Superheroes are hot right now. They score big at the box office. They’re piling up on prime time TV and you’ll see plenty of little caped crusaders ringing your doorbell this Halloween (since it’s common knowledge that superheroes need Skittles and Snickers to fuel their superpowers.)
Several years ago the word “supermom” became popular – a term used to describe the overly enthusiastic mom with limitless energy and a Pinterest-perfect home who can run a PTA bake sale and a Fortune 500 company and still have time left over to teach Zumba. I and many of my fellow mothers tried our best to live up to the Supermom name but soon found that it’s about as mythical as potty-training in a single day.
Despite our high aspirations, we realized that the exhausting attempt to “have it all” and “do it all” will make mere mortals crash and burn. Our mothers’ generation may have burned bras, but my generation has had to rip off the so-called supermom cape and tell people that it’s as fictional as the comic book heroes who inspired it.
That being said, I’ll admit that a few superpowers could definitely make my job as a mom easier. If it were possible to gain a few superhuman abilities, here are the three I’d choose.
Speed: Last year the kids and I started watching a show called The Flash, which is about a regular guy who gets struck by lightning, develops super speed and uses his gift to solve crimes. If I had super speed, folding and putting the laundry away would take a fraction of the time so I, too, would have plenty of time leftover to fight household crime like leaving dirty socks on the sofa and forgetting to put the milk back in the fridge.
Flight: You know what? Maybe I don’t need super speed after all. If I could fly, I wouldn’t have to be so fast on the ground. And I wouldn’t be stuck in those long car lines during school drop-off and pick-up. Sometimes the congested after-school traffic makes me feel like I’m turning into The Hulk, who slaps the steering wheel impatiently and yells at stoplights.
If I could fly like Supergirl, I’d glide over that long line of minivans, swoop down by the school, pick up my backpack-carrying offspring and fly us home. (We’d probably fly by Chick-fil-A along the way because even superheroes need waffle fries and sweet tea.)
Mind control: Give me the power to control minds, and I’ll let someone else have the super speed and the power to fly because this particular super power might trump them all. The hardest part would be trying not to abuse it. If I had mind control, my husband would offer to cook dinner every night, and the kids would insist on doing the dishes. The cat would learn to scoop her own litter box. The Beagle would stop barking at squirrels. And TV programmers would suddenly decide to never put another commercial for Viagra on at 7 a.m., which means I wouldn’t have to sidestep explaining words like “erectile dysfunction” to an 8-year-old while she eats her cinnamon toast before school. Yes, mind control could definitely come in handy.
But since I’m not likely to get any of those supernatural abilities, I’d settle for Batman’s determination. Just like real moms, Batman doesn’t have any super powers. None! But he still manages to fight for what’s right and look cool while doing it. (Oh, and since Batman has his own butler, we mothers would like one of those, too. It’s only fair.)
Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.