I am not Supermam

Let me share with you some inspirational quotes.

strongenough

godfoundautism

Are you inspired?

Do you feel like a strong, empowered woman? A mother who can handle what life, with all its gritty realism, can throw at you?

Do you ? I don’t. I feel exhausted, worn down and like the world’s shittiest mother. Some days if it weren’t for the kids and work, I would happy pull the duvet over my head and not come out.

I work full-time, I have a high maintenance two year old, a six year old with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and very little in the way of respite.My life is hard work and sometimes I just feel so bloody sorry for myself.

I am not strong. I am tired. God didn’t give this to me because he knew I could handle it. It was sheer luck. I want to say bad luck. Would I change my son for anything ? No. Do I wish he was easier to live with? Yes.

I am not Supermam.

These inspirational quotes are designed to bolster us, to make us feel we are valued and important (because, God knows, your children won’t do that!) But they have the opposite effect on me (Debbie Downer). I am not Supermam. There is nothing heroic about what I do. I shout. I slam doors. I cry. These platitudes try to glorify the situation, to glorify me, but the reality is so much more difficult. My life would not make a heart-warming Sunday evening BBC drama starring Sarah Lancashire as the stressed out but warrior-like mother.

So I take my inspiration from elsewhere. From honesty, from people who admit when the going gets shit that things are hard and not as we might like, but we plough on, regardless, because what is the alternative?  To quote Amy Poehler ( again! I know it’s embarrassing at this stage) sometimes when you’re feeling down you don’t want someone to tell you it’s all going to be OK, but rather,

‘ Tell me about it! The whole world is going to explode and I haven’t slept in weeks!’

If this is what you want, believe me, themotherhub is the place for you!

The relief of recognising someone like you is powerful. You can relax and exhale amongst your tribe.This recognition is the beauty of social media, and in particular blogging. Since my son’s ASD diagnosis I have connected with many parents who are also raising a child with additional needs, an experience I have not been able to replicate yet, ‘in the real world’. The reassurance in being able to say, ‘Thank God, it is like that for me, too.’ That is what spurs me on, the knowledge I am not alone, and that someone, infront of another screen, in another country, is feeling the same as me. We are not a league of supermams, flying around the world, capes outspread , effortlessly raising our children. We are normal mothers, dealt a different hand, trying, trying our best to make it work. Sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding. Always trying.

Always trying. I find that hard. I am a lazy being at my core, and would love to be able to take my foot off the gas a little more at times, but being the mother to a child with ASD means never being able to do that. It does not come naturally to me, to try so hard. But try I must, and try I do. These platitudes not only attempt to glorify the mundane but they also minimise the effort I put in – its tough what we’re doing and I want some goddamn appreciation of that , thank you!

Live your own reality.

As a disclaimer, I’d like to add that we all have it hard. I’m conscious this reads like a bit of a woe is me tale of despair. I’m not claiming that my lot is any harder than yours, and there are certainly many whose struggles are much greater than mine. But this is not a competition, you live your own reality. One of the problems with the inspirational quotes I’ve mentioned is that they are creating a difference, a hierarchy of parenting. I’m not a better parent or a stronger person. I’m the same as you.

But hey,  I can recognise the need for an inspirational quote as much as the next blogger, so have created my own: I hope it helps you. Do feel free, to share on social media, or hand it out to strangers on public transport.

lifeisshit

 

 

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28 comments

  1. ha I love your shit mantra ( sorry, I know there’s a better word than that but I have Friday afternoon office brain-melt). Life is often shit and that’s exactly what you have to do: I cannot quibble with that at all.

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  2. I love the mantra! I completely agree about the competition element, I wasn’t prepared for this side of parenting! Hope you have a less shit weekend. Xx

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    1. Haha ! We live in hope x

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  3. There’s something wonderful in being brutally honest like this. I am not a supermum! My child is a bundle of energy and sometimes i just can’t handle it, I’ll admit that. There’s no shame in struggling, but like every other mum I get through the day as best as I can. One thing that I sometimes hate to admit is that I actually love the break I get every other weekend when my daughter goes to her dads. When I don’t have to have the TV all day, when I can wake up in the quiet, have coffee, have a nap, read a book…get back to being me again. I feel really selfish admitting that but it’s exactly how I feel. I love the time I spend with her, and I love the time I have to myself! #fortheloveofblog

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  4. I love this. I’m waiting for the day life becomes less shit. You’re right, it’s so important to be honest and to talk about how life really is. I agree on the quotes things, although sometimes I like to read an inspirational quote or five to help me through the day, it does make it seem like we are special people and better than others or better able to deal with things more. I’m still me, just having to do things differently from what I ever planned or thought. Thanks for sharing this. I always enjoy reading your thoughts on these things! #fortheloveofBLOG

