mama of twins who nannies three other children on top of her own, survived a public outing with quite a crew. “Took my twins and 3 other toddlers who I nanny to the zoo by myself. This happens a lot because it is my job,” she says. This can be seen as a “Supermom Moment” not only because she was able to appropriately care for numerous toddlers at once, but because she successfully cared for herself and the little one brewing inside as well.
15 Packing For Baby, Packing The Car, And Packing For Parents
Traveling can be tricky when there’s a baby involved. You not only have to pack for yourself, you have to also pack for the little one which can include much more than just a few shirts and pairs of pants. Packing for a new baby often means feeding supplies (bottles and formula or breastfeeding/pumping supplies), diapers, wipes, binkies, blankets, food or snacks (if your little one is older), short sleeve and long sleeve options, blankets, additional outfits for those possible blow-outs, books and toys for entertainment, strollers, and sometimes even high chairs and swings.
If you’re able to pack all of that, plus pack for yourself, your partner, and the family pet – you better be treating yourself to one heck of a fancy coffee when you hit the road.
14 "Motherhood Is Messy" - Stop Comparing
“Motherhood is a messy, exhausting job, and it has taught me that to truly enjoy life I have to let go of my perfectionism and stop comparing myself to others,” explains Bettijo B. Hirschi. Letting go of that pull towards perfectionism can be tough – especially when social media throws unrealistic expectations your way from every angle. It can be even tougher stopping yourself from making automatic comparisons to other moms and their children.
Even if someone says, “Oh no, I never compare,” they are probably doing it without realizing it is happening. It’s human to compare and it’s human to judge. However, what makes you feel like a “Supermom” is when you replace those times of unintentional comparing and judging with positive, genuine moments of self-strength and love towards yourself and your little one.
13 Figuring Out Feedings
New moms have a lot of choices to make when it comes to how they want to feed their little one. Between breastfeeding, breast pumping, formula feeding, or supplementing here-and-there, it can be a tough decision. On top of that, many moms don’t want their little one near rice cereal or jars of baby food and would prefer the natural route.
Once a mom decides on a feeding route for their baby (whether it be a personal choice or a choice made due to health or latching issues), they then must test out the waters. Some moms struggle to breastfeed while it comes naturally for others. Some moms don’t want to breastfeed and then must make choices regarding formula and bottle brands. The choices continue as motherhood progresses and every little choice should be seen as a victory. Why? Because your little one is being fed – that’s huge.
12 When Mom And Dad Find Time For Themselves
The struggle is sometimes very real for new parents when it comes to finding time for one another. They may spend a lot of time together supporting and helping their little one during those initial days and weeks and even though that’s great, it isn’t time spent specifically as a couple.
Finding that “couple time” is important as parenthood progresses. This may mean finding time to just sit down alone without the new baby and just talk. This may mean watching one of the many missed episodes of your favorite Netflix show – or falling asleep together trying. Even laying it bed laughing at silly memes and videos counts. Finding time to laugh, talk, and discuss something outside of parenthood should be seen as a small, “Supermom” success – even if the little one isn’t physically involved.
11 Multitasking Mayhem
Moms become multitasking experts once they get into some kind of groove with their little one - or little ones. They may feel overwhelmed and overworked at first (or they just get used to the chaos), but once they fall into routine, the "Multitasking Mama Mindset” takes over. Once that happens, even amidst the stress, a less confident mom may start feeling a little more confident once she sees all she can do.
“I got 8 little ones, who were all 4, and under down for a nap at the same time! I was babysitting a friend's double set of twins this day; who typically don't nap at home. I felt pretty super having had the chance to sit down for a few minutes of peace that day! But I do have my own 4 boys (all born in 4.5 years),” says Kareem Gray, Mom of four.
10 When Baby Sleeps Through The Night (And So Do You)
All newborns and babies sleep differently depending on their age, feeding schedules, mood, personalities, and routine. According to Stanford Children’s Health, “Most babies do not begin sleeping through the night (six to eight hours) without waking until about 3 months of age, or until they weight 12 to 13 pounds. About two-thirds of babies are able to sleep through the night on a regular basis by the age of 6 months.”
However, this isn’t the case for all babies.
Some little ones just want to keep their parents on their toes. They may be colicky or just very energized and active and want to constantly know what is going on at all times. For moms who have a baby like this, it takes a lot of time and patience to figure out a good way to handle the situation. When some kind of plan is figured out and it works for the first time (even if that means it doesn’t the next night), embrace it. Give yourself credit – and get some sleep too.
9 Getting To An Activity On Time (Or Early)
Even before children come into the picture, many adults have a tough time getting to events on time or early. While many people are extremely timely and must be places early no matter the circumstance, following this trend into parenthood takes a whole bunch more planning, time, and energy.“I woke up, got dressed, put makeup on, got both kids dressed and ready to go... and made it to the party 10 mins before the party started,” Mom of two says of a time she felt like a true “Supermom.” When you are able to accomplish a feat such as this, it really is a big deal – even if, to some, it isn’t.
8 Leaving Baby For The First Time
Many new parents feel horrible leaving their little one for the first time. They either feel guilty or feel so sick they often will turn around or barely leave the driveway. You get a deep connection with your baby and it can be hard leaving him or her even with someone you truly trust.
