How the Supermom Fallacy Leads to Mommy Burnout

July 16, 2021

Many of you know that I left my BigLaw career with Cooley to stay home with my first son. In those first few months that I was home, I was completely overwhelmed. I was trying to be a perfect mother to a small human. On top of that, I was also grappling with feeling like I had lost my success and recognition as an attorney.

This experience forced me to completely reframe my definition of success. Being on the partner track at a big law firm was no longer realistic to me. As a result, I assessed what time and skills I did have and came to the conclusion that co-founding a law firm was the best option.

Through that whole process, I grappled with mom guilt. Over time, however, I discovered that being happy, energetic, and a present mother with space for my kids was so much better than trying to be a supermom. 

What about you? Have you heard the term “supermom?” Have you ever tried to live up to that impossible standard? 

If so, I encourage you to let go of that fallacy. Stop putting unrealistic pressure on yourself and pull that unrealistic expectation. Here’s how:

Impossible Standards: Who is a “Supermom”?

First things first, if you don’t know, a supermom is a mother who achieves it all. This is the kind of mom who works, works out, and manages everything she needs to in her household. On top of this, she still has time to help her kids with crafts, homework, hobbies, and more. 

Naturally, the supermom manages to do all of this with freshly washed hair, a smile on her face, and actual pants. She truly does everything. Not only that but she makes doing everything look easy. 

Why the ‘supermom’ fallacy is problematic.

This concept places an unrealistic pressure on women to do it all. Feeling that kind of pressure leads to burnout because you can’t do it all. If you try, you’ll inevitably burn out. 

Mommy burnout in particular is very prevalent and damaging. Moms all over are trying to not just be available emotionally and physically for their children, but to be the best at it all the time. They’re trying to raise happy, healthy, and curious kids and give them every opportunity for growth and success possible. 

Of course, this is something all of us moms want. However, doing all of it is a full-time job. We can do our best but there just aren’t enough hours in the day for us to achieve all of it plus hold down our career, cook, clean, make time for our partners, and have a few moments for ourselves. 

The Modern View

Instead of falling into the supermom trap, prioritize being present over being perfect. 

Some days you’ll do your best as a mother, you’ll pick your kids up from school, and you’ll cook your family’s favorite meal. However, some days that won’t be possible. The modern supermom understands that that’s okay. 

The focus should shift to knowing that what really matters is that you have the energy to be present when you’re doing what’s important to you and your family. This is the antidote to burnout. It will require you to allocate a realistic amount of time for tasks and create space to thoughtfully tackle things that matter to you. 

All of this will provide you with the emotional and physical energy you need to engage with your kids, which makes you an amazing mom.

To learn more about tips for moving away from striving to be a supermom, check out Episode 022: Letting Go of the Supermom Fallacy.


The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this website or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between CGL and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

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