Does Supermum exist?
Let’s face it, there is a huge amount of pressure on modern mums to be a ‘supermum’.
A far cry from the Stepford Wives style housewives of the 1970s today’s mum is under pressure to have style, be an exceptional mother and juggle a successful career, all at the same time.
But is this feasible and is it really possible to have it all? Listen to the conversations in coffee shops in suburban London and you are lead to believe that this woman really does exist. The ‘Keeping up with the Jones’s’ set will have you believe that it’s a criminal offence to feed your child anything that’s not organic and having toys on the floor at home is a big no no – and if you don’t work then quite simply you are lazy.
A supermum is one that sets out early in the morning to drop her children at school, packs them a healthy lunch, breastfeeds her baby before putting her infant down to nap. She then picks up her laptop for a few hours work before preparing a home cooked meal, doing a supermarket shop and cleaning and tidying her home. Many women are led to believe that she exists but in reality she is no more real than a fictional superhero.
Back in the olden days if you had children then it was a given that you would stay at home to care for them and the minority would go back to work. But today, it’s quite the opposite and according to the Office for National Statistics in September 2017, three quarters of mums with dependent children worked – that’s 4.9 million mums, up from 3.6 million in 1996.
For many mums, returning to work is for financial reasons but for many it’s simply because they want it all and that comes with sacrifices. Going to work means long days away from your kids but as I have experienced, there is also guilt for not being there at their first school concert or sports day or even just having dinner together. Today’s mums are lead to feel guilty for not working and guilty if they do. And then there’s the time you need to do everything as working all day means picking up chores at night.
Even Baroness Karren Brady, one of Britain’s biggest business brains feels the strain. Famous for taking just three days off work after having her first child, she claims in a recent interview with Closer Magazine; “I have spent my whole life going from the boardroom to sports day and you always feel guilty. There is no magic formula and you have to accept you can only do what you can do – it’s a juggle and it’s difficult”.
So now when I hear mums gossiping in a coffee shop or in the playground, I take a step back and just think – no one is perfect and everyone has to juggle.