Even the most casual fan of Superman has got to wonder: Why didn’t Lois Lane ever put two and two together and realize Superman and Clark Kent were one in the same?
Sure, they were never in the same place at the same time. And Clark had those glasses. But still — wouldn’t someone as smart as Lois Lane have made the connection?
Then I start to think of my very own superhero, Super Mom. She’s brilliant and articulate about current events. Her kids are well-behaved. Her house is spotless. She serves balanced meals, made from scratch — probably organic, too. And her whole family is ridiculously cute.
This is in stark contrast to my life. My most brilliant ramblings have to do with reality television. My four-year-old daughter likes to run away from me at the grocery store. My house is messy. Pop-Tarts and frozen pizza are considered dinner. And ridiculously cute … well, I guess we are.
Except in the mornings, when we’re all crabby and unbathed.
Some days, I manage to pull it together. The kids get to school on time. I impress my boss at work. We sit down for a family dinner when we get home. No one whines. No one yells. We’re the quintessential suburban American family in the middle of the country — Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to be exact.
Then there are days when everything falls apart. One of the kids gets sick, so I have to skip an important work meeting to play nurse. Dinner is cold cereal. The kids argue. And I pick a fight with my husband to try to make myself feel better. I’m not able to give anything 100 percent of my attention, and all I want to do is run away. It’s rough.
But it’s also totally normal.
Still, I can’t help but wonder what I’m doing wrong. If Super Mom can do it all, why can’t I? Do I need glasses I can whisk off?
Sure, from the outside, Super Mom may look like she has it together. In reality, she’s just an ordinary mom. As outsiders, we only see the fabulous dinner party that the mom of three was able to pull off. We don’t see that, behind the scenes, she got in a fight with her husband because he forgot to take out the garbage, that she yelled at her kids for getting underfoot, and that she actually had the whole shindig catered. (Come on, you've been to those dinners, right?)
But by the time we arrived, this mom was calm, cool, collected, and coiffed.
"Oh, this? This is nothing," she says. "Hardly took any time at all."
Why don’t more moms make the connection? It would sure save a lot of heartache to realize early on that the secret behind Super Mom is that she doesn’t exist at all — or that, rather, she doesn’t exist all the time. No one person can do it all every minute of the day.
We all think other moms are doing it better, but really, we’re all doing the same thing — trying to do our best. I know I am.
Let’s drop the act. Let’s admit when we fail. Let's help each other up when we can.
I didn’t make the beds this morning (or yesterday, or the day before, for that matter). I don’t wash my floors unless I absolutely have to. And forget about flashcards — my daughter would rather watch YouTube videos.
But the kids and I make cookies together all the time. We dance in the living room. We always read before bed. In short, we have fun.
Oh, and when I know I’m having guests over, I’ll go into a cleaning frenzy. (Please avert your eyes from the mess in the living room should you stop over when I’m not expecting you.)
There will be time later to do the dishes. The time will come too quickly when the kids will be grown.
So while I might not consider myself Super Mom today, I’m hopeful that, someday, my kids might remember me as one.
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