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What is “The Supermom Myth” and Where Did It Come From?

Written By: Lauren Howard

You know that woman. You see her doing all the things for all the people and taking care of her kids with ease. She gets to all of the events, beast modes her workday, and makes sure the kids are fed and in bed on time. She shoulders the burden of school projects, work projects, and the rare, rare, rare occasional personal project.

She does it all, right?

I mean, maybe. But is she doing a goddamn thing for herself?

Probably not.

And does she feel like she’s doing any single one of those things well?

Also probably not.

The idea of the superwoman who can do it all, be it all to everyone, and still get dinner on the table on time every night is a myth, and it’s harmful to put on the show– both for yourself and for others who are watching you.

I do a lot every day. I run three companies. I put my kids to bed every night. I take some time to eat lunch with them whenever I can. I work early and late.

And none of it would be possible without live-in, full-time childcare who does most of the hard work. None. of. it.

I know my kids are fed, so I don’t have to spend the emotional energy and silent planning time to make sure they’re getting what they need.

I know school is taken care of.

Laundry? Only on my mind when there is one specific thing I need.

I look like I do it all because I comparatively do very little of it.

We have created this image of women and mothers in our minds that they have to do all the things to be valuable, strong, and capable. We have set them up for failure in so many different ways that it’s not surprising that we walk around feeling like that most of the time.

The supermom doesn’t exist, and there aren’t a lot of mothers who want to be that. We just don’t have a choice. There are a lot of mothers who feel pressured by the ideal of what we have taught them capable motherhood is, but that’s not a want. That’s a trauma response.

Supermom? I don’t know her.

Image designed by Soumya Bandi.


Founder & CEO at elletwo


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