parent opinion

The Superwoman myth is dead. Please join me in dancing on her grave.

Friends, gather around, I have news. 

Superwoman is dead. 

Buried under the pressure of other people’s expectations, she succumbed to overwhelm, exhaustion and an overdose of f*cks to give.

After decades of tormenting us mortal human women with the notion that if we just tried hard enough, we really could be all things to all people and look good doing it, she has finally, finally faded away.

Don’t send flowers. Do not shed a tear. She wouldn’t cry for you.

Superwoman had no time for such sentimental weakness, she was too busy training for a triathlon with a baby on each boob. 

Watch: Superwoman is dead. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

No, she wouldn’t encourage you to waste time mourning. Superwoman would just tell you to get up at 4.30am for some me-time meditation before the kids wake up. 

She’d tell you to spend your Sunday packing school lunches for the week, she’d suggest you do squats while you iron your children’s sheets, to get your kegels in while you're meal prepping, to bake thoughtful gluten-free cookies for the swimming teacher while you’re cutting your kids' sandwiches into star-shapes and delivering a key-note presentation to colleagues via Zoom. 

Superwoman did not help us. She whispered in our ears that in everyone else’s kitchen, the third drawer down was tidy and everyone else’s bras matched their knickers. 

She encouraged us to over-schedule and over-commit. She said that baby yoga was a non-negotiable, like post-natal pilates and baby-led weaning.

Superwoman had a tattoo on her bum that read, 'Want something done? Give it to a busy mum'. 

And all that happened was that everything got given to a busy mum and busy mums lost their collective sh*t. 

I am dancing on Superwoman’s grave. I never liked her much.

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Working at Mamamia, immersed in women's stories for years now, what it absolutely clear is that every parent - and stepparent, and grandpa, and auntie and that mate who remembers a birthday - is super. 

Mamamia has always known this - celebrated the messy moments, our complicated choices, the pointy painful losses alongside the delicious wins of family life. 

It’s in our DNA. It’s why Superwoman never lived here. 

And after what we’ve all been through, these past couple of pandemic years, it’s time to draw a line. 

Maybe in crayon. Maybe in lipstick. Maybe in the tears of the person who asked you if that baby food was organic. Whatever’s handy. 

It’s the moment to stop asking mothers how the hell they do it all, and to start asking, instead - do you need a hand with all that? 

It's time to stop pretending that there are newborns who sleep all night and teenagers who don’t talk back. 

To stop pretending babies don’t change bodies. Or relationships. Or people. 

To stop pretending screen time isn’t a thing in our house. 

Instead, let’s start telling parents what an incredible job they’re doing, in the hardest of times. 

To start telling parents that no-one gives a sh*t about your third-drawer down, or your kegels. 

To start telling parents that falling apart is normal, that the pressure to be perfect is making everyone sick, and that it’s heroic to ask for help.

It's time to start actually helping ourselves and each other. By cutting corners, and sharing all the things we just don’t do. 

And to start laughing at the impossible expectation to parent like we don’t have jobs and work like we don’t have kids.

Superwoman is dead. No one person can do everything, but with a village at her back, she can handle anything.

What women need is understanding, help and support. We need family, whatever ours looks like, in all its forms, in all its messy, complicated glory.

Because raising tiny humans is super in itself. It's not a one-person (unpaid, underrated) job, whatever Superwoman told us. 

Superwoman is dead. Send help. Send chocolate. Send family. 

Feature Image: Getty/Canva.

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