The Myth of the Superhero Mom

Have you noticed? From the moment you step foot into the threshold of motherhood, it is similar to what one might imagine it feels like to walk into a high-temperature pressure cooker. From the exhaustion of pregnancy and all it’s accompanying symptoms, learning to breastfeed and getting your baby to sleep, all the way through to the sheer madness of wrangling small children; despite the super-ness it requires to do all of these incredible things, we still somehow feel we don't measure up. 

Social media is great at keeping us feeling socially connected in an otherwise isolating season of life, but it also presents a bit of a false perception of what the realities of motherhood are really like. The whimsically filtered Instagram posts and status updates about epic days spent at the beach, often fail to mention the tears, tantrums, and chaos that surrounded those events. 

Are we really all who we say we are, who we strive to be, what we hope the world sees us as? Does it really matter? Perhaps what we see, what we are inundated with, and the representations of ourselves that we work so hard to portray, is somewhat of a myth; that under the beauty is madness, and just maybe, we aren’t alone down there. 

Oh, there are magical moments in motherhood, there is no doubt; like meeting your baby for the first time, hearing the uttering of first words, watching them crawl, walk, run, hearing them learn a new instrument or perform their first recital, watching their face light up as they unwrap a present, teaching them to ride a two wheeled bike; it is an incredible thing to be a witness of all new experiences and memorable moments of childhood, and these experiences should be celebrated, posted, shared, liked, loved - these are wonderful, incredible moments we experience everyday. 

But Motherhood is a chaotic balance of wonderful and treacherous, and you aren't alone in the trenches. 

Despite the huge task of parenthood; the incredible responsibility of caring for one, two, three or more lives besides our own, we carry on. We may do so in our pyjamas, wearing yesterdays mascara, eating someone else's half-eaten peanut butter toast, but we wake up every day and do it again, and that makes us Superheros. 

Maybe Superhero Mom doesn't wear a cape...perhaps she wears an apron that's covered in dirty little handprints and globs of dried oatmeal. She's juggling work emails in one hand, and turning on Paw Patrol with the other, while the doorbell rings for the second time - it's the pizza guy. She makes space in her bed at night to hug a scared toddler, and her superhero husband might slip away to the other room so everyone can sleep a bit better. I think Supermom probably yells too much, loves herself too little, and gives everything she has and never feels like it's ever enough. She probably drinks more than the recommended amount of coffee, and may even indulge in a little wine from time to time. She takes holiday's at the dentist, and finds respite in aisles of the grocery store, alone, at night. She is amazing because she simply is; she is doing the daily grind, giving all that she's got and hoping it covers all of her shortcomings, because being a Superhero is really, really hard. 

Motherhood is a beautiful mess that we don’t need to sweep out the backdoor, and perhaps needs to be shared with greater transparency, whether by social-media-selfie or over strong coffee with your also-exhausted next door neighbour. Why? Because we need one another; we can't be Superhero mom's without a superhero posse, so let’s stop pretending, and start being us, together.

The picture below was candidly taken by my oldest; its my youngest and myself in a pile of unfolded laundry, in all the our daily real-ness, with absolutely nothing to prove.