Women who juggle careers and family or single-handedly manage a handful of kids inevitably become vulnerable to ‘Super Mom Syndrome’.
Dr. John Demartini discusses the symptoms of this syndrome and gives advice on how to treat it.
Whether you are single or married, working full time while managing children, or solely handling a handful of children at home, you can at times become overwhelmed by the enormous amount of responsibilities that you face as a modern ‘womom’. With today’s busy schedule and the ever-growing demands for your time it is getting harder to balance your life, career and family.
Because mothers face such exceptional outside social demands they become vulnerable to ‘Super Mom Syndrome’ if they are not skilled at managing their priorities. This syndrome arises when you begin to feel exhaustion and immense guilt at the same time for all the things you have got to do, but can’t get done. It occurs when you feel responsible for all the many problems in your household that you feel you can’t handle. You can start to blame yourself for not having all the immediate solutions. You can feel overwhelmed by being unable to efficiently multi-task. As a Super Mom, you may even think that you have to do all these tasks instantly or else your family or career will fall apart.
As a Super Mom you expect your kitchen or entire house to be immaculately clean; your dinner table to be full of elaborately prepared family dishes; your juggled career, hobbies, and the extra-curricular activities with your children to all be well organised and thriving; your family and household financial management to be perfectly ordered; your groceries fully stocked; your children’s dental and medical check-ups always kept current; your cars maintained; your children bathed and read to; your family clothes all kept clean and folded and all deadlines met. As a Super Mom, you may find that all your paperwork piles up, you feel angry and betrayed by your children and your space is cluttered and disorganised.
Super Moms also try to invest some of their time into their career while simultaneously attempting to prioritise the needs of their children. You may think that being selfless will make your child behave less selfishly and be more obedient. You may feel responsible for the smiles on your children’s faces and then feel resentful, and then feel guilty and compensate by planning unscheduled fun activities that erode even more of your time. You may feel frustrated for not being able to complete your various endeavours, for hardly meeting your goals, for trying to juggle so many activities and for feeling frustrated that you could have done it better. You may be labeled an unrealistic ‘perfectionist’, and be silently fuming at your husband and gnashing your teeth when he teases you for having a low sex drive.
Some of the symptoms associated with Super-Mom Syndrome
As a Super Mom you may find yourself experiencing:
* Depression (unmet unrealistic expectations)
* Difficulty in maintaining your weight
* Diminished exercise results (suppressed thyroid from repressed feelings)
* Fibromyalgia, muscle aches and painful joints (inflamed emotions)
* Dryer, rougher skin tone (anger induced testosterone)
* Wrinkles (tensed muscles)
* Chronic fatigue and low drive (unfulfilled highest values)
* Diminishing libido (resentment to spouse)
* Hair loss (anger-induced testosterone)
* Anxiety (Unrealistic expectations)
* Breaking nails
* Weakened immune system
* Frequent headaches (internal conflict)
* Water retention
* PMS irritability.
Is it possible to treat Super-Mom Syndrome?
Yes! But instead of labeling this so-called syndrome a disease to be medically treated, it might be wiser to consider it more of a result of unrealistic expectations and non-prioritised lifestyle decisions. Consider changing your daily lifestyle choices by setting realistic expectations on yourself as a mother and learning the art of delegating. By prioritising your daily household and work activities, targeting higher, more meaningful and inspired actions and by asking for help so you can delegate lower priority activities to those capable and inspired to do them, you can transform this so-called ‘syndrome’ into growing and life mastering opportunities.
These symptoms are feedback mechanisms to get you to live realistically according to your truest and highest priorities. You are not here to be living according to other people’s expectations. You do not have to be a Super Mom to receive attention, acknowledgement, or to be loved. You can be loved for who you are, as you are. But, it starts with you.
What research have you conducted in regards to this topic?
I have spent over four decades studying human behavior and what maximises human performance and fulfillment. I have witnessed and consulted with hundreds of moms who have backed themselves into corners because of their unrealistic expectations, poor time management and delegation skills. I have also worked with women who have mastered the art of prioritising their many daily activities and skillfully stuck to their highest priorities. They learned that if they didn’t fill their days with high priorities that are meaningful and inspiring, their days became filled with low priority distractions that depressed and drained them. They understood that the more educated, adept and prioritised their lives were, the more freedom they gave themselves permission to have.
You are not here to live according to other people’s expectations. You do not have to be a Super Mom to receive attention, acknowledgement, or to be loved. You can be loved for who you are, as you are. But it starts with you.
Who do mothers mostly compare themselves to?
When moms subordinate themselves to others who they envy, look up to and admire or imagine themselves living like these people and they do not live true to themselves, according to their own true highest values, they become more stressed, frustrated and angry with their situations, children, husbands and careers. Social ideals are sometimes written by individuals who have a different set of priorities and who are not necessarily wise or understanding of the many variables of others. As Emerson wrote, “Envy is ignorance and imitation is suicide.”
Why do you believe “mothers can’t make a mistake”?
Ultimately, every action you do will act as feedback mechanisms for you to live more authentically and according to what is truly meaningful and important to them – what is truly highest on your values. Every action is on the way, not in the way, instructive, not obstructive, once the wisdom of your masterful attitude is awakened. There are no mistakes, only feedback mechanisms to help you eventually live the life you deserve. As a mom, you deserve to live a super life.
This article was written by John Demartini – human behaviour specialist, educator, author and the founder of the Demartini Institute.