That family that always dresses in coordinated (but not matching) clothes and looks like they could be ready for a family picture at any moment; that’s my family.
I make most of my daughter’s clothes, but those things don’t make me supermom.
I come from a long line of makers: my brother builds and races vintage cars, my dad makes incredible handcrafted wood furniture, my grandmother worked in a women’s dress shop, my grandfather was a high school shop teacher, my great-grandfather was a brick mason.
That’s what my family does. They pour themselves into carefully crafted things.
My mom taught me to sew when I was growing up. I would sew a dress here or there and curtains for bare windows, but it wasn’t until I became a mom that sewing started to breathe life into me. For my son, I started making him bowties before he was walking and he has worn one every Sunday since, for over 5 years.
When my daughter was born, it was a whole new level.
I started just sewing dresses for Easter and Christmas….then most of her Sunday-wears….and now I sew most of her clothes.
There is something so special about having her help me pick the fabrics and sit at the machine with me. There is a special sparkle she gets in her eye knowing that her dress was carefully made just for her.
I love sewing for my daughter. It’s an important part of who I am as a mom – not because of the final product but because of the process.
When I sew with her, I am sharing part of who I am with her. I am giving her my best. We all bring different skill sets to motherhood. No other mom replicates our skills, nor do we replicate that of anyone else.
One of my friends is a nutritionist and gourmet level cook. The meals she makes for her family, every night, are incredible. They’re full of flavor, all the colors of the rainbow, and new things to try.
I feed my family. We eat generally nutritious things, but it’s not Top Chef and there isn’t a lot of variety from week to week. That’s not my talent.
Another of my friends has a house that always looks like a magazine with nothing out of place, ever, and lots of white furniture even with a toddler and preschooler.
My house is sanitary, but it’s not press-ready. It could use some (ok…a lot) of purging of things we don’t need. I’ll get to it. That’s not my talent.
Another friend works part-time coding and writing computer securities for fundraising technologies for non-profits. She is a Mensa member and uses her brilliance to change the world. She empowers her children to know that moms and women can do anything.
I have a lot of skills, but I’m not a world changer. I talk with my kids about how they can do and they can be anything. For me, that is a stay-at-home mom. And that’s ok.
None of us can do it all. No one. To expect ourselves to is to set ourselves up for failure.
When we compare ourselves to someone else, we do so at the expense of ourselves. We minimize our gifts and passions as if they somehow aren’t as special as someone else’s.
Or we become destructively competitive that “mine is just as good as hers”, “I could do that”, “I’m just as good of a mom as she is” as if somehow someone else’s successes imply our failure.
Neither of these is true. As women, we deserve more for ourselves. We deserve more for our daughters.
I am a supermom, you are a supermom, because of the passions we share with our children. For the way we show up every day in the face of exhaustion and give them our all. For the love that we pour out as we try to do our very best for them…it doesn’t matter if it is the best, it is our best.
Keep up the good work, supermom. Keep sharing yourself with your kids, your passions, your best. Meanwhile, I will keep doing the same, wearing our ruffles and pearls to a mostly clean dinner table serving chicken, again.