It’s Not Chronic Fatigue Syndrome…

Purposeful Parent Tip: There’s no reward in trying to do it all. Slow down Moms!

Recently I had the good fortune to appear on Good Morning Connecticut Weekend with Jeff Valin. I’ve been on TV and radio a few times talking about my baby gift business, Frittabello, but this was an opportunity to talk about my newest passion, helping moms recover from SuperMom Syndrome.

I’ve been talking to moms for a long time and witnessing many different types of parenting journeys. Stay-at-home moms vs. working moms (ok – that just seems wrong to call moms who work outside the home ‘working moms’…as if moms who stay at home don’t work.  I’ll try to come up with a better term.)

While the day-to-day  may be different for both, one thing remains clear. Moms are overworked, overwhelmed, overtired, overstressed, and just plain over. They are trying to juggle so many balls in the air, that when one drops, the ensuing guilt comes in. This leads to feelings of failure and of  not being good enough.

I know how they feel. I used to be the same way. When I went to work, I felt guilty that I wasn’t home. When I was home, I felt guilty that I needed more stimulation than my children could provide. When I heard of other mother’s activities with their children, I lamented that I was not like them. When I saw new moms coming back to work having already lost their baby weight, I felt bad that mine was still hanging on well through the toddler years.

In my efforts to be SuperMom, I was giving to everyone except one person. My self. With no time for me, I was continually stressed, continually guilty, and continually exhausted. I even went to the doctor to see if I had chronic fatigue syndrome or Lyme disease.

When the tests all came back negative, I took a hard look at my parenting journey and realized that I didn’t have chronic fatigue syndrome or any other mysterious disease. I had SuperMom Syndrome  – the neverending, people-pleasing, go until you drop, do it all for everyone else and ignore yourself, never saying “No” to anyone, schizophrenic parenting journey that many moms travel each day. Something had to change. And fast!

I began to take some baby steps towards my recovery starting with simple things, like taking 10 minutes for myself each day to write. I began to say ‘no’ to activities I didn’t have time for or that didn’t mean that much to me. I started to delegate some of the household chores to my children and let go of things needing to be perfect.

Whew! What a relief! Immediately I could feel the difference. The daily stress I felt throughout my body began to subside. I started to get my energy back. Even my kids noticed because I also saw the return of an old friend. My laugh.

I’d lost my laugh while trying to be SuperMom. And for someone like me who adores belly-laughs, I missed this part of my life. Today I try to laugh every day – it soothes the soul.

If you’re reading this post,I encourage you to let go of your SuperMom hat and embrace being a plain ol’ mom. Enjoy your children and yourself. It takes time, but eventually, maybe you’ll be sharing a laugh or two with me as well.

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2011-2024