The liability of being Super Mom | Living with Gleigh

I had a slow start to my morning on Monday last week. So as I sat down to write, I got right to work. The ideas started to flow and I began to feel a productive glow. When I feel productive in my writing, I start feeling productive in the rest of my life, which turns me into the only super hero I know how to be – Super Mom!

Then I remembered I hadn’t started the laundry and it was 9:30am, which is late for me to start laundry, considering I am usually up and going by 7:00am. I do the laundry in one day, once a week and I’ve gotten a bit obsessive-compulsive about it. I tried to continue writing, attempting to convince myself my family could live one more day without clean laundry. I had to leave the house by 12:15 to take my daughter to a doctor appointment and I knew I wouldn’t get all the laundry done before I left.

But I couldn’t ignore the urge and sorted the laundry, all the while plotting a laundry schedule that would allow me to finish most of it before I left the house. This plan only promoted my Super Mom feeling. So to further add to the productive glow, I not only planned dinner for that evening, but for the following night too. I even continued writing my blog and column in between laundry loads, cutting, chopping and starting the crockpot.

As I readied myself to run out the door, I was reminded how Super Mom plans can go awry – I had forgotten to eat lunch. A hot dog was the quickest thing to grab. I microwaved it, put it in a plastic container without condiments so it wouldn’t drip on me and threw in some strawberries to offset the health of the hotdog.

The hot dog bun began to fall apart, grease began to drip and with bites hurriedly shoved into my mouth at every stop light, I began to feel more like a person who hadn’t planned ahead than a Super Mom. There is nothing like eating a hotdog on the run to bring a mom down a peg or two.

I started to contemplate this phenomenon of “Super Mom.” Super Moms are known to be multi-taskers, but what really happens is when we try and do too many things at once, something inevitably gets the short end of our attention.

Once when my youngest was in kindergarten, I tried to be super mom. I was assigned to use the school’s convection oven to bake gingerbread cookies the kindergarten class had “artfully” decorated. I had 8 minutes, so I ran across the building to my other daughter’s class and started filing Friday papers. I kind of forgot about the cookies. When I remembered them, I dashed back across the building to save them, but it was too late.

Their M&M eyes had exploded and the men were charred black instead of gingerbread brown. There was nothing super about the outcome and I couldn’t even rectify the situation. I had to face the teacher and the disappointment of 25 kindergarteners who couldn’t even eat their gingerbread cookies. The teacher was gracious and glossed over the event so the kids barely noticed, but I have never forgiven myself for trying to prove that I could be “Super Mom.”

As I drove down the road with hot dog grease dripping onto my clothes, I was reminded that being Super Mom can be overrated, adding undue stress and often backfiring. And although all of my laundry and dinner plans worked out, I felt duly chastised with hotdog juice highlighting the liability of trying to be a Super Mom.


Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is no longer committed to being a Super Mom. You can read her column every week on under the Lifestyles section.. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website or “like” Living with Gleigh on Facebook.

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