What it Means to be a Supermom?

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“Definition of supermom: an exemplary mother; also :a woman who performs the traditional duties of housekeeping and child-rearing while also having a full-time job”

 

Last month a wonderful full-time mom of a toddler was sent this excerpt from Merriam Webster Dictionary because she chooses to call herself ‘a supermom’ despite being a ‘stay-at-home-parent’ and hence, the sender wanted to educate her better on the definition of ‘supermom’.

 

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Now the mom in question; she is kind of mother who spends hours playing, teaching new things to her baby. Literally! The toddler who has just turned three is almost ready to start reading (that tells extent of her involvement in child’s life). She’s educated, a professionally qualified woman who choses to sit at home and be there for her child instead of leaving him to servants/day cares.

 

Being an only daughter of her parents, she was spoiled rotten while growing up and wouldn’t even pick a glass of water herself to drink. But as a mom, she cooks homemade puddings and soups, has shifted her routine, changed her life style to suit that of her child’s. And she’s not someone who enjoys sitting at home and just taking care of a child. She has aspirations. She has ambitions to fly and do stuff of her own. She would like to pursue her professional career. She would like to go outside and make a mark of her own. But there is this child who needs her more. And she is happy just being a mother at the time. The initial years of a child’s life are so crucial. Those are the years which form child’s basic character.

 
“It is a fundamental truth that the responsibilities of motherhood cannot be successfully delegated. No, not to day-care centers, not to schools, not to nurseries, not to babysitters. We become enamored with men’s theories such as the idea of preschool training outside the home for young children. Not only does this put added pressure on the budget, but it places young children in an environment away from mother’s influence. Too often the pressure for popularity, on children and teens, places an economic burden on the income of the father, so mother feels she must go to work to satisfy her children’s needs. That decision can be most shortsighted. It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character. Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness. How vital are mother’s influence and teaching in the home—and how apparent when neglected!”
― Ezra Taft Benson

 
The biggest sacrifice is the one when the best thing a woman could do is to go outside in the world and do wonderful things of her own but instead, she chooses to sit at home and gets another human being ready for doing wonderful things. As an educated, a professionally qualified person, I understand how hard it could be for an educated woman to choose that path solely for well-being of a tiny new life.

 
I’m also a full-time mother and I love being a one. I have Masters in Business Administration, have B.Sc. and also B.Ed. But I love staying at home and just being lazy. I enjoy cooking and baking, keeping my house clean, be there for my kids when they come back from school, and I’m addicted to words, to books and sunny days; the simplest things as I’m a simple person and for which I have been taunted, laughed at. Did those taunts make any difference to me? No, not at all! Because the people who utters those things, I understand, are definitely narrow…sort of pig-headed (Guess what? They are raised by a full-time mom!What a shame!).

 

 

Now I don’t think I’m sacrificing anything by being a stay-at-home parent because I take comfort, take pride in being the one. But I know there are many others who would rather go outside and pursue a professional career. And those full-time moms are the ones who make the biggest sacrifices when they choose to sit at home, take care of their children and be happy.

 

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Now if we come back to earlier definition of ‘Super Mom’ in Merriam Webster Dictionary, a thing to note is that all Merriam-Webster dictionaries trace their lineage to Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, which is an American company that publishes reference books.

 
In 1960s, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) had gathered increasing support with the rise of the women’s movement. ERA is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters (*source wiki). It was reintroduced in 1971 and passed both houses of Congress in 1972. That’s when it was submitted to the state legislatures for ratification.

 
The word “supermom” was used for the first time in 1974. Its origin in post second-wave feminism society of 1970s United States at the time when women’s career-oriented way of life was trending, was not merely a chance occurrence. The majority of the women in those times viewed the pursuit of a professional career along with managing traditional homemaker’s duties as a challenge.

 
According to Collins Dictionary, the word “supermom” stands for an extremely capable and busy mother.”

 
Definition of ‘supermom’ in Collins is more in context with today’s times. The pressure on women- to prove themselves professionally no longer exists (superwomen squeeze), especially, in developed countries nor does the ‘superwoman syndrome’ and ‘superwoman complex’; where a woman has high expectations from herself that she can and should do everything.

 

But sadly, the closed-minded people out there lack the ability to understand this kind of concept; the very simple fact that every mother: working or not, is indeed a ‘supermom’. Poor bigots!

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous classic poems under her pen name Avira N.

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Being A Mother – A Short Prose

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I love my kids.

I love their laughter and their voice, their thousand little questions about anything and everything.

I love smell of their bodies and touch of those little hands, the thousand kisses and the big bear hugs.

I love how they love everything I do for them — make a cake or read a story, massage their heads or bake an apple pie.

I love how they trust me to fix anything and everything—an aching ankle or the bad dream, a bad day in school or a broken heart.

I love how they think I’m always right—be it a disagreement or an argument, a war of words or a real quarrel with their dad.

I love how they awakened the emotions—raw and deep and sharp, I never knew existed inside me.  I love how they were part of my body once, connected to my soul.

I love how they taught me the meaning of selfless love and putting others first.

And most of all, I love how they gave birth to a new me; a Mother who was not there before and how they taught ‘that new me’ to stop judging my mother and father and recognize their selfless love.

