When SuperMom Loses Her Super – Part 1

If you know me in real life, please understand that making this public is very hard for me and that I may not actually want to talk about this in person. You’re welcome to try to talk to me about it, but don’t be surprised or offended if I don’t respond in-depth.

From the time I was very young, I knew that I wanted to get married, have kids (for most of my growing up years, I wanted 12 children), take care of my husband and children, teach piano from my home, and be a church pianist. I formed a mental picture of what my ideal grownup life looked like, and as time passed, conscious and unconscious beliefs shaped that image.

Finally, after what seemed a very long wait, I grew up. My life looked very much like my childish dreams had pictured – loving husband, five darling children, music ministry at church, piano lessons given at home, and, eventually, two web design businesses.

I tried my best to be the “perfect” wife, mother, and woman.

  • I tried to speak with kindness at all times. (Yeah, that didn’t happen.)
  • I took personal responsibility when anything I was involved with went wrong.
  • I attempted to always forgive and forget when others hurt me (even when they never acknowledged their wrongdoing or asked for forgiveness).
  • I was a listening ear to anyone in any kind of distress (real or imagined) and tried to make others feel good about themselves.
  • I avoided conflict whenever possible, choosing to be silent if I disagreed with someone else rather than risk hurting feelings or getting into an argument.
  • I agreed to take on just about anything anyone asked me to do, figuring that they needed my help or they wouldn’t have asked for it.
  • I constantly read self-help books dealing with the areas of life where I felt most inadequate – marriage, housekeeping, and parenting.
  • I begged God to forgive me for (losing my temper, letting people down, not keeping up with housework, or … the list was interminable) and to make me a better person.

In short, I attempted to cram myself into the mold that I perceived as leading me to be the woman God wanted me to be.

After all, I had been assured by people I admired and respected that if I did “these” specific things, my marriage would be heavenly, my kids would be perfect angels who would never do wrong, and I’d be the real life version of the idealized Proverbs 31 Woman. And from comments people made, it appeared that others thought I was doing a pretty good job – SUPER, even!

Why, then, did I constantly feel like an absolute, horrible failure?

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