A bite from a radioactive spider turned Peter Parker into Spiderman. Superman received powers from the sun and Batman bought his with family money. I never would have expected to know in my single days what I know now being a mother of two boys. My four year old is obsessed with anything “super”. It’s strange to think that to him I am hugely powerful. I’m the person that solves mysteries, fights his battles and heals his wounds with a kiss.
Instinct or adaptation…who knows? Motherhood brings out these superpowers. You could call it a “mama-morphasis”. This change is different for each woman and our powers vary but here are 5 I think are broadly applicable:
- Superhuman strength: The ability to accomplish tasks during the day with very little sleep. It’s pretty unreal to see how adaptive the female body is when you’re in charge of keeping others alive….literally alive. You may not feel like a superhuman but you are. You are in the club of women who stay up late to finish homework projects, nurse every 2 hours at night, soothe sick babes, and make sure everyone else gets sleep. So grab that extra cup of coffee cause you deserve it and more.
- Multitasking: It’s just part of the job. There are times when it’s great to be able to just focus on one thing at a time but in reality that’s just not reality. As a mother you get stuff done. You cook the dino-nuggets while your unloading the dishwasher, while you’re playing princess with your daughter, while you’re trying to reply to an email…. all while holding a baby on your hip.
- X-ray vision: You generally know what’s really going on inside your child’s mind and body. It might take time to investigate your child, but mothers usually know when something is wrong or off with their child. Never doubt your motherly instinct, use it to advocate for your child.
- Superhuman Speed: You may not have been a track star but you are now a sprinter able to accelerate in an instant when needed. With your ninja-like reflexes you can grab that toddler before they fall down the stairs or stop your child from wandering too far away or teeter into the street.
- Making babies and feeding babies: I don’t need to go into detail here. It’s just simply miraculous what the female body does in order to grow life, birth life and sustain life with her body. This alone should make you feel like you can conquer the world.
Like most superheros, mother’s have a kryptonite…guilt and fear. It hits fairly certain when your baby is placed in your arms whether from a doctor, midwife or adoption agency a dose of guilt comes with him or her; guilt that makes you question if you’ll be enough. There will be times when your superpowers fail you and guilt and fear creep in. Just recently my five month old crawled off the changing table as I took my eyes off him for a second. We ended up in the children’s hospital for a night talking to neurosurgeons about his newly acquired skull fracture. The guilt was massive and a burden too big to bear. The “what ifs” and “If onlys” circled my mind like a broken record and I wanted so badly to rewind time. He is now totally fine and I’ll probably just baby him a little bit more in life, but the fear and guilt got to me and it was paralyzing. The fear and guilt that I made a mistake; I wasn’t superhuman and my son suffered because of it. The truth is that even with all your motherly superpowers you won’t be able to save your children from experiencing pain, it’s a part of this world. You’ll go crazy trying to be perfect and control all circumstances. As a mother you must live in the moment not the past or future, you must trust in something greater than yourself, learn to breathe and learn to meditate on the good in life while you let go of guilt.
Jacqui Saldana: @babyboybakery
Krystal Festerly: @thevillagemagazine
Isobel Benesch: @belandbeau
Kelli Murray: @kellimurray
Tea Lopez: @tea.lopez
Andrea Williams: @tubbytodd
*Photography by the multi-talented gals at Dulcet Creative