As a mom, you want to enjoy the holidays. You also want everyone else to enjoy the holidays and you feel responsible for making that happen. But there is this invisible load of motherhood lingering in the midst of the holiday cheer.
-Do most of the planning.
-Find the perfect gifts for your children.
-Decorate the house for added joy.
-Outline the menu and coordinate the gatherings.
-Hide the gifts and wrap them during those scarce moments when the kids are asleep.
You carry the holiday invisible load and it can be heavy.
**Let’s stop for a deep breath together because this is a lot.**
The text from grandparents and aunts come in:
What would Elizabeth like for Christmas?
Will we gather for the candle lightings each night or are we using Zoom to celebrate Kwanzaa?
Who will get together for the Thanksgiving feast?
When you’re already experiencing stress and anxiety, each text or phone call can feel like another layer bogging you down. If you feel overwhelmed from the holidays, it can be easy to lose the joy you want to experience.
The Pressure of “Supermom” During the Holidays
The holidays were meant to be a time of celebration, closeness, and laughter and for many moms, the pressure to be “Supermom” through the holidays is a breaking point. Supermom, this illusional character many moms hold in their minds, tells us that we are not doing enough. She tells us that we need to work harder. Do more. Produce more. She tells us that a holiday is not fulfilling for our children without crafts, decorations, gifts, meals, traditions, pictures, and themed-activities. Supermom tells us that we are responsible for doing and being all of this and carrying the checklist in our minds. She tells us that if we sleep or rest or take a moment to breathe, we are failing our children and families.
How did we get the supermom illusion? How does it impact the invisible load of motherhood?
The Supermom is like a modern-day “Keeping up with the Joneses” story. It is not new and not new to moms, but the way we experience it is different and in many ways a strong force than before.
People “Kept up with the Joneses” by having a well-manicured yard and a nice car. You worked to maintain an image from the outside. It was a family affair.
Now, the super mom illusion requires you to go deeper, go inside, go public. The supermom illusion is present in movies and TV shows, on social media and mom blogs, and beyond. There are endless opportunities to compare, to judge yourself, and to think about MORE to do and be as a mom.
Here’s how we often experience it:
The Supermom Puzzle Theory:
Jane sees 5 different moms on social media today
-#1 is gifted in crafts and shares super-cute crafts she does with her kids
-#2 is an amazing cook and highlights her family meals
-#3 is a fitness expert and coordinates workouts with her toddlers
-#4 is great with organization and interior design and her house always looks like a magazine
-#5 is a make-up and style guru and always looks so put together
Jane, the one taking in these images and words, sees these moms and puts each together like pieces of a puzzle. This puzzle is the image of a “Supermom” that Jane sees and expects of herself. She does not realize in that moment that each mom is only highlighting one expert area of her life and does not show all the other aspects. Jane feels like she needs to be the culmination of all of these moms in order to be a “good mom.”