Ever since I was a little girl and insisted on wearing my Wonder Woman underoos out in public, I’ve always secretly felt that I had some kind of super powers. For as long as I can remember, I have had the ability to get more done than should have been humanly possible. As a 15 year old, I had swim practice 5.5 hours a day (my days would start with a 5:15am practice), I took advanced classes in school, I worked a part-time job and I somehow managed to have a social life.
Fast forward 13 years and the same pattern still held. I was married, pregnant, writing my dissertation, working full-time (as well as over-time) in my main job, teaching a class at the University as my 2nd job, teaching 3 Spinning classes a week at the gym and somehow managing to both socialize with my friends and have a clean house.
In other words, I had super powers (although not the kind that gets you a comic book). Instead of super human strength and x-ray vision, I had great time management skills, extreme efficiency and a great immune system that kept me moving at full speed ahead even when I should have been flat on my ass from fatigue, stress or just good old germs.
All of that changed when I had Parker. He is the most amazing part of my life, but I think that my super powers left me at some point during the birthing process. Suddenly, I found myself bleary-eyed and overwhelmed. I could scarcely take care of the basics for myself (showering, eating, changing out of my PJs) let alone provide the kind of support to everyone that always counted on me. I became flighty, and (gasp!) scatter-brained. I started going to sleep without doing the dishes (a capital offense in my prior life) and rewearing my socks. For a period of about 4 months, I don’t think that I answered a single voicemail or email. My purpose was singular: survival.
Since I’ve resurfaced to commune with the outside world, I realized that my super powers have shifted from Superhero to Supermom. Supermom is mortal, but to her kids, no one is more powerful. Instead of flying by deadlines at warp speed and using three alarm clocks, I’m now the finder of lost toys, the inventor of imaginary games and the driver to parks, pools and playdates.
The interesting thing about this shift is that I don’t really seem to mind. With Parker in my life, I’ve learned to say “no,” which is quite the feat for someone with my personality. I used to think that not being able to do everything was a sign of weakness, but now, it seems compeletely irrelevant. Parker’s happiness is my biggest ambition at the moment and while I can’t promise that I’ll never again have 3 jobs or put in an occassional 16 hour day, the most important job that I have is experiencing the world with my son.
So the other day, when the little voice inside of my head mocked, “What’s the matter Cyn, are you now a mere mortal?” I smiled at the thought and responded with a resounding, “Nope, I’m a mom.”