We Wear The Cape, But We Still Need Help

We Wear The Cape, But We Still Need Help

It is sometimes hard for women, especially mothers to grasp the idea of asking and taking help; whether when feeling overwhelmed with the routine day to day task or special days when random responsibilities get put on our to-do list by others without consideration of our time. We often have our help-wanted signs turned-off or worst, IGNORED. We are just expected to be present and available all the time, and for everybody. Why?…Because we are the “nurturers.” Mother nature made us the caregivers, and caretakers of everybody…that is everybody, except ourselves. God forbid even suggesting that we need time for ourselves for anything that pertains to us as individuals. If brave enough to make the request, we are often immediately inundated with questions and side-eyes, insinuating “The Nerve” of us to be human, to want guilt-free time for ourselves so that we can do the things that we find interesting or better yet, to do absolutely nothing.

Women and especially mothers are not looked at as humans, NOPE, we are Super-humans, but with less rights than our male counterparts and unequal treatment/representation in almost all areas. But, let’s not get distracted with politics here, *smile-smile, *wink-wink. Stay On Course.

Okay, okay, where was I?

Oh yesss… the expectation for women with children is to be even grander because…YOU ARE A MOTHER! So instantly, our superhuman powers are maximized and we morph into SuperMums. According to the Merriam Webster definition, a supermum (supermom) is a woman who performs the traditional duties of housekeeping and child-rearing while also having a full-time job [outside maintaining the household that is]. So basically, to be considered a SuperMum, mothers should have two full-time jobs, one outside the household, and one in the household. Fortunately or unfortunately, society glorifies mothers that go above and beyond, around and around and through it all, in the name of fulfilling this grandiose persona that has been imposed on women.

The fact is, the job of a mother, whether a domestic engineer (homemaker) or a mother that has 2 full-time jobs (one in house and one outside) or a mother with 3,4, even more jobs (bless her heart), Is Short Of Easy. And we all share one thing in common, the fact that we are always on the clock, somewhere, somehow, 24hrs a day. If you are not present in person, you are always On-Call. Let me repeat that…it is a 24hr a day, Everyday of the week, 365/366 days of the year/leap year vocation, not to be mistaken with vacation. NO SIREE, I mean working! There is no off button, no break, no time-out, no nothing designated as time away that is put in writing that allows mothers to completely check-out without any feelings of guilt.

However, as a woman and mother, from the inside looking out, I know that it is unreasonable to expect this kind of service and sacrifice from any human, be they male, female, single, married, or A Mother. It was not nature’s design to put all the responsibility on one person. In fact, if we look closely at how “mother” nature designed it, we see clearly that women cannot reproduce without outside help from men. Yes, it is true, we are not hermaphrodites, organisms that possess both male and female reproductive organs, although exceptions occur and modern advances in healthcare says otherwise… but I digress.

In the traditional sense, Women Need Help From Men to reproduce or in these modern times, products made by men and assistance from doctors in order to bring forth a tiny human. Either way you look at it, human reproduction is not a job for the lone wolf and the same should be expected of child-rearing AND other household responsibilities.

So, as you can see, “mother” nature knew this was too much work on one person and she gave us the solution in the form of fathers, nature’s built-in partners for mothers. Therefore, when society tries to put everything except “being a provider” on women, I have to give society the side-eye, as in the suspicious look; because, society has been “progressive” enough (with much kicking, screaming, fighting, marching and sacrificing by advocates, activist and women) to “allow” women to also play the role of providers.

Therefore, as a society, we need to make it a norm that men become “more nurturing” as well. We can all play a role in maintaining the family that doesn’t place most of the responsibility on one person. This can literally be as simple as every household practicing: The List Method. I’m not sure if The List Method is a real method out there under a different name that is suggested by family counselors to families or if it is a novel idea, courtesy of my wonderful brain juices flowing. But, I am suggesting it here to anyone looking for ways to contribute to their household and alleviate some of the load carried by mothers.

Ok, now that I’m done tooting my own horn in a roundabout way regarding this wonderful idea, you may be wondering, what exactly is the list method? I gotchu! Continue reading below.

Every household has its culture and norms. This includes the things that occur daily, weekly, monthly and so on and so forth. These things could be compulsory (needs) or superfluous (wants). My idea of the list method is as follows: each household would create a list of all the things and responsibilities that goes into running and maintaining their household, resulting in a tailor-made list for each household. After the list is created, each person in the household would get the opportunity to discuss their contribution and to put their name by specific tasks/responsibilities in a family meeting. The meeting would serve as an opportunity for family members to air grievances regarding any list item. It would also help to foster open communication among family members while also serving as the platform for each person’s role in the family to be clearly defined with their input and comfort level taken into consideration. I envision the list method being effective for everyone in every household because it is based on the idea that teamwork makes the dream work, a phrase commonly used when referring to a typical work environment.

And, although it should go without saying, I must lay special emphasis on households in which one parent stays at home and the other works outside the home. For all my meat eaters I’m talking about the household where only one partner brings home the bacon. For my vegetarians, it is the household where only one person brings home the cheese. And, for all my plant-based people out there, I’m talking about the household where only one person brings home the beans (laugh out loud).

Regardless of your dietary needs, The List Method would be especially helpful in one-salary homes. Because, when working as a homemaker, there is no time clock to punch, no vacation days to accrue, no sick days or personal leave times designated. That means, mothers (and some fathers) are expected to report to work EVERY SINGLE DAY, come rain or shine, in sickness and in health, …you know the rest. Thus, it is up to the other parent and/or others who are a part of their support team to help see that mothers get those benefits that are all so coveted and essential for a well-balanced life as would be expected in a typical work environment.

With that being said, I understand that not every household is a two-parent household, and in some instances, family members, friends, and godparents may provide added support to the parent, whether occasionally or on a more consistent basis. I also understand that in other instances, the mother may not have any outside support at all, which is tragic because again, It Is Not Easy.

Thus, my main aim in writing this post is to highlight the fact that women and especially Mothers Need Help, no matter how superb of a job they are doing or how much they appear to have it all under control.

Ok, yes, I’ll confess that I do believe that women are awesome, and Mothers are extraterrestrial beings with magical powers. However, at the end of the day, no matter how powerful we are, no matter how well we can multitask, there is only so much we can do in 24hrs while still maintaining our sanity and practicing self-care. Thus, let me remind you of the title of this blog post: We Wear the Cape, But We Still Need Help.

The help can come in many different forms, depending on each specific mother’s needs. So if you look at the women and mothers in your life and are ever so curious about how you can be of help to them, don’t hesitate to just ask them directly.

To all the women and mothers out there, know that it is ok to delegate some of those responsibilities to others. It does not make you any less of a nurturer; it will not diminish your SuperMum status (which in my eyes, applies to all mothers everywhere, regardless of their employment status). Know that getting help will increase your energy tank and caring reserves so that you can be at your best for yourself and when you are most needed.

Lastly, to all the SuperMums everywhere, I want you to know that You Are Amazing! You Are Doing A Great Job, Each And Every Single Day. Even if you miss your baby’s “first” moments, or have spaghetti pasta stuck all over the wall on your watch, or always find yourself running late for something, You STILL ROCK! Keep doing your best and know that Your BEST IS All Anyone Can And Should Ever Ask Of You.

With that, I give a round of applause to all women out there, especially the SuperMums. Feel free to leave me a comment below if you have anything to add or subtract. I’m always open to good, constructive dialogue and would be happy to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Dr. U
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[…] As always, I welcome your feedback and comments below. Feel free to share your ideas and tips to help mums with this new reality, because as I mentioned in my last post, We Wear The Cape, But We Still Need Help. […]


[…] But in all seriousness, as far as it being a reasonable expectation, I touched on this topic already in a previous post but I’ll emphasize it again here in this post. Working from home is a completely different and challenging experience for individuals with kids. Check on us mothers. We are working triple overtime. We need encouragement. We need more people to be more understanding of the fact that it is not easy. We need more people to be flexible because things change for us by the minute, and becoming more complicated. Lastly, we wear the cape, but we need help! […]

Dr. U

Hola! I'm Utibe also known as Dr. U. I am sharing my experiences as a wife and mother, as well as a woman starting her career. My goal is to live a more holistic life, Join Me!