THIS CAPE COMES IN ALL COLORS
The other day, I took my kids to a playgroup and one of the moms there asked me where my cape was? I looked at her perplexed, thinking to myself, oh god, what sort of embarrassing attire did I come through the door in? Most days it is not unusual for me to rush out of the house, two barely mobile rascals in tow, still in my jammies with Cheerios in my hair. Literally wearing a cape is not that far-fetched. As I gathered my distracted brain cells aka – my mommy brain, I realized this woman was paying me a compliment. She was suggesting I should be wearing a cape, some kind of badge of honor, a symbol of my superpowers; she was calling me a Supermom.
She was giving me the wink, wink, nod, nod, saying (without saying), “Lady you have your hands full but your shit together, bravo.” I glanced over at my reflection in the zoo-themed mirror. Toddler on one hip flailing to escape, diaper bag in one hand and bucket seat with the baby in the other. One grey sock and one blue, sticking out of my salt-stained boots, a hole in my tights and a mystery stain on my t-shirt, my unwashed hair covered by a toque with a pom-pom and thought to myself, hmm, she’s right! A cape totally would go with this outfit!
I’ve been labeled her before, this Supermom character. On occasion by my darling husband when he can see I’ve had a challenging day, this is my blue cape, the one of trust and dependability. Sometimes my eldest (usually when he wants something) offers up my yellow cape, the cheery and optimistic one, ensuring my momming skills are up to par that day. My parents in times of minor breakdown pass me the pink cape, reminding me of the woman and mama I am. However, these words coming from a complete stranger had a more deeply profound impact, this cape was the real deal, this was the red one.
I guess on some level I know it’s true, I am a superhero. What I accomplish on the daily warrants some kind of grandiose acknowledgment, at least a trophy or a medal. I somehow manage to, not only keep myself, three children and a husband alive (you know nourished, rested, fed, clean, and reasonably happy) but I am teaching them to be proper little humans.
Like many, you’re probably wondering how I do all of this while also running a business, writing books, blogging, cooking, cleaning, exercising, reading, booking appointments, paying bills, laundry, play dates, guitar lessons, swimming, soccer, etc. etc. etc. I know it looks like I have my shit together, well, sometimes! I assure you though, all we can do, is the best we can do. I take my days moment by moment. Some days (like today), the munchkins nap in tandem for an incredible two hours giving me the headspace to create, work, and dance around in my pretty purple cape. While other days I can’t even close the bathroom door for three seconds of peace, and eat nothing but toast crust and browned bananas, those days, the ones I wish I had a cloak of invisibility, I focus on my kids and stay present to their needs/demands, everything else can wait, and P.S. capes don’t go out of fashion in Mom-land.
Sure, there are days the Hubs comes home hangry (this is what we call the chemical response to being hungry which looks more like angry – think Joe Pesci Snickers commercial) creating friction by asking the infamous question “what did you do all day?” There are days when my eldest “forgot” he has a major assignment due in twenty-four hours and we have to drop everything and start the homework train. There are times the toddler screams “I don’t like you mommy, only daddy, you go away” after I’ve spent the entire day tirelessly preparing meals and activities, followed by cleaning up meals and activities. There are times the baby won’t let me take my eyes off him, let alone leave the room to pee. I tell you this not to whine or detract from my Marvel status but to express that even superheroes have off days, off moments. I can tell you for certain though that stress, frustration, anxiety and negativity are much like Kryptonite. The moment your shield is down and you forget that this is a passing day, a fleeting moment, nothing but a blurry memory to the future, is the same moment your powers get damaged and your cape collection frayed. Stay present, grateful and positive and your superpowers will keep getting stronger and your capes bolder!
Who would play me in the movie I wonder? Perhaps Cameron Diaz? Maybe Uma Thurman? Would “Supermom, The Movie” have legs or am I living in some kind of delusion? Who would want to pop the popcorn to watch the uncut version of a barf-covered, greasy-haired woman as she juggles laundry up and down the stairs for the third time today? Who doesn’t love a good dose of bodily fluids? Nothing says “Oscar-worthy” like diaper explosions and breast pumps, am I right?
Entertainment is so subjective anyhow. I mean how many of us (I say “us” embarrassingly including myself in this group) serial watch a show where the premise is one man, dating thirty women at once, giving them red roses as tokens for who can best fake their affections? There are “reality” dating shows, blindfold kissing shows, housewives, quintuplets, you name it, it’s been done, so why not Supermom?
Here is where I get to the point. There are going to be times you feel disgusting, isolated, unappreciated, resentful, sad, mad, alone and as far from “super” as you can get. These are the moments I encourage you to step away, take a deep breath, take your cape collection to the dry-cleaners (because you don’t have to do ALL the laundry) and play your movie in your head. Remind yourself of how incredibly badass you are with all you do; your grandest superpower is the ability to embrace the beautiful chaos that is motherhood. So, reclaim your powers mama and remember this cape comes in all colours!
Sabrina Greer is a best-selling coauthor on the popular Dear Women Guidebook series, mommy-blogger, connector of inspiring souls, and outnumbered mama to three amazing boys. Her studies in developmental psychology and education have served her well in motherhood, her career, and life. Sabrina has become a pro at embracing the chaos and strives to live out her days coaching others to do the same. She is passionate about empowering young girls, women, and fellow mamas through her writing, volunteer work, and philanthropic endeavors while educating young boys (hers especially) to do the same.