In defense of the super mom.

This post may ruffle your feathers a bit.  It's being written because mine are a bit ruffled...again, but I am writing in defense of mothers like me everywhere. 

Having done this writing game now for almost five years, I've learned a thing or two.  I've seen trends on topics come and go.  Some will peak my interest, some barely get noticed.  I follow a lot of blogs and keep up with the highlights of others through facebook or twitter or whatever...the point is...I see a lot of posts. 

One topic I am sick to death of reading about...hating on "over achieving moms".  Or the "overly multi-tasking moms".  Or the "super moms".  Or the moms who "do things for show" (their assumption).  Or the moms "who make others look bad"(again, their perception).  The mommy blogger who gets up on her soapbox and tells the world that moms like me are "fake", "neglectful of their children", and otherwise "not as good at mommyhood as they are for being able to get a lot done in a day".  Quotations paraphrase actual blog post content I have read in the last few months.     

They assume that because THEY don't operate in the same manner successfully, that no one can.  They work in extremes or if-then worlds.   

Can we please just knock it off?  Can we please just resolve ourselves to worrying about how we spend our own 24 hours.  What I do or don't do in a day has ZERO effect on what anyone else in the world does with THEIR 24 hours. 

I'm often asked, both nicely and not so nicely alike, "How do you get so much done in a day?". 

Here is my official answer:  
Most days I am up an hour before my kids.  I spend 30 minutes reading my Bible and devotionals.  Most days I do get in some creative time, some work time, some laundry time, some coffee time, some writing time, some other time filling activity time, some driving to and fro time, some couponing time and some other time.  I bust my buns to do it all.  I miss meals because I get distracted by cleaning out the closet.  I drink a lot of coffee.  We'll skip dinner sometimes and have a milkshake instead.  I don't watch TV much...but when I do, I am always doing something else to make it productive.  I only read books that are true or make me a better person.  I never stop moving.  We play hard, we work hard.  All days I am up hours after everyone else is in bed.  Every day I give something in my house a thorough cleaning/purge...a drawer, a closet, a cabinet, etc.  I add ten things to pinterest and maybe do one of them.  We are VERY picky about our time commitments.  Mess stresses me OUT.  We play with our kids, we discipline our kids, and we are involved with our kids.           
My favorite scripture is this:  "Teach us to make the most of our time so that we may grow in wisdom" Psalm 90:12.  My life verse.  The verse that automatically plays in my head when I am choosing between watching TV or washing the dishes.  This is just how I am wired.  I hustle.  I work hard.  I will be accountable for how every minute of my life is spent.  A lot of "I" statements that have nothing to do with any other mother on the planet.         

I'm not mentioning any of that to brag...I'm saying it to show who makes the choices on how I spend my 24 hours.  I do.  Do you know how many times in a day I think "well I need to get x, y, z done today to make me look like a good mom"?  None.  You know what I do think of?  My husband, working hard at his "real" job, my boys and the kind of childhood we are trying to create for them and Jesus, and what HE would want me to do with my time that day. 

I pray most days "Lord, show me how to use my time today".  And then I listen.               
Now clearly I can't speak for all moms like me.  But if they are anything like me they don't spend their days trying to make others look bad.  Our hearts are directed towards Christ and making our homes happy, fun and smooth running machines.   I do my best to follow what the Lord wants me to do with my days.  I love with my whole heart and do my best to show that to as many people in my path as I can. 

Fretting about how others perceive my actions takes away from the things that I should be doing instead.  I've learned over the years (and with the skin thickening agent known as public writing) not to care what others think.

Wasn't it Eleanor Roosevelt who said
"Do what you know in your heart to be right,
 because in the end you will be criticized anyway".  

Yup.  I've arrived there and sprinkled it over everything in my life. 
And it's as nice as unicorns and rainbows.        

If seeing what other moms do, via any social media outlet, makes YOU feel inadequate, then stay away from those outlets.  Better yet, just stop comparing.  Comparison is the enemy of joy and contentment.  Take a look at your own heart and get right with you.  You could very well be doing exactly what you are called to do each day, but if you are so busy using someone else's to-do list to check off your own tasks, then you will miss it.  Miss the reward of knowing the JOY in that moment.  It would be like packing for a trip to the hot and sunny beach but making sure you have everything for Alaska instead.  It just doesn't make sense. 

Making assumptions on others based on the tiny fraction of their lives that you DO see just hurts everyone involved.  You are hurt because you aren't living up to perceived standards and they are hurt because you casting untrue characteristics on them.  It's dumb.   

My heart for women everywhere is to do EXACTLY what God has called them to do.  Because truly, right there, in the perfect little nest the King has made for you, will you find what is ultimately more fulfilling and satisfying for you anyway.  Love yourself enough to do that.  Look up. 
And for the record this is what I did today.  And I wasn't even sick. 

This confession, ironically enough, puts me at odds with a whole other group of moms who ask:
"What DO stay at home moms do all day??".   We won't even go there. :)
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44 comments:

The Bignon Family said...

I was just thinking this today!!! I must have read the same post you did. Thanks! This was a great read and I could not agree more!

The Perfect Trio said...

