I Perpetuate the Supermom Myth

I perpetuate the Supermom myth. I do. I’ll admit it.

With not a pound of baby-weight to be seen, I am sporting my sexy new skinny jeans (and rocking them, thank you very much), as well as my new boots (with heels). My mysteriously spit up-free sweater hugs all the right places, and my trendy new jewelry sparkles on my perky chest. My hair, makeup, and nails are flawless. The nine-month-old baby girl bouncing on my hip smiles at everyone she meets and might just be one of the cutest babies you’ve ever seen.

See, I told you I perpetuate the Supermom myth.

I am here to apologize. I’m sorry. I am so very sorry.

I am overcompensating.

But really, it’s easier for both of us that way.

When I appear put-together and fabulous, you mistake me for someone who is put-together and fabulous. You don’t take a second look.

Trust me; it’s better that way.

If I were to go out in public looking the way I feel, you’d ask–I mean REALLY ask–“How are you? Are you doing okay?”

And I would start to cry. Now, I don’t mean I would get choked up for a moment, eyes glistening with tears than never quite roll down my cheek. No. I mean UGLY cry. I mean I might throw myself into your unsuspecting arms and sob hysterically into your shoulder, smearing my snot all over your shirt. On accident. (I think.)

Awkward, right?

See, it’s better this way. It’s better for both of us if I continue to perpetuate the Supermom myth so we can carry on with our lives, la-ta-de-da-and-a-toodley-doo.

But some of you insist on putting me in an awkward spot. You want to know what secret diet or exercise plan I am following that helped me to lose the baby weight so quickly, and you leave me no choice but to go on perpetuating the Supermom myth. So it’s your fault, you see. You made me do it.

Because the truth is too awkward for us both.

How to lose the baby-weight, quickly and effortlessly:

Step 1. Descend into yet another bout of postpartum depression so that you a.) lose your appetite completely, b.) are too overwhelmed to decide what to eat, c.) are too exhausted to cook, d.) don’t feel worth of the cost of food anyway, or e.) all of the above.

Step 2. Take a very high dose of an antidepressant that is often prescribed for the cessation of smoking, which oh-so-conveniently happens to kick that pesky food addiction to the curb too, just like cigarettes.

Step 3. Exclusively breastfeed a 9-month old baby that refuses to eat solids, who also happens to react severely to dairy, soy, tomatoes, citrus, and a few other undetermined foods in your breast milk, just to take all the fun out of any eating that might take place after the first two steps are complete.

So for Pete’s sake, let’s stick to the Supermom myth, shall we?

And so, when you see me, you ask me how I do it all.

I do it for you. I do it for Facebook. I do it for the world at large. But like I said, it’s just easier this way.

But I’m still a mythical creature in the end, don’t you know. And for the few of you who pause long enough to take a second look, I am eager to tell you I am nothing more than a myth. In fact, I am aching to tell you.

It’s harder that way though. It just is. And it can be awkward and painful at times. But to you, maybe that’s okay with you. You are okay that it’s harder this way.

I thank you for that. You breathe life into me. You see me and you see my darkness.

Thank you for shining your light.

I see you, too. I know you. You’ve walked this journey before me. Or maybe you are walking right next to me now. If you extend your hand, I will clasp it in mine. If I extend mine, will you take it in yours? Can we walk together for a while?

I promise I will not get snot on your shirt.

Okay, fine. I will TRY not to get snot on your shirt. But if I do, I promise to wash it for you.

Because I am Supermom, after all.


About kneumair

Karen Neumair is a lover of God and a lover of words, especially when those two things come together. She has experienced multiple depressive episodes in her life, most severely after the birth of her second daughter, but is overwhelmingly thankful for how God has used her depression to teach her more about Who He is (and who she isn’t). Wife to Chris and Mommy to Hannah, Becca, and baby Lizzy.
This entry was posted in Depression, Motherhood and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to I Perpetuate the Supermom Myth

  1. Sadie VK says:

    That was beautifully written. I’m kind of jealous that your depression manifests by losing your appetite. My depression says, “You’re already so fat and nasty, who cares if you eat another donut?!” Lol. Thank you so much for your encouragement throughout my depression journey. I wish none of us ever had to deal with this, but it’s such a relief to have each other.

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