I was great with child exactly five years ago, sweltering in my hugeness with heat radiating from concrete, counting down the weeks until. Then on a bright and sunny afternoon in September I birthed a child and took the title, “mother”, just like that. Boom.
For all of these years since, I thought I was just a mama. Just an average mama with three babies in less than four years and significantly less sleep. Arguably less sanity, to be sure.
Actually I’m not “just” a mom. As it turns out, I am supermom.
Today I heaved a 15kg bag of rice up to the countertop with one arm while balancing a fussy, chunky one-year-old on my opposite hip, jiggling and kissing his head while measuring two cups of rice and four of water without spilling a single grain.
Yesterday I boasted herculean efforts in patience as my three and five-year-olds were caught drawing all over the walls with crayon (again) and I didn’t yell.
I also spent the morning doing approximately thirty-seven things simultaneously while negotiating peace agreements in the playroom with repeat offender toy tyrants, all while keeping them fed and stocked with clean underwear, and the other day I even went *ahem* number two while holding the screaming, teething baby rather than subject him to the torture known as The Floor. I know, I know. Amazing.
It doesn’t stop there.
I am a person-growing, baby-birthing, human-being-raising woman who loves with ferocity. Like a tribal warrior only with less piercings and more yoga pants.
The other day I hoisted up my heavy 3 and 1-year-olds, each on one hip, because they were both wailing for goodness-knows-what. Each. On. One. Hip. Combined they equal half of my weight, and there I stood in the kitchen with a bubbling pot and a beeping timer and eleventy billion urgent tasks calling my name, shushing and hushing and swaying, kissing their sweaty summery heads until their hearts calmed merely by my presence and my touch. My heart exploded a thousand times like tiny fireworks and I felt like supermom.
A few weeks ago I took four kids 5 & under (one is my niece) to Costco for groceries. If that doesn’t earn you a supermom badge, my friends, NOTHING WILL.
I have had more poop and pee and boogers and snot (every mom knows there’s a difference between those two) and blood, sweat, and tears (oh, the drama and tears) wiped on my shoulder and beyond than what I ever conceived possible.
Without fail every evening I muster up the patience yet again to walk the wandering wee one back to bed for “one more kiss” and a good night.
I juggle the grocery budget like the CFO of a Fortune 500 and I make (usually) healthy meals and snacks every. single. freaking. day (dear God, why do they want to eat EVERY DAY?!). I can balance 46 things in my arms while entertaining multiple children and stirring something on the stove, multi-tasking the dishwasher unload and reload times eleven.
I let them “help” make dinner, and I clean up from their “help” while thanking them profusely.
Staying up late. Getting up early. Oops, trying to get up early… to work and earn some extra income for our family. Sun-up to sundown it goes, around and around and around again.
I buckle them into carseats. And out. And in. And out. And in. And out AGAIN. I trudge up the stairs for the diaper cream when he’s getting rashy even though my legs are oh-so-tired, I rock and I rock and I breathe deep and nurse and try my best to drink it all in while simultaneously trying to avoid feel guilty for not enjoying it more.
I keep hearing the collective cry of my mama friends saying that supermom doesn’t exist. Supermom is a myth.
I beg to differ, dear ones.
I see supermom every single day when I look into the mirror and cringe at the tired circles under my eyes and the jiggly junk in the trunk. I don’t just see a doughy soft, exhausted mom. I see supermom staring back at me.
Those eyes may be tired and the frolic may be all but dimmed but I’ll be darned if I don’t see a little bit of it showing through. It’s the supermom magic leaking out, peaking out from the mundane liturgy of laundry and diapers and gobs of patience with unreasonable tiny humans that we love so tight.
Also? I believe you round out the superhero team in plenty of ways I lack.
You are a working mom, a special-needs-mom, a mom battling depression with every fiber of your unshowered being. You are an overwhelmed and stressed out mom. You are sitting in the carpool lane because your kids go to public school or you are staying up late and bleary-eyed into the night to prep for tomorrow’s homeschooling. You are a quiet mom, a mom-with-a-yelling-problem-trying-to-change, a mom whispering prayers for her kids and for her sanity all at once. Dear God, please let us keep a teeny tiny bit of the sanity. You are the super-duper tucker-inner and you have secret superpower handshake hugs that make little boys’ eyes twinkle with delight.
You possess magical powers for ice-cream-eating after the kids are in bed, and for this – I salute you. And join you.
We do incredible, mind-blowing things that strangers “out there in the world” gape at, slack-jawed and amazed. We are mothers, and we are amazing.
I am supermom.
And so are you.