A Men! You have a way with words.

love said...

Love.

I'm with you. Made we do the very best with our time according to what He has for us. For His glory! And please, oh please? Can we give each other love and grace?

summergirl said...

Great post! Sometimes I have to ask myself, "who's success am I not celebrating?" and it is usually because I haven't been living up to my own potential.

Tara Norman said...

Love this! Very tired of the judgmental banter amongst WAHMs & SAHMs alike. We each have special talents & gifts. :)

nataleror said...

I have never left a comment before. Sorry I know I'm one to hide in the background and read ur blog once in awhile. But tonite I read this all and had to say you rock. I'm so with you on this.

everydaymomma said...

And this post is why I love you:) a to the men!

Jennifer S. said...

I agree with everydaymomma! I now love you even more than I did before. Well said dear lady! Lobe following you on Instagram too! :)

Bethany Hammar said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I adore your "controversial" topics, thank you for never shying away for them and also for speaking truth of Christ! I agree whole heartedly with you!

keight dukes said...

hells to the yes! preach on, sister. this is so comforting to my heart on BOTH sides of the equation. i have a double dose of the yuck as a sort of super-mom but also a compulsive comparer (aka judger...aka SINNER!), and jesus wanted me to hear his words through you. THANK YOU. and you got 184 extra credibility points due to your cookie-choice. sweet mercy.

Angie Mae said...

I just wanted you to know, I've been following your blog for a while and I think your awesome! You are such an inspiration to me! I know you are a blessing to many, many people as you are to me. Thanks for your blog!

Holly said...

you go Crystal! Amen girlfriend!

fuzzysmom said...

I too am tired of hearing, "How on Earth do you get all that done in one day?"
I don't know how to answer that question.
I also don't know how to sit still ... that must be the reason things get done.

Keep on truckin'...you're getting it right :)

Finnskimo said...

AMEN! A few people went on a facebook rant against me after I had posted about sewing 15 aprons for my daughters birthday party, then making 15 loaves of bread and 2 cases of jam during her birthday party. They went on to say apparently "Chocolate Cake from a box isn't good enough for some people because to be perfect you need to make a carrot/zucchini cake from SCRATCH for a KID birthday." Anyway, I work full time, and get plenty of stuff done after work, because I, too, watch only Glee (!) after the kids have gone to bed. Anyway, I'm always busy, and people get irritated because I sew my kids clothes, make dinner every night from scratch and sew all our outdoor gear, in addition to supplementing most of our diet with Eskimo foods that I take care of. I was so sad and hurt when I read those posts, but after I thought about it, I invited them over to learn and it's been a great experience. They didn't have a family who taught them how to bake bread, or sew Mukluks. Great post. I think I'm going to use a few of the quotes! Thanks.

Marian said...

OH boy do I agree with you!! I feel the same way and love the way you wrote this. Thank you!!

Rulissa @ Mustard Seeds in Oklahoma said...

It's amazing to me the judgment and comparisons between women. Why can't we all just get along?!?! When I'm thinking about my choices, I just ask myself the same questions I ask my monkeys...Did i try my best? and Did i put a smile on His face? nothing else really matters, after all. Thanks for the courage and the post!

noodle and lou said...

you go girl!! beautifully written. you are awesome! xox

. said...

I totally agree with you. I'm glad that you put this out there because there are too many that do bury their heads in the sand because the comparison game is just too overwhelming. God gave us FULL ability to do in our lives as we should and according to Him, it's up to us to find that spark inside to follow through.

Lindsay - Pen & Paint said...

Hi. I am guilty of being the person going, "How do they do that?"
Feeling inadequate. Comparing. Resenting.
I didn't understand. I was trying to do too much myself. I wasn't getting the rest I needed. I was trying to do things the wrong way. That is why I stopped. That is why I took a break. I saw that I needed to detach from places/people I couldn't handle.
It wasn't their fault. It was the fact that my personality, my brain, couldn't handle how they function.
Now that I took a break and refocused and learned some things about myself I can look at mamas like you (which I didn't even know about before the break) and smile. I can know your life isn't perfect, and know you do what you need/want to do (and it's best for your family).
It's good you shared this for those mamas out there who need to step back and stop comparing themselves. It does steal joy.

Zookeeper Jess said...

Amen, sister! I often feel the same way. It's just my personality and we make it work and we cannot help it if that makes other people feel defensive. It just doesn't really make any sense to me why it bothers people what we do in a single day. 0_o

Bri @ Mod Memento said...

Love this Crystal. The idea of comparing myself to others all day quite literally exhausts me. It's so much more freeing knowing that I have my own purpose and gifts and I don't need to chase after someone else's. Great post, girl!

crystal said...

Love your blog! I hope you have a great day!

Lydia Thompson said...

You are so what I needed to hear. I have been struggling a lot with anxiety and trying to do so much. Homeschooling an 8 year old with an almost 6 month old baby while building our first home. The feeling of inadequacy lingers over me. I need to manage my time much better. Some of your words really put things into perspective. Thanks for that ♥

Lydia @ the adventures of Mommaloo

check me out sometime, I am just getting started :)

Happy Hodge Podge said...