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    1. Thank you – I know I seem really negative , but no point sugar coating , and I know can’t be the only one feeling this way. But it’s not all bad ! And the only way is up

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      1. I don’t think it seems overly negative at all. I also think it helps to vent how you feel once in a while. When we see that others feel the same way it helps too, validation almost! It’s a hard job for everyone and sharing the experiences of motherhood certainly helps.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I am not Supermam either. I desperately want to put my feet up and watch The Sopranos and get in cleaners.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh a cleaner would be heaven

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One that does windows too!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. aliduke79hotmailcom · · Reply

    I get this, though for slightly different reasons. My son is special needs, now he is 18 it is really hard trying to help him adjust to adult life. I also have an 11 yr old daughter who thinks I am a taxi service. I lost my dad at Easter and have only just gone back to work as I really struggled with this, to then have to take more time off as my son was in hospital. Bad luck (if that is the right phrase) seems to snowball once it hits you and it is hard to see a way out. I am getting there, but I still want to hide under my duvet a lot x
    #fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah sympathies to you and sincere condolences on the loss of your dad. That must be a very tough time. X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. aliduke79hotmailcom · ·

        It is, the kids get me through it x

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  7. Ordinary Hopes · · Reply

    Love it!

    Almost 10 year old (with ASD) asked me what was for tea approximately 72 times in the space of 30 minutes yesterday! He sat next to me whilst I ordered Chinese food. HE KNEW!!!

    I hate the platitudes and the flowery cheer about how “special” I am and about how other people don’t know how I cope. THERE IS NO CHOICE!

    I think it might be wine o’clock! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yey – high fives ! There is no choice but to keep on keeping on, then collapse and drink wine

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your mantra, it’s way more realistic than the other quotes! I’m not super mum either, although having had five children it’s a phrase I hear often, in reality I’m just winging it along with the next Mum, losing my shit several times a day and beating myself up about being the kind of parent I never thought I would be. But when there’s a good day, or things actually go to plan and the kids don’t play up, it keeps me going! #KCACOLS

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  9. I completely agree. I used to just love these “inspirational quotes” back when I didn’t really have any real worries, I thought they were so wise and uplifting – now I just think they’re belittling and dickish. I completely understand where you’re coming from on all of this, and It is good to see so much honesty – I love your inspirational quote, thats one I’d be happy to pin! #KCACOLS

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    1. So relieved to know I’m not the only one ! Thanks for reading

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  10. Ive actually always believed that the strongest women are not those who think they are, but those who freely admit they need a helping hand or two. Those who admit that they ‘aren’t superwoman’ and those who are honest about how bloody hard it is trying to be strong and be everything to everyone without much of a break. I think it takes strength to write a post like this! Also, pretty sure Superwoman doesnt have any kids – she cant be that super….Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

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    1. Thanks Sarah. I’d swap places with superwoman any day – then we’ll see who has the real staying power !

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  11. Love it! Sometimes you don’t need the “you’re doing a wonderful job” chat. you just need someone to agree with you that things are a bit crap but hey you’ll survive! #KCACOLS

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    1. Absolutely – don’t try and make me feel better , tell me you know it’s bad , but chin up! Thanks for reading

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  12. I’ve loved your blog Beth since I started reading you those months ago. Your honest and truth about how hard life really is means so much to me. Like you say knowing that someone else is sitting at another screen and feeling the same helps. You lift a weight off my shoulders knowing I’m not alone. The one thing I’ve always repeated to myself is ” yes others have it harder, but you have to live your own life and sometimes life is so damn hard” #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Geraldine ; I don’t want to always be negative but at the same time I want to be honest, so others finding things hard know they’re not alone .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t find it negative. It’s truth and honesty is good

        Liked by 1 person

  13. The Pramshed · · Reply

    Oh hun I really feel for you reading this. It must be so hard having to deal with it all, please don’t feel ashamed about slamming doors and crying. Your blog post reads that you are so strong, and I am sure that you are being the best Mum your children can have. Please ever don’t feel guilty of that fact. I know what it’s like to look after children and work full time….you are an inspiration. I hope that made you smile. Thanks for linking at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

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  14. diaryofamumof3 · · Reply

    Fab post, All those quotes have a tenancy to not actually make you feel any better don’t they. x #ablogginggoodtime

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I constantly slam doors and have to take 5 mins to breathe. we are not perfect we are just us and we are doing the best we can!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

    Like

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