So much on this blog is about women that it’s not only repetitive, it is also tiring. But bear with me!
When I was growing up, my dad was building his practice and working as an employed physician also. Physician kids are almost a project of nature in how they grow up with tons of missed time with parents. I would watch him splitting time between his day job and his practice and it was exhausting. My mom had four kids to care for, a mother-in-law to look after and a house to keep. Just to preface, housewives in the 80’s and 90’s weren’t looking for validation or acknowledgment. They weren’t quoting Islam and Islamic rulings regarding their duties towards in-laws. They weren’t challenging gender roles. They weren’t denouncing stereotypes. They were just getting by. So my mom, most days, was also getting by.
She never got called a special name for her work. Should we have called her a special name? Probably. I don’t know. I wouldn’t have called her a superwoman for sure. That’s demeaning in my book. It’s a kind of pandering .
But because she didn’t get called super woman my mom had the luxury to hire help without feeling like she’d have to trade in her title. She shamelessly asked for help when she needed it and was not indulging us in arts and crafts if she didn’t have the time. My expectations from my mom were as realistic as they could be. Solve my problems, help with homework, talk, laugh and cuddle.
When I became a mother, the social media trend of consummate motherhood methodology began.
Every woman is a mother who spends tons of time crafting with her kids or cooking for them. She is also, on the side, throwing parties for her kids and friends. She also looks so put together that it puts other women to shame.
These women take immense pride in being called super women or super moms.
I feel my mom was shortchanged. She should’ve been called a super woman too.
But I think I’m glad that she wasn’t. Because that would’ve psychologically convinced her to keep changing capes in order to find the one that fits a certain job in time.
Superwoman is a title to rip women of their humanity. It’s a way to shut them up before they can complain about burnout. It’s a way to pander them and then trample over them. So it’s a rip-off and a half. It’s not an inspiring term or something to live by. It’s a myth that needs active debunking.
My mom has been human in her acceptance of motherhood. She knew she wasn’t expected to outshine other mothers. She was only expected to work to her best potential.
She didn’t have any subliminal abhorrence for the word “typical”, “regular”, “human” or “just your average mom”. She didn’t have many influencers on social media showing her how to be an amazing mom. She followed her own path of self-discovery and came out just as much a human winner as all other super women out there.