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets, two legacies: Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous, classic love poems under her pen name Avira N. the book is:

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Confessions of a first-time writer

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It’s been a month since I finished writing my first book and I’m still in vacation mode: plenty of library, bookstores visits, and once again, I’m on a reading spree. Although writing definitely was fun, it took out the biggest pleasure out of my life-cut my reading time to almost nil. I hated that in the beginning. There were moments when I wanted to leave my book midway and go back to my old routine of a few hours of compulsory reading squeezed into otherwise hectic hours of my days. Countless times, I regretted my decision of taking to writing. Being a full-time mother of two young children and doing thousands other chores around the home was difficult enough. What kept me going in the beginning then? My vanity! Yes, it was vanity that wouldn’t let me quit. I didn’t want to prove myself a failure in others’ eyes. Before I started writing, I had proudly announced my new undertaking to the world (well, not the world. But yes, many people other than family and a few friends). I had no choice other than to stick to my writing then. No matter how humble we consider ourselves, we never can escape vanity completely. Not us, humans. I was no exception. And then, as I would make progress, another idea would pop in my head; a better idea, more appealing, utterly tempting. Countless times, I resisted the urge to leave the current work midway and work at the new idea. Sometimes I wrote a wonderful episode or a chapter and realized I couldn’t use one of my other chapter. Then to make the matter worse, I loved both my chapters too much to cut either one. And thus, I had to change the plot once again to fit them together. Painfully, slowly my book started taking shape. It was gratifying. I knew I was in love with writing then. It was still exhausting; to manage kids, home, and writing all at once. My hands itched to write, but there were thousand chores I had to finish first. I wrote everywhere and anywhere I could carry my laptop and had more than half hour on hand. I wrote at my kids’ swimming classes, my daughter’s dance classes. I wrote while I chatted with my sister on phone. (yes!). I wrote like a maniac. I was so happy the day I finished my first draft. Little did I know that was just the beginning. The editing was tough. I had to rewrite many episodes again and take out previously written ones out. It was difficult enough to part ways with words and sentences I had written with passion. Taking out paragraphs and full pages killed my spirit. By the time I finished my final draft, I had taken out around 35,000 of words. Now, one and a half year later, my novel is complete. I haven’t found publisher yet but hoping to get one soon. Now, I’m contemplating whether to start my second book in the series or write a standalone. It’s a difficult decision. And again, thousands plot ideas are sitting in my head. All I have to do now is zero in on one and I will be good to go.

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets, two legacies: Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous, classic love poems under her pen name Avira N. the book is:

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Kids, Books, and Reading- Getting My Kids to Love Books!

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The first time I learned I was going to be a mom, I knew my boy would be a voracious reader. I vowed to make him a book addict, in case, he inherited my husband’s genes who was awfully allergic to literature. Some people were appalled at my idea of forcing my interest on my children, readers among them. But I had a beautiful bookcase in our home office; its shelves laden with all my favourite authors from Tolstoy, Fitzgerald, Wilkie Collins, Steinbeck, Jane Austin, Alexandre Dumas, Gabriel García Márquez, Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell, P. D. James, L. M. Montgomery, Sue Miller, Rowling (as Galbraith), John Irving, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Daphne du Maurier, Markus Zusak, Bernhard Schlink to countless others, all collected with passion and waiting for my boy (and his little sister) to grow up and read those one by one.

When he started kindergarten, I began my efforts of turning him into a reader. It wasn’t a problem. He loved books. He loved dinosaurs and woolly mammals. He loved books about bugs and spiders and lizards and snakes. He loved learning about wolves and sharks and extinct species. He loved books about cars and trucks and how the machines worked. He loved everything non-living and living (which has no feelings). He was hungry for knowledge. I was proud of his tastes, but at the same time, I knew he had to love fiction as well if he wanted to fall in love with reading on the whole. He was a practical, down-to-earth little boy, so unlike me—his mom: a sentimental daydreamer, and he had no love for anything fictional. Our library visits comprised bag full of tree house DVD’s and a solitary story book (that I never get a chance to read to him anyway) with ten books about wild life. I started with every available classic story for boys, tried storybooks with animal characters (considering he loved wild life), and shifted to comics like marvel, then in desperation tried almost every manga, superhero sequels and everything and anything I thought he would find interesting. Nothing worked. And then at the beginning of grade two he started reading fluently, got a fantasy book as home reading from school one day and fell in love with the book, the series, and the reading. It was so easy. I thought I had tried everything. Obviously, I had missed fantasy. By the end of grade two, he had read over two hundred books, mostly full series. Grade three introduced him to Harry Potter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and many others. He is a hard-core reader now; the kind who never leaves home without a book. He takes book to family get-togethers, doctor’s office, grocery shopping (seriously!), long travelling, playdates with cousins (yes!) and anywhere else he knows he has to sit doing nothing over two minutes. He is equally passionate about fiction as well as non-fiction.

By the time his little sister started school, I was ready for her. I had experience. I started with my boy’s favourites. She hated everything her brother loved. Once again, I was left clueless. It took me all of her kindergarten, grade one to third term of grade two and countless books to learn that she loves manga (the mysteries). I started that way too; never could get enough comics. I know there are people who would roll their eyes at comics, manga. As a voracious reader, I know you got to read everything from bad to good. I don’t believe a book can be bad; it’s the writing that is good or bad. Every book teaches you a thing or two about life. Now I don’t care about the shelves full of my favourite books anymore. My kids might read those; it wouldn’t matter if they don’t want to. There are millions of books to read; thousands of awesome books to fall in love with. They will have their own favourite authors, their own favourite genre. I’m happy knowing they love reading. All of you who love books as much as I do will understand my bliss as a mom of hard-core readers.

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets, two legacies: Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous, classic love poems under her pen name Avira N. the book is:

AVAILABLE AS E BOOK & PAPERBACK ON