Episode 22: Letting Go of the Supermom Fallacy

July 8, 2021

Have you heard the term “supermom?” 

This is a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart. I get messages all the time from people asking me how I am always put together. However, social media doesn’t give you the full picture. There is no such thing as a super mom; it’s a fallacy.  

In this episode of Conversations with CGL, I’m diving into the topic of supermoms. I’m explaining who they are and what they do. Then, I’m going to tell you why the myth of the supermom is extremely problematic. Tune in to hear about the supermom fallacy and how to let go of it.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • The definition of a supermom.
  • Why the concept of the supermom is problematic.
  • What “mommy burnout” is.
  • What the view of the modern supermom should be.
  • My personal experience with trying to be a supermom.

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Supporting Resources:

https://cgl-llp.com/

Email Hannah: hannah@cgl-llp.com

 

Episode 22 Transcript:

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

supermom, burnout, present, talk, success, grappled, work, realistic, mother, manages, firm, today, kids, fallacy, places, conversations, parents, perfect, home, journey

 

00:02

I’m your host Hannah Genton and I’m one of the founding partners of CGL. What if you could speak with top business leaders and CEOs about their professional insights and personal journeys. Each week, we share authentic discussions with business leaders, where they flesh out substantive issues while also getting deeper into their authentic stories. Our goal is to bring you conversations on the fusion of business and humanity, success and authenticity, and the challenges of balancing life and work. Thank you for joining us. Hello, hello, and welcome to conversations with CGL. I am flying solo today. So I have chosen a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. I’m also getting over a bit of a cold. So if you hear that going on, that’s what’s happening. But I’m going to dive right into it. So today I’m going to be discussing this concept of supermoms, who they are. But they do and why I think this concept or myth of the supermom is actually quite problematic. So first, let’s dive into this. Let’s dive into the concept of the supermom. And let me pause and just take a step back as to why this topic is really important to me. So I get a lot of comments. If you follow me on LinkedIn, I get a lot of comments and messages from people that make statements like you’ve got it all put together, you’re such a supermom. And I just want to debunk the myth a little bit. I think that what you see on social media isn’t always the case. And so that’s why I really wanted to use this opportunity to go through what I think is the fallacy of the supermom. So let’s dive into this concept of the supermom. So there is this idea out there of the supermom. And a supermom as a mother who achieves at all she works, she works out she manages whatever she needs to in her household. But she still has time to help her kids with crafts homework hobbies. Naturally, the supermom manages to do all of this with freshly washed hair and a smile on our face and probably wearing actual pounds. She does everything and we’re still she makes it look easy. And I really want to debunk the myth of a supermom and talk about why this flawless kind of Figment really needs to undergo a massive transformation. So why do I think the current concept of a supermom is a problem? First of all, the problem with the concept of the supermom is that it really places this unrealistic pressure on women to do it all. The reason that doing it all as a problem is a topic that is actually near and dear to our hearts here at CGL is because of burnout. That type of mindset promotes burnout, you can’t do it all. No one can. And if you try, you’ll inevitably burn out and you know, follow conversations with CGL. If you follow my LinkedIn, follow anything that we’re doing here, we talk about burnout a lot. So that’s why I love this topic. Mommy, burnout is a really real thing. Mothers everywhere, parents everywhere, but I think there’s just time today kind of focusing on pressure for mothers to feel pressure. And some of its internal. Some of it’s from society. A lot of it is from social media, to be this perfect parent, okay, not to just be available emotionally and physically for your children, but to be the best at up all the time, not just to raise happy or healthier, curious kids, but to give them every opportunity for growth and success that you possibly can give them. And of course, we all want that. As parents, you know, I feel like I can speak on behalf of parents for that. But to achieve this, you need to be across all the current research on child development and learning profiles. And you need to know how to transform that knowledge into hands-on age-appropriate activities. And that is a full-time job really staying on top of those things. Obviously, you do the best you can. But there really aren’t enough hours in the day for you to achieve that plus full down your career. Cook clean, make time for your partner and still a few moments for yourself. There’s not enough time in the day. And anyone who attempts to do this on this level and kind of to that perfect supermom standard. They will be smiling all the time, they probably won’t even be wearing actual pads because supermom I think like Superman is just a mess.

