Yesterday, I went to the grocery store under dicey circumstances. My preschooler was exhausted, still adjusting to his sister's first grade schedule that sometimes steals his nap. And that big sister of his? She was hopped up on Albuterol following two asthma attacks in two days. Did I mention that the clock was quickly ticking its way toward dinner?
But there wasn't a drop of milk left in the house and time was running out. So, off we went with the promise of a grocery store scavenger hunt (because that makes it fun) and a lollipop at the end. We managed to cruise through the store at lightning speed without a single cranky moment between the three of us.
We linked hands on our way out and smiled as the sun hit our faces. And then my kids stole a moment, as they often do, in the middle of the parking lot. They threw their arms around each other and broke into that loud, infectious kid-sized laughter that warms your heart and reminds you that the world is good.
From behind us, another mom caught the moment. With a smile and wink as she passed me by, she commented on the moment, "Can you come teach my kids how to do that? Mine only argue."
I laughed and returned her smile. I get it. They all have their moments and some days seem better than others. And I was tempted to make a joke in return. "Get back to me at 5:30," ran through my mind for a second or two. But I stopped short of making that joke, because I wanted to own that moment.
Yes, my kids squabble at times. They are 21 months apart; it would be bizarre if they didn't have a few moments of rivalry here and there. But they do get along well for the most part, and raising happy, loving kids has always been the primary focus in this house (as I'm sure it is for many of you). So, when a stranger catches a moment of sweetness, I prefer to own it.
Later that night, I read yet another article about less judgment, less comparisons, less I'm-more-mom-than-you. It was well-written and made a lot of sense. Until I got to the part about supermom.
I'm not a supermom. You're not a supermom. She's not a supermom.
The author really drilled it home.
I think we need to make a change here, mamas...
I AM A SUPERMOM.
My husband has been on the road for months, and he will continue to be on the road for many months to come. It's OK, though, because I've got this. I've got the part-time working full-time momming, handling the allergies, asthma, juggling and shuffling thing down.
I know when to say "no" and when to say "yes" and how to ensure that my kids are not overscheduled in this time of go, go, go.
Because supermoms know a thing or two about setting limits.
I've cared for two barfing kids with a fever of 103 while I barfed every time they stopped. You probably have, too.
Because supermoms don't get sick days.
I've called 911 more than once and begged my daughter to just breathe while throwing my son into the arms of a neighbor and texting my husband to please meet us at the hospital even though it's 1 a.m. and you're still in the studio.
Because supermoms aren't afraid to ask for help.
I've taken cross-country trips with two kids with no help and fed them jelly beans from one end to the other.
Because supermoms know the power of a bribe.
I've been tired, lonely, cranky and stressed, but I haven't been afraid to say that to my kids. I've taken my mommy time-outs and insisted on quiet time when the going gets tough.
Because supermoms have hard days too.
I get it. No mom is perfect. We shouldn't judge. We don't know what any mom is up against until we walk in her shoes.
But that doesn't make us any less super.
I am supermom. You are supermom. And that mom over there covered head-to-toe in newborn spit up while she cheers for her big kid playing soccer? She's a supermom, too.
Parenting isn't about perfection or imperfection. And it certainly shouldn't be about excusing our perceived failings because of that so-called imperfection.
Parenting is hard and tiring but also completely miraculous. The great moments are the ones that will be remembered. The bad ones will slip away into the recesses of our memories.
Own those moments, mamas. Celebrate the good. Be blissful. Be happy.
And for the love of tired moms everywhere, wear that cape with pride, my friends.
And then meet me for a latte in the Hall of Justice, because us supermoms need to stick together.