Since the birth of my 4th son, I’ve heard these words a lot, “Wow! You are totally supermom!!!” And ok. If you want to call me supermom, I’ll take it. Being a mom is my most important job and if you think I am “super” at it, then wow. My work is done. But there is something about this innocent compliment that is unsettling for me. Was I less of a so-called “supermom” when I had three kids? What about when I had just 2 kids? And I won’t even ask about ONLY one kid. Was I even a mom at all?
Truth be told, having only one kid was the hardest type of mom to be. It was then that I felt the most super-ish. It was then that successfully figuring out how to soothe a screaming baby felt triumphant. It was with only one kid that going from house, to car, to store, back to car, back into house, and remaining intact throughout was an olympic feat. It was with one kid that being at a non-kid friend’s house and shrugging off an up-the-back blow out like it was no big thing was a proud, proud moment. Because you know why? This supermom has got not one, but 2 extra sets of clothes in this here diaper bag tucked in neatly next to my first aid kit, scented diaper disposal bags, and double-size container of sanitizing wipes.
It was with only one kid that I worked and had to juggle schedules and, more importantly, juggle the emotions of leaving my baby at daycare. Balancing the demands of a job coupled with the demands of a child left every ounce of my being at 100% utilization. And I’m not gonna lie, I sort of felt like, you guessed it: Supermom. Getting up and showered and dressed (like really dressed in real pants and shoes and mascara and the whole big thing), packing breakfast, lunch and snacks for a baby with each bite cut into 87 million pieces because I was not there to watch the consumption of the food and one can never be too sure…..then pumping, properly labeling and storing the milk, cleaning the pump, dressing, nursing and diapering a baby, throwing 12 random ingredients into a crock pot, praying it tastes different than last nights varietal and remembering to actually turn it on so that you have one less thing to do when you get home and have to unpack the lunch boxes, wash the containers, feed the baby, finish up loose ends at work, interact with the child that you didn’t see all day, and be out the door somewhere with in the range of, oh say, 7:01 or 7:02.
Two words: Supermom status.
And now that I have four kids, I have a whole new host of challenges. My house is louder and messier. Yeah. Those are the two big things that stand out. But I really don’t feel any more supermom-ish than I did when I had just one. A mom of one and a mom four have similar demands. We still make dinner, bathe our kids (although I only recommend two in the shower at once….), read them bedtime stories, interact and play with them, make sure they are learning and challenging themselves, shuffle them around to various activities, the list goes on. The only difference now is that my life now requires 4 times more ingredients and a significantly bigger car.
I don’t really know the point of this post, but I guess I just want everyone to know, if you have one kid, or two kids, or even three kids and you are standing next to me and someone calls me “supermom” because I’m holding a fussy baby, I have a preschooler hanging on my leg (likely with a significant amount of dirt and/or snot on his face) another child making circles around me on his bike and a fourth child… wait, where is that fourth child anyway………..probably sneaking cookies out of the pantry because he knows that I’m not looking. But my point is, if someone calls me supermom, I will laugh and accept it, because 4 kids is no joke, and who doesn’t like compliments 😉 But I will also be thinking, that I am no more of a supermom than anyone else. Moms of one child, two children or three, your job is just as hard. If you ask me, we are all pretty super.