Friday, June 22, 2007

I Am Not Supermom

I may be a parenting author, but I’m the first to admit that I’m not Supermom! (And if you read my book, "It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence," you’ll find plenty of examples of the chaos that exists in my life!) But, you know what? I’m perfectly happy to admit to my lack of perfection.

And I don’t think I’m alone in my feelings. I recently read an article about a web site called www.unsupermoms.com, which was started by Nicole Henry-Clark, a mom of four from New York. According to the article, almost 900 mothers have joined her group. They’re tired of the pressure to do everything "right." They’ve decided not to stress about the unmade beds, the Cheerios under the couch, and the fact that they let their children have ice cream for dinner once in a while. Sometimes you just have to relax and realize that perfection is unattainable and your family will be just fine.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been in plenty of houses that have just plain grossed me out. If my shoes stick to the floor and I get clumps of dog hair all over my behind when I sit on the sofa, then I think they’ve taken this Unsupermom thing a bit too far. I once knew a mother who never folded or put away the laundry. She just pulled everything out of the dryer and dumped the contents in a big pile. Her family was invited to take their daily outfits out of the pile each day. Now that’s not relaxed parenting…that’s just plain lazy!

But there’s definitely a middle ground between the two extreme parenting styles. Cut yourself some slack when you fail your mother’s white-glove test or realize you’re never going to win the latest "Home Beautiful" contest. The point is to look at the big picture. Are your children taken care of and happy? Is your house hygienic but homey? Do you generally accomplish all you need to get done? Is the stress you feel at a manageable level? If you answered yes to these questions, then you’re doing just fine.

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