Why moms don’t want to be called superheroes

This viral post says what we're all feeling when we hear, "OMG you're so amazing, how do you do it?"

stop telling moms we're superheroes

I'm sure you've seen it by now, mama—and I'm guessing you had the same reaction I did: Seen. Me RN. Yes. This.

First shared by Twitter user RamblinMama and subsequently shared (and reposted everywhere) on Instagram, this exchange sums up 2020's particular brand of toxic positivity toward mothers in six lines:

Moms: We are drowning. Help.

Everyone: Wow you're superhuman!

Moms: What? No. Can you just hel—

Everyone: I don't know how you do it!

Moms: We're not. Help us.

Everyone: OMG you're amazing tho [heart eyes for days]

I'm glad everybody's so impressed by how mothers are navigating the impossible during this pandemic—the high-stakes juggling acts of crisis-schooling and working from home with young children, the anxiety and stress surrounding back-to-school, the slow-motion collapse of the childcare industry, the vicious double standards pushing record numbers of burned-out working mothers to leave their careers, the heartbreaking struggle to keep our kids' spirits up through all this, the isolation and mom-shaming, the relentless insistence that deep breathing or a glass of wine will solve our problems, the fact that most of our kids haven't seen their beloved grandparents in six or seven months.

I mean… it's nice to hear we're such "superheroes."

How lovely, to have our sacrifices and efforts reflected in weepy commercials.

How thoughtful, to see some acknowledgment that moms are burned out beyond all recognition—like, to a crisp.

How hopeful, to imagine that our leadership might (maybe? possibly?) actually pass some of the funding that's been stalled all summer in Congress for essential services like childcare and school.

Thanks… I guess?

But by this point in the pandemic, I personally could use a little less "You've got this, mama!" and a little more "Let's fix this, people!"

Because we are not okay. We are not superheroes. We are drowning.

Moms are constantly being told that the secret to successful motherhood is to "make time for self-care." These self-care recommendations typically take the form of something only moderately or temporarily helpful, like taking a walk, texting a friend, having a long bath, doing some yoga, knitting, having a glass of wine or a mug of tea. (Seriously? Tea?)

These days, self-care isn't a mug of tea. Self-care is starting to look less like deep breathing, and more like shouting from the rooftops: "THIS. ISN'T. WORKING."

I get that people are just trying to be nice. But "OMG you're so amazing" is just 2020 for "Sleep when the baby sleeps." It's a useless, well-meaning platitude that doesn't recognize the on-the-ground reality for most of us.

Moms don't need empty congratulations on how well we're handling all this. We need real, systemic support.

Support means funding childcare providers and schools, especially as they implement large-scale, expensive changes so that kids and teachers can be together again safely.

Support means equal pay for equal work. Support means acknowledging the mental workload. Support means partners actually stepping up and doing their share—not just what they think is their share.

Support means flexibility from employers, especially for single working mothers. Support means extending economic benefits to families that need them.

Support means more than a heart-eyes emoji. And what moms need right now goes way beyond self-care, or even a well-meant compliment.

Let's fix this.

<p> Siobhan Adcock is the Experts Editor at Motherly and the author of two novels about motherhood, <a href="" target="_blank">The Completionist</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">The Barter</a>. Her writing has also appeared in Romper, Bustle, Ms., McSweeney's, Slate, Salon, The Daily Beast, The Chicago Review of Books and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter. </p>

In This Article

    These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

    It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

    When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

    But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

    I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

    So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

    It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

    But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

    Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

    Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

    Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

    Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

    Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

    This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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