I know it is well-meaning, but please stop. I am not a “super mom.”
“Wow. You are just a super mom, aren’t you?”
She said it with a smile and I know she meant it as a compliment. We were discussing the medical care I have been newly trained to provide my son. I shared how I have become accustomed to the needles and the tubes. She said I was a super mom.
Ask any mother of a child with additional needs and she will likely say the same thing. Please, stop calling me a “super mom.”
I am not a super mom.
I am a mom, trying her best to figure out how to help her child. A desperate mom is a more accurate description.
Why It Bothers Me
You may think I am being overly sensitive, or even ungrateful. Maybe you are right, but hear me out.
When someone says I am a super mom, they are usually referring to the areas of my life that have not only been the most difficult, but the ones in which I have found the least support.
For example, I do give my son weekly immunological infusions and I am so grateful that they are working for him. But it took me almost five years of trying to get doctors to listen. It took five years of begging various professionals to consider a physical source for his symptoms, despite his mental health struggles. It took five years of desperation to now be called a super mom.
Another example? Homeschooling. Often, when we are with a therapist or doctor and share that my son is now reading and beginning to make progress academically, I hear that I am doing a great job and am clearly a super mom.
Again, while I appreciate the compliment, it feels like they are missing the point.
I Am Not A Super Mom
The only time I appreciate this title is when another mom says I am a super mom and that almost never happens.
Because moms usually understand all it takes to be a super mom and the privileges’ implied in being one. Yes, I have devoted countless hours to researching and making phone calls and trying to get someone, anyone to listen. Yes, we are able to homeschool because we can afford for me to work sporadically and only from home. I have the time and energy to do this because of my circumstances, not my super powers.
But what about the single mom who is living in poverty and has a child with the same needs? What does she do? I am a really “super” comparatively?
Or my son’s doctor, who works more than full-time to care for children just like mine, but also has a second grader at home “distance learning” with a questionable babysitter so that she can help my son. Isn’t she the super mom here?
Rather than experts and professionals telling me all about how great I am, I would prefer that we have a conversation around the supports that I need – that so many moms need.
Rather than chalking up any success we’ve had in my children’s care to some vague superpower, I would like for us to really talk about why it is all so difficult all the time.
It’s dismissive and blind.
I am not a super mom.
I am a just a mom, doing the best she can.
And if that’s the definition, then we are all super moms.
For More Resources And Support:
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.