Trying to be a supermum is a bad idea

SUPERMUMS are in crisis as years of playing "perfect parent" takes a toll on the brain.

Queensland neuroscience researcher and clinical psychologist Delia McCabe said women who bought into the myth that "you can have it all" were at risk of chronic stress and depression.

"Daily chronic stress cripples the part of the brain that stabilises moods," Ms McCabe said.

"The brain changes shape as the frenzied, multi-tasking mother struggles to keep up the image of perfection.

"Many run themselves into the ground trying to impress outsiders and it is not ­sustainable."

Women are 50 per cent more likely to have a mood disorder than men.

Research also shows that children of mothers who habitually operate in a highly stressed mode are more likely to be stressed themselves.

"Many of these mums feel they must turn out perfectly behaved and groomed children who are smart and involved in a multitude of extracurricular activities," she said.

"At the same time, they prepare the healthiest of meals, have a well-toned body and hold down a job."

The supermum shows off her perfect world and children with posts on social media.

"Before social media, families were going about their business raising kids in their own way without judgment, but today's super mum puts even more pressure on ­herself by setting herself up as flawless," Ms McCabe said.

"When she does drop a ball the world comes ­tumbling down."

Gold Coast mother of three Jade Read runs a home business.

"Being a mum is ­already tough, so I have never tried to play into the super mum role," she said.

"I do my best and very rarely post anything about the kids on social media, that way I don't have anxiety about negative feedback."

Supermum signs

  • Always wear makeup on school run
  • Perfectly toned body
  • Posts family perfection on facebook
  • Nothing unironed in laundry
  • Never late for work
  • Bakes cakes from scratch
  • Home-cooked meals in freezer
  • Tuckshop leader
  • Lunchboxes nutritional delight
  • Beds all made in morning
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