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Stop Trying To Be Supermom – How to Beat Stress amidst the Demands of Motherhood and Career

Updated on November 3, 2012

Everyone knows that women can multitask better than men can. That is not difficult when you consider that the extent of a man’s dual functionality is having a beer whilst watching soccer.

But there has to be a limit to what anyone can expect to constantly achieve before it all goes ‘Pop!’ Identifying that you are taking too much on board at an early stage can be the difference between sinking and swimming.

Women on record agree that, whether you are a working mom or stay at home mom, the pressures to raise the perfect family are similar. It also does not matter whether you are a single mom or in a relationship, society places the onus of responsibility predominantly on women to bring up children.

Anyone who has ever taken their child to school knows the Supermom. Her demeanour is one of mega-efficiency, a governess on the PTA, high-heeled and suited on the way to the office whilst her pristine offspring look they have just walked out of Zara. And she’s like this every day.


Although we’ve all done this, the reality is that this high-flying supermom appears as graceful as a swan on the surface but her feet are paddling away full throttle through murky waters beneath.

Her life will be one of constant decision-making, work versus family, drinks with clients versus the nativity play, after-work meetings versus the kid’s soccer game, career versus motherhood.

In order to maintain this dual lifestyle of the executive and the mother, the supermom must consider these two key principles as in order to retain perspective and keep stress at arm’s length:

1. The ability to say no

2. Asking for help

By not taking those principles into consideration, you may soon find that you are spreading yourself too thinly. It is possible to be a good mother, have a career and be (relatively) stress-free, but you must be aware of the potential pitfalls of trying to juggle too much.


Running a household when you were off on maternity leave may fit nicely with being on the school board. However, if you decide to return to work, you have to empower yourself to walk away from prior commitments that can detract from promoting family values or from your work commitments. Otherwise, you'll soon discover that your tank is empty, engine running on fumes, and then eventually seizing up altogether. Your input becomes negative, rather than positive, and this is the opposite of why you returned to work: to improve the quality of you and your family’s life.

Whilst you are in total control, there is also a real danger that you can close the doors to people who need to be involved, including your partner. You may not realize it, but eventually people will stop asking to help you not because they have stopped caring, far from it, but they feel like they are questioning your ability to cope and fear offending you. This cycle is bound to inflame the situation. So you end up taking on more yourself to the point of isolation.

Now stop and honestly ask yourself, can you be supermom - career woman and wife at the same time, handling everything that comes your way? Or is it time to learn how to say no, ask for help and decide to drop at least one of those women from your life from time to time?

2011 Moira G Gallaga ©


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