 

04:25

Being one is not realistic. And it’s really not a sustainable expectation of placing yourself and yet so many of us do. And so I feel so compelled to talk about that because I think that there’s time for that to change. I want us to let go of the supermom fallacy. I’d love for the view of the modern supermom to be someone who prioritizes being present over being perfect. Some days. You’ll do your best as a mother. You’ll have a stellar day at work or you arrived to school to pick up the kids in your hometown, you’ll cook your family’s favorite meal, some days that won’t be possible, and that’s okay, but, but I think the focus should shift to and what really matters is that you have the energy to be present, when you’re doing what’s important to you and your family. If we can shift this focus from being perfect to being present, prioritizing that prioritizing being present is an antidote to burnout. It really requires you to allocate realistic amount of time for tasks, it creates space. And space is so important that it creates space for you to be kind to yourself to have grace to be realistic when you’re assessing kind of what’s achievable, given the time and the resources you have, if you just take that moment to dock in and be present, you have more space to thoughtfully tackle things. And when you’re present at work, when you’re in the moment, you’re productive, you’re a good employee, when you’re present at home, you have that space, you have that emotional and physical energy, that you really need to engage with your kids, which makes you an amazing mom, for parents. So I put together some tips for managing the feelings associated with letting go of the supermom fallacy because I can sit here and talk all day about how I need to let it go and preach away. But it’s really hard. And I know that I’m still working through this myself. So I know that it sounds easy. But in practice, it’s definitely more challenging. It’s really difficult to let go of the idea of striving for perfection. And I remind myself of this constantly. And I try to have grace with myself as well. One of the things that I’ve spoken about is and shared my story on my LinkedIn. But I’ve spoken about leaving my big law job with a firm called Cooley to stay home with my first son, after I missed a few of his major milestones, like major baby milestones. And to be honest, in those first few months, when I was home, taking care of him, I was completely overwhelmed. I was trying to be this perfect mother to the small human. And then I was also grappling with this other kind of feeling like I had lost my success recognition, like I had been working at this big firm, and I was such a professional. And then now I’m Hall and I have this really hard job and then just me and a baby. And it was a really challenging time. And what it forced me to do was, I really needed to completely reframe my definition of success, because at that point in my life, being on the partner track at a big law firm was no longer realistic to me. And so going through that journey, I really assessed what time and skills I have, and came to the conclusion with a very good friend of mine, my co-founder, we realized that co-founding, our own firm was really the option that allowed for the flexibility, at least for myself that I needed to be present at home on this kind of new journey that I had decided to take being there for my son, but also contributing in a work context that was meaningful to me. And so through that whole process, I’ll be honest, I grappled with mom guilt imposter syndrome. But really, by keeping the bigger picture about my actual time, resources, and my updated version of success in mind, I really found peace. And that was true almost four years ago. And today, it rings even more true in terms of CGL, and how this fits into my life, and my refined version of success. But during this journey, I’ve really discovered that being happy and energetic and a present mother kind of having this space for my kids, I am not perfect all the time. Even if it’s not perfect all the time, though. It’s so much better than trying to be this super mom, which is just so unrealistic. So I can’t say it enough. I just really encourage us to let go of this fallacy. And stop putting unrealistic pressure on ourselves so that anyone out there that sees these posts or sees things that are going on, I appreciate the kind words, I’m definitely not a supermom. And I think that we all need to kind of pull that unrealistic expectation. Let’s get rid of it. So anyway, that’s my two cents on this whole supermom thing.

 

09:18

As always, I really love when our listeners join into this conversation. So please shoot me any questions or comments you have if you agree, if you really disagree and you want to talk about it, I would love to hear from you. My email is Hannah at CGL dash LLP Comm. I really mean that I would love to hear from you. And if you haven’t yet, and you like what we’re doing here, feel free to give us a rating and subscribe to this podcast. You can find it wherever you listen to your podcasts, Apple and Spotify and all those places. So that’s all I have for today. So thank you so much for tuning in and I look forward to the next episode.

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