However, once you get to the point where you can leave for small moments at a time, it’s important to see those small steps as huge successes. In the “Motherhood World,” those movements forward are just that – positive steps towards independence for both Baby and Mom. From there, it gets a teeny, tiny bit easier leaving your baby for longer periods of time. The key words are “teeny” and “tiny,” however.
7 Making It Through A “Sharing” Catastrophe
“I explained to my girl that she should probably choose to share the toys. I didn't make any of it a big deal, and all eyes were on me to see how I'd handle it,” explains Mom, Abbey Cold. “Definitely gave myself a mental pat on the back for the way I handled that mom move.”Teaching the concept of sharing can be one of the toughest lessons to teach – especially to a stubborn, hard-headed toddler. It is a lesson that can make the child frustrated, but also lead a parent towards complete and utter insanity. When a mom is able to appropriately handle a difficult moment that involves this lesson, it should be seen as a “Supermom Moment” in absolutely every way.
6 Surviving A Public Outing
Until you have children, you wish you’d truly embraced the ease that comes with grabbing your keys, slipping on your shoes, and jumping in the car without planning or packing. Once a baby, or babies, are in the picture, getting out-and-about in public becomes a whole new adventure. You need to pack a diaper bag, stroller, car seats, and typically even more if the public trip is going to be one that is lengthy. You may need feeding supplies, sunscreen, extra clothes, snacks, and items for entertainment. On top of that, the weather also plays a part and so does your little one’s routine. If you are able to get packed up, out into the mall or grocery store, and make it happen without a breakdown (either the baby or you) – that’s a huge accomplishment.
5 Feeding And Flights With A Newborn
Traveling with your baby is one thing, traveling on a plane is a totally new dynamic to throw into the mix. No one really knows how their child will react to flying until they are on that plane and waiting for lift-off. The baby could be perfectly fine and sleep the whole time – or the baby could scream nonstop.
“I flew with my daughter from Alaska (where she was born) to NY (home) when she was 2 months old by myself. It was the toughest thing I’ve had to do as a parent to navigate plane changes, breastfeed and try to feed myself in an airport for 12+ hours. But we did it,” says Mom, Erin Moynihan.Just stepping foot on a plane with a child of any age is something fellow flyers should try to see as a “Supermom Moment” and not a frustration if a tantrum does occur. It is not easy for the parents either, folks. Put some headphones on and pay for the mama’s next overpriced glass of wine.
4 Getting Some Kind Of A Routine Down
Routines are tough. Some new moms decide not to put their newborn or little one on a strict routine and they thrive off spontaneity. Though that is a brave, strong decision to make, many moms do need some kind of structure incorporated in their parenting lifestyle.
Elizabeth Pantley, author of THE NO-CRY SLEEP SOLUTION, told Parents, “Routines help you find a rhythm so your baby doesn’t get too tired, too hungry, or totally overwhelmed. Consistent meal times, sleep times, and playtimes will help your infant feel safe and secure, and you’ll be a lot more relaxed too.” If you are a parent who needs a consistent routine and the first time you really feel as if your structure is sticking, cherish it. Fully enjoy that success because children constantly change and that routine may only stick for so long.
3 Tandem Nursing Takes Supermom Strength
Mom of two, Kristi Malin, felt like a true “Supermom” when she successfully tandem nursed both her newborn and toddler for the first time. Tandem nursing is a huge accomplishment and should be seen as just that. Breastfeeding is a challenge many moms face and if you are lucky enough to produce milk for your little one (and another child on top of that), that’s a personal accomplishment you truly should embrace. It also is an accomplishment many other moms are physically unable to reach due to milk production issues, health concerns with either the baby or mom, or latching difficulties.
2 Staying Strong When Patience Is Being Pushed
Being a parent means discovering a whole new side of patience you may never have imagined having. You must try your best to remain calm and collected during moments where all you want to do is scream, roll up in a ball or just run away. When you find your patience during tough, trialing times, you deserve one heck of a pat on the back.
“I've found that motherhood has pushed my patience way beyond the point of no return more often than I'd like to admit. I felt like a total supermom for keeping my composure through awkward situations,” Mom, Abbey Cole, explains about moments when her patience was pushed.
1 Cherishing Those Supermom Moments Makes A Mama Stronger
“When I first became a mom, I was a perfectionist with this Supermom ideal for the Mom I wanted to be. I quickly learned how impossible it is to be a Supermom all the time, but I cherished those Supermom Moments when I felt like I had come close to achieving that ideal,” Bettijo Hirschi, Mom of four, explains.
You will not feel like a “Supermom” every single day – and that is absolutely normal. Moms are human. Moms will mess-up and break down and need to ask for suggestions and advice. Moms do not know everything about their little one and about themselves, for that matter. Once you realize that very important truth, you will be able to really see your “Supermom Moments” and remember them when you need them most.
References: Real moms who gave full consent and permission to use their direct quotes (Gentle Parenting of WNY, WNY Mothers of Multiples, responses to Instagram @jenniferalinewrites), Stanford Children’s Health, Parents/Elizabeth Pantley