“If there was a Super Mom contest, I would totally win it!”
Do these thoughts fly through your overcommitted mommy mind, while you give yourself a pretend pat on the back? As a mom of many close-together children, it was an easy fantasy for me to fall into. As a young mom, I would set my goals high, burn the candle at both ends, and never say die. After a while the Super Mom fantasy took on a life of its own, and I began to believe the tale. However, everyone knows that some things are only true in our imagination.
I really thought I was a Super Mom! After all, God gave me a ton of energy, a creative spirit, a great brain, and a quick wit. God blessed me with a hearing ear, a beautiful prayer life, and a heart for Him alone. I was equipped to do great things for God! I was ready, willing, and eager to begin each day. The only thing I failed to develop in my life was the common sense to know when to say, “NO, that is enough for now.” I bought my ticket on the merry-go-round of life, and the ride did not seem to have a stop button. As I went round and round on the adventure of life, somehow I was afraid to slow down from Super Mom to ordinary woman.
This inability to slow down caused me to buy ticket after ticket on the merry-go-round of daily life. You see, I have always gone 100 miles an hour from sun up to sundown, just like the Energizer Bunny. Instead of hopping, I ran the race to win, until I realized that in order to make it to the finish line, I must pace myself.
So, taking the time to pause and pray is essential. It is where Super Mom meets ordinary woman. I learned to pray, to listen and obey. When I listened to God’s voice and did what he said to do, I had the grace to do it. As I walked in God’s grace, I learned that every job, ministry, opportunity or person did not have my name on it, to meet that need. By carrying too many people’s needs in my overcommitted life, another person was not able to step up to carry their share of the load. I think it was more ignorance than pride that made me say “Yes!” when the answer was definitely “No!” I had to learned the art of relaxation and add “me time” to my day, which had always seemed selfish to me before. I learned with the help of a mentor that taking time for me actually gave me the energy to be better for the many people calling my name.
In reality, it took years to learn how to live a balanced life, and when to say, without guilt, the word “NO!” It took a decision on my part to hang up my cape for the day and leave the rest of my work for tomorrow. The old adage, “A man works from sun to sun; but a woman’s work is never done,” is so true. Sadly to say, it also took trials in my life to realize that I am no Super Mom at all, but rather an ordinary woman, human in all aspects. It took time, a decision, trials and a lot of prayer before I was able to stop, let go, and force myself to rest.
One of the trials in my life that took off the mask off this Super Mom’s eyes was the loss of our baby, Zachary, at two hours old and full term. The rug came out from under my feet and I could barely stand, let alone fly with my cape on. Ladies, sometimes life is just hard. Sometimes, one mentor told me, “You can barely put even one foot in front of the other, not even be able to force a smile. It is ok!” The words spoken in that season gave me permission to begin the healing process. You cannot rush a work of God. In order for God to make all things new in our life, we must pause, pray and cooperate with His grace.
When the rug comes out from under us we begin to realize that we are not invincible. We are tempted to put on our capes and fly through the air, but most likely we will not be able to leave the ground, or quickly crash. Life as we know it becomes life as it is. It is in the crucible of suffering that growth takes place, if we let it. When we pause and pray, we come to know that God is our strength and our help in time of trouble. It is where your Super Mom fantasy ends and reality begins. There is no such thing as a Super Mom.
Thankfully, I do not take out my Super Mom Cape that much anymore, nor try it on just to see if it fits. When I am tempted with the desire to fly through life as in my younger days, I remember when I could not even put one foot in front of the other, or even force a smile. I remember when I was so dizzy on the merry-go-round of life that I did not know how to push the stop button and get off. I remember when I was too busy to care, or take a breather. I remember when I was so exhausted running the race to win that I could not even enjoy the view. I remember when I was the Energizer Bunny, who never knew the word “No!”
Super Mom: who can find one? No one, is my answer! God alone can fly us upon the wings of eagles, if we let Him. I have thrown away my invisible Super Woman Cape. I don’t need it anymore. Is there any one out there in mommy land who is thinking of entering the Super Mom contest? Take a word from the wise: Super Mom: who could find one?
Copyright 2017 Ellen Mongan