Parenting

Is Olympic Swimmer Dana Vollmer a Super Mom?

Growing up in the sixties, and coming of age in the seventies, the soundtrack of my childhood sounded like this:

She can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan… and never let you forget you’re a man.

The accompanying image from the Enjoli perfume ad was a baritone stripper wearing a business dress and stilettos while swinging a frying pan:

By the time the eighties rolled around, I had given up on being a stay-at-home mom. It was too hard. So I became a business owner with four young children. That’s when I decided to kill my inner Super Mom and bury the cape in the back yard.

The reality had hit me, after two years of running my own business, that I had done such a good job at being Super Mom that I could have vanished and it would have taken my kids till the weekend to figure out I was gone. Because I was always gone.

Enter the new Super Mom of 2016.

From USA Today

Super Mom and Super Dad have had quite a busy week … and it’s only Monday.

Dana Vollmer has already qualified for the Rio Olympics, with her second-place finish in the women’s 100-meter butterfly Monday night at U.S. Olympic trials here. Super Mom will try to become the first American female swimmer to win a gold medal after giving birth.

Which brings us to Super Dad, the term Vollmer uses for her husband, Andy Grant, who is taking care of their 15-month-old son Arlen all week long while Vollmer focuses on the meet.

Vollmer’s body began its journey from pregnant woman to world-class swimmer 15 months ago, and it hasn’t been an easy one. The training and structure have helped Vollmer get her body back — and put her in position to show her son her dominance in the pool.

Show her son her dominance in the pool? As if it is for him? Seriously. At fifteen months, children still needs to be shown the difference between eating peas and rocks. At that age, the life lessons you can teach kids are to not put food up their noses and where to pee.

Don’t get me wrong, that is not to denigrate her accomplishments. If that is her drive and purpose in life — go for it. Apparently, her baby is blessed with a daddy who has no problem meeting the needs of his young son. Hey, it works. At least by the standards of today.

And by today, I mean that literally. The needs that everyone is meeting within their own family can only be accomplished in the present moment. Needs change. Children grow. Relationships evolve.

But don’t buy into the Super Mom lie the boomer generation fell for. She’s a myth. Super Mom was conjured up as a mythical creature by feminists to lure you away from the really hard parts of mothering: self-sacrifice. Motherhood is hard.

Good mothering is not rewarded in press releases. It’s often lonely, smelly, embarrassing and downright painful. The rewards are entirely internal and irrevocably eternal.