Summer of no fun: Chicago super mom hangs up her cape

I’m a really good mom. I’m not tooting my own horn or saying I’m better than you, I just realize after nearly 18 years on this gig, I’ve gotten quite decent at managing the lives of six people, making kick-butt meals and handling my own little business on the side. Some have even called me Super Mom on occasion. To this, I shrug, tighten my cape and drive on.

These past few weeks though, Super Mom has been stressed out. Finding a house after a two-year search has drastically changed our summer plans. What started out with big plans for Camp Kutliroff via Super Mom, has ended up with mediocre plans barely worthy of a super hero’s sidekick. My older ones have felt gypped out of a great summer and my younger one, ignored. Too many hours of screen time have left them bleary-eyed and cranky. Bored, they say. “Go outside,” I retort. Super Mom is cranky.

I’ve been a little preoccupied, angry even, and overwhelmed with everything changing and going on in my life. I tried so hard to continue on in my Super Mom capacities, and I started off strong with crafty fever and fun galore. But, here I lay – just a normal, tired, over-extended mom. Bah-humbug.

Each day I look at my kids and they look back at me with longing eyes to do something more exciting than packing or watching mommy do even more paperwork. I feel for them. We’ve done day trips and even a two week jaunt to California in the midst of all this madness. But to them, California was eons ago. Children really do have wonderful short-term memory loss.

So, the guilt weighs hard on this former superhero.

I have given as much as I can give. I have pushed on as much as I can push. Now is time to impart survival mode for moms and just say no. No, I cannot take you out today. No, I cannot drive you to the beach. No, we cannot make that awesome project you found on Pinterest right now. No. No. No.

This new “No Mommy” isn’t permanent and it doesn’t feel very good at all. But, it is what must be done. I know that long-term I am going to return to my post as Super Mom. I also know that in the long term, this summer will probably go down as one of my kid’s most boring – but, so what?

Why must we moms berate ourselves into providing fun at every turn? Excitement at every moment? Create a craft to beat all crafts out of things otherwise known as trash? I had the best of intentions and life just got busy – very busy – as I tried to provide a larger home for our family, get my son ready to go abroad, sell our current home and pack, pack, pack 20 years of family life into boxes. It wasn’t luxurious spa time that I chose to walk away from my Super Mom duties for. It was mere duties that pulled me away. And, sometimes, Super Moms, life happens.

So, here is my diatribe for you and my reminder for me: even Super Moms need to remove the cape once in a while and be just amongst the regular crowd. Time to go incognito.

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