Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feeling Overwhelmed and the Super Mom Myth

Don't you love it when an article finds you at just the right time? I was feeling pretty overwhelmed at some big changes in my life (I'll say more about this someday soon), when I read an article at Zen Habits about The Power of Gradual. (I know that's the second plug for Zen Habits this week, but I really, really needed some Zen lately!)

Writing an advice blog, I am always worried that people will feel overwhelmed with the advice I'm giving. That I'm subtly sending the message that you aren't "good enough" if your playroom is not perfect, your nursery not perfectly organized, or your eating habits not as healthy.

This is certainly how I feel sometimes when I read other people's blogs.

One thing that is great about the blogesphere is all the great advice and ideas. But, this is also the worst thing. It can perpetuate the "supermom stereotype" that we all know is unobtainable in real life.

I ran across a tweet that said, "All mommy blogs are a lie. No one is that organized, creative, or perfect."

Well, I don't agree. I think most most mommy bloggers are genuine, naturally helpful people who want to connect with other moms to share what they've learned, and learn more in return. The problem is that Mommy Blogs, taken as a whole, are not attainable in real life. You can't excel in *every* facet.

So, to dispel the perfect mommy blogger myth:

* I am not as gracious and genuinely accessible as Simple Mom
* I do not do things as beautifully as Design Mom
* I am not as enthusiastic as Org Junkie
* I do not write as eloquently or take photographs as beautifully as Dooce
* I am not as clever as Parent Hacks
* I am not as joyful and just plain cute as Just Plain Joy
* I am not as conscientious as Safe Mama
* I am not as knowledgeable as Mommy Docs
* I am not as happy as Gretchen Rubin

And while we're at it,
* I do not have the clarity of thought of Zen Habits
* I am not as minimalist as Unclutterer
* I am not as environmentally conscientious as Allie.

But I love each and every one of them for what they are. And I do not love myself any less because I am not them.

We each bring unique skills to the world. We have our own strengths and weaknesses. We can each make a contribution. Please try not to get overwhelmed by the collective.

My yoga instructor finishes each class with the following advice:
"Take in what you want. Leave behind what you don't."

I hope you will take that attitude with my blog.

Thanks for reading! I hope that you will find at least a few things worth "taking in".

Do you get overwhelmed when you read too many mommy blogs?


  1. Thank you so much for the link and the kind words. I think you are so right! I'm not perfectly green all the time, but I do the best I can. That's really all anyone can do. No one is perfect, and it's better to celebrate that than to stress about it.

  2. @ Allie - thanks for visiting! I totally agree - celebrate more, stress less.

  3. Anonymous2:39 PM

    I'm not even a mom yet (due March 8), and I'm overwhelmed. BUT, I read your blog, and many of those you mention in today's post, for guidance and inspiration. We're all just women trying to make it through the day, and it's fantastic to know we don't have to do it alone!

  4. @gather - best of luck with everything!

  5. Hello! I just found your site today and I have to tell you this post sums up so many of my own feelings. I get a terrible case of blog envy sometimes but this post reminds me that I do have my own unique gifts (yay for enthusiasm!) as do all of the others. We all bring something different to the table and that is awesome! It's what makes blogging so special, we just have to be careful not to fall into the comparison trap.
    Great stuff!

  6. @Laura - thanks for visiting. I am always inspired when I read your blog because it's so clear that you love what you do.

  7. great post!!! I agree these blogs do so much for my motivation to do more. But then after a couple days of super mom-ing, I get burned out. lol. ;) Such a great way to think about all this! Thank you so much. ♥


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