It was the day before Halloween. I needed to make a potluck dish for my 3 year old’s preschool party.
I also needed to make sure he ate something substantial before the party because he has to eat gluten and dairy free, and I knew there wouldn’t be many options for him there.
I had no costume ready for him (or for me). At 6 months pregnant, Halloween had really snuck up on me.
Yet all day I thought, “I got this. I am so on top of this. Look at me being super Mom.”
I cut up the giant pie pumpkin we had and baked some of it and puréed the rest.
I ran around like a mad woman trying to find something – anything – in my closet that would resemble a costume. But nothing fit over my belly so I finally gave up and realized I would have to be the lone adult at the party not wearing a costume.
My son doesn’t like to dress up so he was also the only kid not in a costume.
Yet all day I kept feeling so proud of myself. I rushed around, baking, keeping my kid happy, cleaning, basically pretending I was Donna Reed on steroids.
And then we got to the party.
As an introvert, I am not a fan of school parties but I grin and bear it for my kid’s sake.
But the second we got there, he clammed up, totally freaked out by all the giant adults in costumes.
He didn’t want to play with his friends or trick or treat or do anything but ask if he could have cupcakes (they weren’t gluten or dairy free, so the answer was no).
Basically he was a wreck. And so was I.
I felt horrible that with all my running around, I had made a dish for the party (roasted pumpkin) that my kid wouldn’t eat and he didn’t like the few gluten/dairy free options that were there.
So suddenly I wasn’t super Mom anymore.
I was the Mom who totally failed at Halloween (no costumes), whose kid was starving because I didn’t think to bring something amazing that was gluten and dairy free, and that was completely fried by giving myself no breaks all day.
We didn’t stay very long and when I got home, I picked a fight with my partner to let out the tension (please tell me I’m not the only one who does that).
All in all what was supposed to be a super day turned into a crappy day.
And I know exactly why.
I’ve done this to myself over and over. I’ve learned this lesson before. I’m sure I’ll have to learn it again.
The lesson is that whenever I try to be superwoman, I start out flying high and end up crashing in a heap.
The difference is that I’m a mom now and I don’t really get to crash.
The lesson is that I need to stop placing my value on how much I managed to do in a day while staying calm and not breaking a sweat.
The lesson is “do less, not more, and always look for the ease in each situation.”
Like I said, I’ve learned this lesson before. I’m sure I’ve written this post before…
But I keep needing to relearn it.
Next time? I’ll buy a package of gluten and dairy free cookies at the store and not spend hours cutting up pumpkin.
Next time I’ll take a break during the day and lie down for 30 minutes while my child watches a show. (I’ll probably feel guilty but I’ll do it anyway. And when I say 30 minutes, I might mean an hour or even two. I’m 6 months pregnant and my back is killing me!)
I’ve already started to practice taking off my cape. Yesterday I laid down for 30 minutes before picking up my kid from a play date and I…gasp…read a book! And you know what? The rest of the day went so smoothly. All I could think was that those 30 minutes somehow infused the rest of the day with calm.
And today? I’m giving myself another break. I am 100 percent determined to become the anti-superwoman. No more crash and burn for me.
Just no more.