A Note from the Editor
By Jordan Sapir
A few years ago there was a trending tag, #squadgoals. I would casually scroll through social media, tagging besties, ironically suggesting that we take on some superhuman challenge, that is impossible with children. I’d get a swift giggle in reply and move on. Now that I look back on it, it actually makes me wonder: when did setting goals take on a satirical meaning for mothers? Honestly, how many goals did you set in January? Did you achieve them? Or did you put them in the back of your closet with your prepartum clothing, sequined dresses and corsets, never to be seen again? It’s a shame, really.
The topic of this month is, “Goals. Have You Met Them?” After some vital self-reflection, mostly so that I won’t come off like a hypocrite (let the eye-rolling commence), I can, without a doubt, confirm that I have. The great, yet incredibly overwhelming, thing about founding an organization to support women in living a healthy and active life, is that I have to live the mission. I’m happy to say that I do. That’s not always easy. After rather publicly professing my desire to become a triathlete, posting and blogging about my experiences, training and competing, I had to come to terms with the fact that, along with the rewards of setting goals and achieving them, there is also disappointment. Disappointment and failure. Disappointment in realizing that the goals you set were unrealistic and, often times, overambitious. That although you may set a goal and successfully achieve that goal, the results may not be satisfactory. Although the good and the bad of goal setting have to be received with good grace, it is without a doubt necessary to understand that failing at a goal is also succeeding. The redundancy of it all is like motherhood.
There’s also a #momfail. That hashtag used to leave a bad taste in my mouth. Now, after a year of setting goals, achieving some, failing at others, I have to confess that the thought of failure in my eyes only means one thing: if I didn’t have the guts to try, I would never fail. So, bring it on failures, bring on the fire raging inside of me that desires to achieve greatness. Failure allows me to reevaluate, reassess and regroup. This revelation didn’t happen overnight. It took an entire year of training for my first triathlon to be humbled, yet enlightened, by failure. I set a goal to learn how to swim, climb a mountain on a bike, and run after it all. I trained relentlessly and competed.
My inner circle considered it an act of bravery, a great achievement and a good ole check mark off the bucket list. The only problem is that everyone has their own personal expectations of success. Sure, I was happy and grateful for the immense and powerful year of training and successes. But the end result for me, in my own eyes, was a failure. I failed to perform at my peak. I failed to follow the rules and was penalized and reprimanded in front of my children and family. The event ended and it felt tragic. I wanted to crawl into hole and not come out for weeks. It was like the first time I did something obviously dangerous with my baby (I’m probably the only person to admit this): the shame of realizing through the sleepless fog and bewilderment of motherhood that it was most likely a bad choice. The thing is: failure is a big part of goal-setting. Failure is often times what drives you to continue and succeed. Goals. Have I met them? Yes, I’ve come face to face, introduced myself, told them my name, threatened to take them down and see them out. I’ve also had goals ricochet with a force so poignant that it stings, it bruises and puts me to shame in the form of failure. What does an Über Mom do in the face of failure? Sit down and eat humble pie? No sir, we come back for seconds and thirds and show our ducklings that life isn’t about settling when we have goals that are easily achievable.
Failing at something that I believed I would succeed at the first time around has taught me a thing or two. Firstly, I can’t be successful if I try to achieve other people’s goals. Secondly, success and goals are relative. Just like I can’t reach other’s goals, I can’t compare myself to their achievements. There is a fine line between competition and comparison. Lastly, there will always be someone or something that will stand in your way. The more I allow criticism, skepticism and hurdles to stand in my way, the more I become distracted from what I set out to do, and the higher the chance I will fail.
Life, motherhood, it’s about getting knocked down and getting back up again– time and time again. In my case it’s about literally falling off my bike and riding out into the sunlight. Perhaps a little jaded, but hungry, but not for a piece of humble pie. Some people are lucky to achieve goals the first time they set forth. Moms, we deal with failure every day and no amount of failure can lead to surrender. Slight setbacks, maybe, but surrender, for an Über Mom, is undoubtedly impossible. I haven’t learned my lesson and most definitely am continuing down the road to #momsuccess. This year I am riding down the road to Ironman. Follow me, watch me fail, over and over again. I don’t mind. If I can successfully convince one woman that she has the greatness to achieve a goal, I will be elated. After all, we may be Über Moms, but we’re just moms, trying to raise happy healthy families and succeed more than we fail, one day at a time.
Jordan Sapir, mother of two glitter-laden girls, 2 and 5, studied Journalism and International Political Science in NYC, a place she once called home. She can slaughter five languages fluently. She has worked in a newsroom or two, walked a catwalk or three, and is all for an impromptu adventure. Having traded in her Prada for pretzels, the founder of Über Moms lives in Munich, where she is a stay at home mom and studying to become a certified nutritionist. She is a mommy on a mission and wants to help fellow mothers raise healthy happy families, and beat a PR here and there.