Mom of the Year vs Supermom?

To understate things, I’m not particularly fond of the supermom myth. I don’t know many moms who are. Yet our society continues to perpetuate the idea that moms can and must do it all.

Women fought for the right to be in the workplace, yet didn’t relinquish any of the traditional roles moms have played in households very well. We have this idea that we must strive for everything. We must be successful career women. We must be dedicated self-sacrificing moms. We must be able to manage it all without complaint or even asking for help. Supermom is superhuman. She does not exist!

When I see a contest/award like the Mom of the Year, my immediate reaction is excitement that we are recognizing moms for all of the hard work they do in the toughest job on earth! Yet, my social conscience quickly jumps in with the BUT… but how does this award NOT perpetuate the supermom myth? How do you choose a mom of the year, without highlighting everything that a supermom is? If I had my way, I’d see the award go to an average mom who is struggling like the rest of us to make everything work, but has found a happiness in her role that has flown over to her family. I want a regular everyday mom to be made an example of to the rest of us. We all have our challenges and in each of our own situations, it is likely the toughest thing we’ve ever faced.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Karine Ewert, Editor-in-Chief of Today’s Parent magazine, and one of the judges selecting the Mom of the Year. Our conversation could probably fill 20 posts, and there will be a couple of more to come, but I really wanted to learn how a woman who clearly gets that the supermom expectation is doing a huge disservice to moms is going to approach her role in selecting this award.

The first thing Karine told me was how she wished EVERY mom could get an award. All 13000+ nominations, all 9 million plus moms in Canada. This made me smile.

It was so refreshing to hear her speak of the challenges with making time for date night, struggling to get kids to bed (and stay in bed), getting to the office on time, managing the taxiing of the children day in and day out. If the Editor-in chief of a leading parenting magazine struggles with these things, then we all must. The key is that she has found her happy place. She emphasized that it really wasn’t about finding balance, but about being happy. Karine is a self-proclaimed work-aholic, because she loves her job, and would dedicate every moment that she had to it, if she could. Yet, she says the same about her time with her children.

We all have an inner battle going on about preserving our “self” while still being a selfless mom. The stories that have already been submitted in response to Wal-mart’s call out for nominations have been overwhelming. Taking the time to read just a few reminds you of how important the job of being Mom really is. And they reminded me of how moms often put everyone else first.

Even in discussing the wonderful philanthropic aspect of this award it came to the surface. Wal-mart is presenting the Mom of the Year with a $10,000 prize to spend as they see fit, as well as $100,000 to present to the charity of her choice! Each of the other seven top nominees will also receive $10,000 and an additional $10,000 to present to the charity of their choice! As soon as this was mentioned, I pointed out how the moms who are selected will likely feel better about being selected for such an honor knowing they can do something for others with it.

There is still time to nominate the mom in your life for Mom of the Year. Deadline is July 8th though, so act fast!

Wal-mart has generously provided giftcards for our readers to be entered to win too!

You can enter below for a prize of either $50 or $25 from Wal-mart Canada. Deadline to enter is July 7th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two

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Michelle Kristin Galante

thank you fo rthis great chance – I am going to nominate my 3 mothers – I have my mom my step mom and my mother in law without all of them in my life I would not be the person I am today and I love them all very much.

Colleen Kelly-Wardle
Colleen Kelly-Wardle
10 years ago

Neat contest!

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Stephanie Douglas
Stephanie Douglas
10 years ago

So true about there perpetuation of the super mom myth. Even those women who we think are doing it all have their moments of being overwhelmed and under appreciated.