Author Gina Fontaine On Life as a Supermom
For years, Gina Fontaine in her self-appointed role as General Manager of the Universe made a valiant attempt to conquer everything. She sacrificed time for herself, her health, and happiness, all in the spirit of keeping the trains running efficiently at home.
But suddenly her world went into a tailspin when, a few years ago, she found herself cast into the role as a divorced single-mom with rebellious kids that pushed her to the brink daily. Like so many overtaxed mothers, she reached a breaking point.
These experiences though sparked her decision to embark on a new path of becoming a happy, healthy, and awesome mother. In her popular book “You Are A Supermom: 5 Ways to Reclaim Your Superpower and Thrive,” Gina offers moms hope for bringing a sense of order and sanity to their own lives. In it she shares five core "myths" on motherhood that nearly every mom falls prey to, misconceptions that Gina says prevent her fellow women comrades from thriving and living up to their full potential.
Her book describes the deep frustrations that many mothers face while encouraging them to self-reflect on issues they may have been able to identify. When I asked her in a recent interview about this, she added:
“There’s a lot of mom guilt. Certainly, it’s a very common experience with mothers. The mom’s I talk to often feel like they’ve read all the books. Or they've maybe talked to counselors about how to piece their lives back together. They then try it, the method or what the book said, and it doesn’t work. So what I hope people will come away with from me is that ultimately your children chose you because you have something special to teach them. But what’s even deeper is that you have something to learn from them.”
I then asked Gina to expand upon this thought and she offered this….
“I think for me once I learned that my children are my teachers and not the other way around, it took me off of that pedestal. I still try though from time to time to get back up on that pedestal and be the authoritative parent. But now that my kids are all teenagers, they just kind of look at me like ‘yeah, good try mom.’
In the dedication at the front of the book, Gina briefly recounts how her oldest son in particular “taught her patience, to be more judicious and to really be more openhearted and compassionate.” She says that she doesn’t know if she would have learned those lessons if she’s had had a super well-behaved perfect child who got straight A’s and got a full ride scholarship to college.
“So I can be grateful, even though we had to endure some really challenging times. All of this forced me to dig deeper into my relationship with myself and my relationship to God and finding strength in community.”
Another thing she says she learned was to humble herself enough to say to others….
…… “hey, I’m having a hard time feeding the kids this month, can someone help? And then friends would bring dinners. I mean it’s like people were just waiting for me to say that I needed help. That’s a difficult thing I think for many women because we don’t want to reveal our weakness and be seen as not having everything under control.”
Gina says that as humans the fact that we’re supposed to be in community, working together, is particularly true as moms.
‘The pandemic really pulled us apart and now we’re all trying to figure out how to comfortably come back and commingle. We’re all different from those two years of separation. We’re all trying to find our way. So I think it’s important that moms and families come together in community and share.”
Speaking of development, I asked Gina how books have become a vehicle for her own growth and development. She enthusiastically responded:
“Yeah. I just, I love books! I particularly enjoy development and business success stories. That’s where I am right now, those are the books I love.”
When I asked her what’s on her nightstand, she rattled off several
Right now I’m listening to “The Book of Joy” with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu being interviewed.
“It always seems like the books that I choose or the book that lands in my lap or one that someone gives to me is just exactly what I need at the time. Or sometimes I’ll just scan my bookshelf and let my finger land on the spine of my next read.”
The Slight Edge by and The Seven Laws of Enough are a couple of other books she mentioned having taken in of late.
“I keep telling myself I need to get more fiction in my life but yet I always return to these types of books.”
But back to being a mom, Gina says that her own book “You Are A Supermom” is about women ultimately becoming more by doing less and being more of themselves.
“My aim is to pave the way for moms to let go of perfection and to be more compassionate towards themselves. Whether you are a single mom, a working mom, or a mom who is being pushed to the breaking point and wondering how you'll ever find time to feel happy, healthy, and balanced again, You Are A Supermom is your guide to learning how to thrive.”