Precisely why I don't blog. Why put myself out there for more criticism than I get face-to-face?!

Tawny Reynolds-Wohlers said...

not to sound like a broken record, but I agree. It seems so many blogs are just to puff up the person writing, they are not helpful, just a list of what someone else has done. I choose to give glory where it is due, Thank you Lord for giving me the energy to homeschool, the patience to do homecare, and the ambition to care for my home and everything that that entails. Without Him, I am nothing. (I sometimes have to be reminded of this, but not today.)
Anyways, I like your blog, and when I find moments like these where I can hyperspace over here, well, those are good days for me. :)

jrandchels said...

I have been a stay-at-home mom for 9 months now, and I have been reading your blog for about that amount of time. I always enjoy and am touched by the truth you speak. Thank you for your honest heart and sharing your love for Jesus with those of us who read. It really is a treat.

Our Beaten Path said...

I too am going to use a few quotes from this post! Great words!! I get asked everyday at work how I get it all done. It's because I'm a DOER an not a sit back and wish I could do it. Great post!

Pink Fairy Vicky said...

I just wanted to echo your post and also all the lovely ladies comments before me. I have only been a stay at home Mum for about a Month but already I am getting comments from so called friends, I am not doing these things to out do them I am doing them because they make me happy!

Meyers Family said...

That was just what I needed to read today! Thanks!

Wendy said...

Thank you for being honest! I am curious as to how other SAHM get crafty projects done and all the other needs of the house. I am not stressed out by this but look for ways to better manage my time and be more efficient so I can be the Mom that I want to be and not the Mom that others are.

Suzanne @ Life Made Joyful said...

Great words. I love that verse! I strive every day to wisely use the time that I have been given. Some days I fail, some days I don't. And you are so right about comparison - biggest thief of joy!! Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

I rarely respond to blog posts because I like to spend my small amount of free time reading them, but I really feel you on this one. I feel like a lot of the "mommy blogs" are creating an environment of substandard parenting. A mentality of "everyone else is a slacker, so I can too". I was thinking of this today when another blog post was discussing favorite toddler movies. Honestly, I was a little horrified and disgusted by not only the movies people are letting their kids watch but also the amount of time they are letting their kids sit in front of the screen just so they can get a little free time. I don't want to be judgemental and I think we should all try to be very supportive and realize that none of us are perfect and we all fail at something everyday, but we shouldn't give up on making the effort.

Mrs. Dilday said...

Crystal - I love you!!! I think you rock on all levels!!!!

Carolyn said...

Thank you for your post and I just had to comment to say that I believe if you start your day in the Word, God multiplies your time. I know that I get twice as much done when I give God my first fruits. We all have the same amount of minutes in a day, it is up to us as individuals how we choose to spend them. I shared your post on Facebook and received positive feedback, may you be encouraged.

Jacqui Michelle said...

You have nothing to feel but pride in your hard work, your family, and your wonderful work ethic that you are passing on to the next generation. So many these days want to complain, blame, point fingers...no one wants to claim there own problems and step up to face them. Bravo to you for being the best person you can be. And may I just say thank you for being a "true" Christian and not just mouthing the words but actually living by the intended meaning. I have been saddened lately by the amount of people I see claim to be Christians and then spew hate and not live by the loving words that were meant. Bless you and the way you choose to live your life because it is no one's business but your own!

Bunnyslady said...

Once again, you have hit the nail right on the head. We should congratulate those how we deem successful instead of tearing them down. As a mother to be, I constantly find myself in awe of mothers around me. But instead of complaining about how much they accomplish, I ask for their advice and tell them that I admire them. After all, how else will I learn?

anneoverbeek.blogspot.com said...

AMEN sister!!! If we love God and live the life he wants us to, it doesn't matter what others think or don't think about it because we live for the King!

Rachelle said...

What a well written post! I think this all needed to be said. It is sad that as women we tend to compare ourselves to others...especially when, generally speaking, we are comparing our worst qualities to someone else's best, you know? I believe that we will be held accountable for the time that we are given, but it is between us and God. Good for you for being who you are a doing things that bring you joy. :)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Well said. Thank you.

Karin @ madebyk said...

This was a great reminder for me to make wise choices with my time -- which is ironic because I was so taken with this blog (my first time here) that I then spent probably close to an hour reading all sorts of past posts. Hmmm, I should probably go do some laundry or something. And decide what's for dinner. And finish the purse I was going to finish yesterday. And... : )

But I look forward to coming back, perhaps for a shorter visit though. Thanks for sharing!!!

Kelly Horsford said...

I have never left a comment but this one touched me. I feel judged for the same reason. Thanks for reminding me that it's their problem...not mine.

Kelly Horsford said...

I have never left a comment but this one touched me. I feel judged for the same reason. Thanks for reminding me that it's their problem...not mine.

MaraMichelle said...

It's very sad that people respond this way to your incredible enthusiasm for life and your family. I'm in awe of your get up and go and wish I had the same energy. Keep up the great work!

Kim said...

I ABSOLUTELY love the embroidery project that you have in the hoop in this post. Can you let me know where you got it. I saw in later posts thats its finished, and its AMAZING!!

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