When I got the advance readers copy of the book Lose the Cape, I admit I was skeptical. Is this another book that tells me what I can’t be as a parent? I can’t be a super mom? If you follow my SHE-LOGY blog project, you’d know my sentiments towards women. I believe all women are powerful. I believe all moms are supermoms. And this book tells me to ditch the cape?
It took me longer than expected to process my impression on the book, particularly on the idea of not aspiring to be “supermom”. I confess I have a Supermom mentality. Even before I became a mom, I have always placed mothers on a pedestal because I was raised by a mom who simply is “best mom in the world” to me. I guess all of us have our own version of “supermom”, a set of ideals that we aspire for when we become moms.
So, am I a supermom? Far from it! It is merely an ideal, a goal to aspire for. On the tough days, one of the things that keep me going is the idea that I am a super mom. I can do this! When I am about to throw in the towel, I grab for my imaginary cape and re-affirm my supermom powers. In the midst of the mess, I rise with my power pose and convince myself that I can get my act together.
As I read the book, I realize that its intention is not to strip me of my mommy powers. “Lose the Cape” is suggested to free ourselves from the impossible mommy standards we set which can only result in frustrations and pressures that we don’t need to add to what is already a tough job (motherhood).
The book encourages two important mommy attitudes that I totally agree with.
- Stop the comparison game.
- Stop beating yourself up.
I was pleased to find a parenting book that is not imposing a particular parenting school of thought. In a time when there’s just too many parenting methods to subscribe to, when experts contradict each other, when parents debate about the better method of raising kids, it is refreshing to find a book that does not dictate what I should or should not do.
Use it as you like it. Find what works for you. This reflects the general tone that the authors use in the book. The authors — Alexa Bigwarfe and Kerry Rivera, both moms and bloggers, provide suggestions that are respectful, flexible, and down-to-earth. They acknowledge that motherhood is difficult and our situations are unique, and they know that the last thing you want is another mom telling you what you must or mustn’t do.
The book lists 11 common stressors for moms and provides strategies to manage each of them, including tips from regular moms just like me and you. Relatable, applicable, practical. I know I’ll be using the tips from “The Morning Routine”, “Family Calendar”, and “Feeding Your Crew” (Meal Planning). And if that wasn’t enough, there’s a list of additional resources and “bloggers to love” at the end of the book.
I recommend it as one of your first parenting books to read. (A nice addition to books to gift on baby showers.) I know how impressionable we are as new moms. How easily we worry about the little things, how anxious we are that we might be criticized for our parenting choices (and for our mistakes). Reading this book is reassuring because it reminds you to be kind to yourself, to be forgiving, to be accepting of your limits. It’s like a mom that says, “Don’t worry. You’re doing okay. You’re enough.” It’s like a mommy friend that tells you, “Don’t worry, I got your back.”
And as for me, I might be keeping my cape for a while. But now (with my imaginary laser vision), I’ll be watchful of the moments I am tempted to over-criticize myself or to compare myself with my own illusion of the perfect mom across the street or on my Facebook feed.
“To break the cycle of perfectionism and become a fearless mother is to give up the idea of doing it perfectly — indeed to embrace uncertainty and imperfection.” — Arianna Huffington
You can buy a copy of the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lose-Cape-Realities-Strategies-Survive-ebook/dp/B00UWCLY9M.
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Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of Lose The Cape to review on the blog. All opinions in this article are my own.