I was lounging around on the couch the other night, much like a turtle stuck on its back, albeit with a glass of chilled white wine in its paw (or whatever it is turtles have).
I had completed a day of chaos; school lunches for three, dropping off and collecting various children from various educational institutions at various start and finish times, written several scripts, an informative article and a blog post in the time between, performed some intermediate technical task, counselled a friend enduring a mini-crisis, avoiding the ironing and had just completed preparations for a highly nutritious and satisfying evening meal for the family.
I was, I felt, entitled to a bit of a sit down, wallowing on my back, glass of wine in hand, mind numbing television flashing before my eyes.
Miranda Kerr, in all her gorgeousness, was appearing on whatever show I had the TV tuned to. She was introduced as blah, blah, something else and “super mum”.
(I wasn’t particularly listening, pretty sure “supermodel” or similar was in there, but whatevs.)
My ears pricked up at the term “supermum” because, first and foremost, I hate it, and secondly, I’m always curious to see what, exactly, a “super mums” is.
And whether I should pursue my dream of ever becoming one.
Mostly, I was shattered, because a friend, not hours before this, had called me one.
Not because I’m the mother of one with a super hot body that men lust after and earns me squillions of dollars and has me jet setting around the world, appearing on The Project, whilst my sole offspring remains at home in the care of someone qualified to care for children (or, quite possibly, locked in a cupboard where it can’t get up to mischief – to assume that Miranda has a nanny for her offspring is just that, an assumption. I have no idea, in reality what she actually does in these situations).
No, she called me one because I do things like write, and be published in books and advocate loudly for mental health in parents, and I raise three kids and they all get to school with some form of edible, albeit uninspiring lunch, and sit on boards, and jump out of planes, and spend entire days with my family, and manage an online community and … well, lots of things.
That I’m about as fashionable as a dead brick and often look like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backward is irrelevant; she felt I was a “super mum”.
Except now Miranda is. Which got me thinking about Elle McPherson whom, as I recall, was the “first” super mum and whom is (was?) very similar to Miranda in many ways.
Ita Buttrose may very well have been the original super mum, and whilst she was in someway connected to the fashion industry, it was in a very different manner to these other two. Maybe she was before the time of the Super Mum and was called something else … ?
Then I recall a few weeks back, in the paper (can’t find the link, sorry) a story about yet another mother of one, who was enduring some rare illness that required difficult surgery, and she was also referred to as a “super mum”, because she was very, very sick and still managing to get off her arse and do mothering type stuff as required.
I didn’t get a very good look at her body, but she didn’t strike me as terribly supermodelish.
Miranda and Elle don’t strike me as terribly Struck Down With Serious Illness Requiring Complicated Surgery, though, either. Nor do they have tubes sticking out of several orifices that impede upon parenting type activities.
On quite a different hand entirely, a few years back, Jana Pittman was referred to relentlessly as a “super mum” because she popped a cherub out her whatsit and did a couple of laps of the running track before the floor had been mopped of the accompanying baby-birthing fluids.
She certainly has a body that would fit into a similar category in which some others referred to “super mums” are, but this next one doesn’t. She is a mum to ten kids. She stays at home and runs a household, and doesn’t go for ten metre runs in her “spare time”, let alone moments after giving birth.
She does not jet set around the world, looking glam, or run along beaches in a bikini that has one wondering where they get their waxing done. She wears clothes from the op shop and I imagine a considerable amount of her exercise comes from the fact that ever time she attempts to sit, someone wants a drink or has shoved some LEGO up the cat’s arse.
Although not far from the supermodel type bod, she had some rolls tucked into her elastic waist pants and was enough for a cuddle-cushion for her kids and hubby.
Further from the supermod bod was yet another super mum; Julie Goodwin, so called because she appears on telly, cooks up awesome meals for her family, and was the first winner of Masterchef Australia. She rocks it, is equally as busy and important as all of the above, and I’m sure this is where she earned her “super mum” accolade.
I don’t think she lost it, but she was certainly torn to shreds after appearing in a women’s mag in nothing but her bathers. And she has three kids.
Which, really, is doing what the supermodels who are called “super mums” do, but she is criticised for it. I’m also guessing she’s not a fan of the ten kilometre run “just for fun”.
Nor am I, just quietly.
All of it just makes me wonder, what, exactly is it that makes you a Super Mum? What precisely do you need to do to earn this title?
What I can work out is that you need have ten kids, be an international supermodel, have a terminal illness, run marathons or 100 metres really, really fast, cook really well, make sure your kids get to school on time, write a book and skydive, all at the same time!
Just between you and I, I did try for the whole international super model bit, but my career as a bikini model was ruined due to necessary baby-extraction surgery.
I also ran ten steps once, after I had a baby (about 36 months after, not 36 hours, but still) and nearly died, so gave up on the whole running-for-fun thing. Technically, I banned ‘running-for-anything’.
I tried for ten kids, but stopped at three because my head couldn’t take any more, and I’d rather avoid some kind of life-threatening illness requiring complicated surgery if it’s ok by you.
I think, rather than try for this elusive, vague and shape-shifting apparition, I’ll just concentrate on being me; doing what I love, sending the kids to school with Vegemite (and sometimes ham) sandwiches, and donning my pyjamas before 4.00 p.m.
I’m far too busy and important – just as all these other amazing-women-in-their-own-rights are – to be ironing my super cape!