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When supermom loses her superpowers

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Reel Mama: When supermom loses her superpowers

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When supermom loses her superpowers

I admit it.  As the mother of an almost 2-year-old, there are days when I feel like anything but a superwoman.  Capeless. No invisible armor to shield me from the trials and tribulations of potty training and temper tantrums.  Some days I just feel like I’ve lost my mommy mojo, and it ain't easy.  Some days I feel like putting out the white flag.  
It's painful to admit.  We supermoms feel super guilty when we have to admit to ourselves, in secret, that we really can’t do it all.
When thinking about supermom, I always envision that magical turn Wonder Woman takes when she needs to turn herself into Wonder Woman.  I find that I need to take that symbolic turn a lot, discovering within myself the strength I didn’t know I had in order to become supermom, and there are days when I take the turn, and nothing happens. I don't turn into supermom.  What would Wonder Woman do if that happened, and the sexy bustier, bullet-proof bracelets, and magic lasso didn't magically appear when she needed them, and she was just...herself?  And she had to figure out how to conquer the world with no superpowers?
In other words, supermom isn’t supermom all the time. Sometimes she just has to be herself, and she’s only human.
Parents today take on the world, and we want to offer our children the world.  Every day moms don’t just want to, but actually do, live up to Chaka Kahn’s anthem: we ARE every woman.  You better believe it!  But there are days when it’s very hard to be all things to all people.
Last night my daughter Leilani climbed out of her crib for the first time, nearly causing serious injury to herself, and causing me to panic with worry.  We are about to undertake a momentous new challenge tonight, when she starts sleeping in a toddler bed.  And today, as if sensing my concern and anxiety, Leilani smiled at me and said, "No problem!" as if to say, “Don't worry, Mommy, everything's going to be okay!”  And she's right: everything will be okay.  She’ll master this new skill, just like she has everything else.  This too shall pass, probably too quickly.  Pretty soon, she'll be like the four year old in her tutu on her way to her first ballet recital, then like the eight year old riding her bike down the street without training wheels, then the 16 year old learning how to drive in the stadium parking lot.
I have a keen awareness that this time is going by faster than Superman reverses the direction of the earth’s orbit in order to turn back time and save Lois Lane’s life.  But there is no way we moms, even when we are super, can turn back time.
As for supermoms, I meet them every day.  In my daily life I come across so many amazing moms, and I stand in awe of them.  They come from every walk of life: those going back to school, the moms with the double strollers, the moms with the triple strollers, the moms who work the graveyard shift so that they can spend more time with their families, and the moms who hold down two jobs to support their kids and still don’t have health insurance.  You truly are today's superheroes, and you’re truly beautiful.


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