Living beyond the Supermum myth

Supermum (and dad) is a myth.

There is always a cost to doing it all.

Scratch beneath the surface and no mum or dad is doing “everything” brilliantly and single handedly.

It’s one of the privileges of listening to lots of parents – however good it looks from the outside, everyone makes compromises.

Self care
Intimacy with their partner
Connection with their child
Pursuing their interests
What they eat
Sleep and rest
Feeling guilty for missing their child’s activities

Somewhere along the line they will have had to compromise because having a child doesn’t fit neatly into the available slots of our lives.

Children need us at the most inconvenient times. They have wobbles and things get complicated.

We are human and get tired, sick, have conflicts and challenges. And everyone’s circumstances are different.

Maybe you see the shiny surface “success” of some families, but not the fact that they actually feel very lonely.

Maybe their house looks amazing, but they rarely have time for anything they really enjoy.

Maybe they do amazing days out as a family, but barely spend time together in the day to day and actually feel quite disconnected.

Maybe they have unhelpful habits which they lean on too heavily to get by, but you don’t see what happens behind closed doors.

Maybe supermum/dad has a hell of a lot of help from family or is outsourcing some of their tasks. 

Maybe they, or their children, have different needs to you

No one parent can do it all.  Let alone on the days when life brings curve balls.

So maybe it’s time to ditch the supermum/dad idea which is thrust upon so many parents and do something different.

What if the model and ideal you were working towards is the one which fits your family’s skills, goals, circumstances, values and needs?

Imagine if instead of trying to do what everyone else is doing you shape your family life around what matters most to you and celebrate those achievements.

Yes there will still be compromises, but what if the compromises were in the least important areas and you knew you were living aligned to that?  Then the differences with other parents may not jar so much.

It won’t mean that you don’t sometimes look at what others have and wish for something else, but it  can help you avoid the crippling insecurity and burnout which comes from living aligned to the wrong things for you.  You’re also far more likely to enjoy the journey and feel a lot more fulfilled.

These are some of the many areas parents find it helpful to explore in coaching.  When you take time to step back and think through what you really want and what matters most it is a game changer.

Below is a 5 minute reflection sheet to help you start some of the thinking.  If you’d like a helping hand to explore further then book a chat or e-mail me at:

I send 5 minute reflections out to my mailing list most months.  If you’d like to receive these regularly you can sign up at:

Julie is an ICF accredited coach who offers busy parents thinking space so they can find strategic ways to make family life flow.  Her background includes working with young people in education and as a foster carer. She is experienced at working with young people with additional challenges including SEN and trauma.

Featured Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *