The Supermum Myth is a book that every mother should read whether you suffer from anxiety, guilt, feelings of comparison or negative thoughts. It is written by Anya Hayes and Dr Rachel Andrew and published by Crimson Publishing – an independent publisher based in Bath. The book is available from Amazon, Kindle and there is also a paperback version. I will certainly be passing this book onto my mum friends as I think it rings true with a lot of feelings us mums have during our journey through motherhood, not just raising children but also the journey we take as people.
I personally absolutely loved reading this book as I suffer from horrendous anxiety, feelings of failure as a mother, mum guilt like no other and trying to keep up with the Jones’s. On a daily basis I see in ordinary life “perfect” mothers who seem to have their shizzle together, they look well groomed, their children are little darlings, they speak softly, they aren’t rushing around like a headless chicken trying to keep their children under control – they are in my eyes a “Supermum”. I know you know the ones I mean, it makes me feel so bad, it triggers anxiety and makes me want to change who I am.
When I received the book to review I thought it was another parenting book telling me how to do this and how to raise my children. I was so wrong, it is more about wellbeing for mothers, making you see that Supermum does not exist. Every mother looses their cool at some point, things fall apart and children are just children messing around when all you want them to do is get their shoes on! Some mothers are very good at hiding this from everyone else but it does not make them perfect.
The book has 8 sections:-
- GAAH! Destructive emotions: making friends with guilt, anger, anxiety, hate
- The Thought Police: your core beliefs
- Birthing supermum: your pregnancy, birth and beyond
- Finding your mojo: ‘Where’s my brain? I’m so fricking tired. Who am I?’
- Lonely yet never alone: how becoming a mum affects your relationships
- The school floodgates: navigating the mores from playground to PTA
- Supermum meets super career: work that works?
- Have more joy: finding positive in the day to day
Throughout this book the authors are aiming to focus on the good, your strengths rather than home in on any weakness. The book is not just for new mums – far from it – it is for all stages and ages of motherhood from pregnancy to toddlers and getting through school age. There are a number of activities within the chapters of the book I especially love the Calming the Anxiety activity and have practiced this a number of times, it really does work to make me take stock of what’s important and put a lid on that suffocating feeling creeping up from my stomach and into my throat. I now take deep breaths and in honest words ‘calm the F down’.
Nearly everything written in this book, I can relate to. It is so reassuring to know that I’m not the only mum out there who feels like this. But there is hope and taking care of your mind can really have an affect on how you look at life. There’s a fantastic section within The school floodgates chapter, it sets out a Worry Decision Tree and takes you through a series of questions to ask yourself when you are feeling worried or stressed about something. I have found this useful and think others would benefit from it, it is realistic without sounding silly.
The book gives you the confidence to minimise the negative thoughts, turn your decisions into something positive and help you change your perception of this perfect mum who you’ve made up in your head. Because to your children, you are the perfect mum and they love you unconditionally. If this book does anything, it makes you rethink your thoughts and how you react to certain situations, explaining that it is perfectly normal to feel the way you do but also to assist you in getting through those tough times and having a more positive outlook on life – I’m totally guilty of seeing the negatives first.
The Supermum Myth really is an every day tool for mums and I will be referring back to it frequently, it is something to keep to hand in time of self doubt.
Disclaimer: I was sent The Supermum Myth to review, all words and opinions are my own.