Wednesday, May 8, 2013

SuperMom as Hero

I wanted to title this post Super Heroes, but evidently that term is copyrighted.  Whaaa?  Since when do you get to copyright such a germane term?  And the copyright is shared by two major comic book companies.  Never heard of such a thing.  Maybe their superheroes can work together with the lawyers.  Whatever.

So in order to be a super hero (Do I need to count my use of this term and pay royalties?  I'll just put it in italics.  Like so.), you need to have some basic attributes.  Chief among those are
  1. Amazing powers, skills and/or gadgetry - need not be super-human
  2. Strong moral code
  3. Motivation - like a calling or sense of responsibility
  4. Secret identity
  5. Cool costume
  6. Cool theme
  7. Supporting cast
  8. Villain(s)
  9. Independent wealth or occupation with minimal supervision
  10. Headquarters, often hidden from the public
  11. Story of origin that explains how hero status was achieved
  12. Weakness

So does Mom fit the bill?  I lay out my case for you to decide (and then I'll use bribes and trickery if you don't agree with me).
  1. Not all super heroes have super-human powers.  Many do, but many others just finely hone their skills, or have special stuff or technology.  SuperMoms have linguistic and decipher skills to understand Toddlerese, a Stomach of Steel, and a Psychic Sense to know what is going on in here.  They can work magic in the kitchen with only three ingredients, have an accurate Lie Detector, and Power Arms to carry groceries and a baby up stairs in (nearly) a single bound.  Super Instincts and Gut Feel are some of the most frequently used skills in SuperMom's arsenal.  Eyes in the back of her head, Juggling, and the amazing Healing Kiss.  Super Hearing, Laughing in crisis, Mulititasking, Diplomacy.  Working all through the night with no sleep - and then doing it again the next day.  And I could go on and on.  And on. 
  2. Let's see, who do I know who has, on a regular basis, a willingness to risk one's safety for others, or is willing to put others' need before one's own comfort?  Mom.
  3. All I can say is that there is no motivation like protecting one's own flesh and blood.  
  4. I can't speak for other Moms, but I know I have a secret identity.  I used to be a college student.  I used to be on the honor roll.  I used to speak in complete sentences.  To be completely fair, motherhood has not robbed me of my intelligence - if anything, the daily challenges of caring for a large family have increased my capacities enormously - but it's not always visible.
  5. Cool costume.  I have a few unused formal gowns in the back of my closet.  Does that count?  I'll just put it on the record that I want a cool costume.  With a cape.  And Wonder Woman bracelets. Tights, however, are optional.
  6. My theme is, first and foremost, my family.  I can't think of any other motif that would so completely envelop my wonderful crime-fighting life and weave it all into a maybe-not-so-coherent whole.
  7. SuperMom, by very definition, has a support staff.  Usually it's her partner, WonderHubby, and a Kidlet or two.  Or more.  It's hard to be a mom all by yourself.  Grandmas and neighbors and Very Experienced Mothers are also extremely helpful.
  8. Everyday criminals would include Clutter, Waste, and Rudeness.  Also, Slovenly Redneck.  As SuperMom advances, she battles Frantic Busyness and his sidekick Monotony.  Supervillains include Family Demise, Pornography, and the evil, devaluing Justamom.  My personal Archnemisis is TimeWaster, usually in the form of Internet.  Never a dearth of bad guys to fight.
  9. Most SuperMoms I know aren't blessed with independent wealth (although that's what I told people when I was newly widowed.  That's a wacky story for another day.).  But motherhood is often a solitary job.  No one supervises or micromanages most of the time, leaving SuperMom the time and space to do her heroic job the best way she can find.
  10. My home is my fortress.  Enough said.
  11. And how do we come into the position of accepting the calling of SuperMom?  It's a long story, but I can assure you, there is a story.  A novel, actually.  And for me, it's two novels.  Maybe I'll write it out someday.  But I'll tell you this - there is kissing.
And so, gentle reader, I leave you with overwhelming (if somewhat flexible) evidence that motherhood fits the description of super hero.  Wear your calling proudly, Mothers.

Now where is my cape?  Probably in the laundry.  Drat.


  1. Hi! I just clicked over to your blog from a comment you left on design mom. I love what you have to say! Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! Glad to see there are other happy families about.

      Isn't Design Mom great? Guess I should do a post about the "Keep Calm" sign, hmm?