Supermom

 

He was 10 days old. 

He woke with clinched fists and eyes squeezed shut after a too-short rest. His head turned from side to side, his mouth moving; he wanted to nurse. I settled him close and felt him relax next to me. But the peace of that moment did not last. After a few short minutes, he cried again and turned away.

It was happening again. Why couldn’t I do this? 

I felt like a failure. This most natural thing – feeding my babies – was so very difficult. Even though I so desperately wanted to breastfeed, for some reason I could not supply enough milk. I had hoped this time my body would cooperate and that I would be able to feed him on my own. I could not escape the feeling that I was letting him down as I opened the can of formula. 

I did not feel like Supermom.

There will be times you feel like youve Supermom

He had just turned one year old. 

I lifted him out of his high chair and brushed the mixed vegetables off of his clothes. (I think he wore more food than he ate in those days.) The peas and carrots and corn and beans rolled across the floor in a starburst pattern as he toddled off down the hall. He heard his older brother playing in the bathtub, so no doubt he wanted to investigate. I grabbed the broom; I would quickly sweep before I followed. I heard the sound – and the moment of breathless silence a moment later – and I knew. 

“MOM! He fell against the tub!”

I was there in a flash – but not before my mind raced to guilt. ‘Why hadn’t I followed? I should have waited to sweep.’

I scooped him up and saw the blood and the broken teeth. I held and comforted and got a cold facecloth before rushing off to the emergency clinic. There I saw sympathetic smiles from the nurses, but was told that chipped teeth are not medical emergencies.  

I did not feel like Supermom.  

I am not-so organized all the time and I struggle to keep us on time. Sometimes I am a space cadet.

I am not the best housekeeper. Sometimes my feet stick to the floor where popsicles have fallen and melted – their liquid dried to a sheer gloss. Or I crunch fish crackers that swim over the edges of our colourful bowls. The laundry gets washed and folded and stacked, but sometimes the piles take over one (or more) of the seats in the living room before it gets put away. 

I do not feel like Supermom.

He is four now.

Supermom Supermom

For the past 3 days, he has been sick with a fever. His asthma flares with viruses and makes him cough and wheeze. He could not get comfortable the other night after I tucked him in. After hearing him struggle for a few minutes, I walked quietly into his darkened room.

“Will you stay with me?” he asked.

I rearranged his pillows into “pillow mountain” and I snuggled beside him. I passed him his water bottle and he took small sips to calm the cough. I smoothed his hair and I could smell  his shampoo as I kissed the top of his head. And slowly, slowly, I felt him relax. The coughing subsided and his breaths lengthened. His eyes slowly closed.

I knew he would likely awaken again – thanks to more coughing or a returning fever – after another too-short rest. But for that moment at least, he was comfortable.    

I am not Supermom – most days I don’t come close. Most days are rushing and compromise and balancing and falling off the mountain of my expectations. But I keep climbing. And sometimes on the way up, I catch a glimpse of something in me. I have the words or the shoulder or the healing touch they need, right when they need it. I could almost believe in my own magic.

The other night in the darkness of his room, I might have had that elusive super power. It didn’t last, of course. But for that moment, I felt like Supermom.

Do you have glimpses of Supermom? 

About Kim Steele

Kim is an early childhood educator turned stay at home mom who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband. Together they are co-piloting two young Captains, Alpha and Bravo. She writes about the funny and the sentimental of everyday life with her boys. Kim is fond of Jane Austen and science fiction and can often be found singing in the car - although she has been known to stop for coffee or chocolate. Connect with Kim on Twitter and Facebook.

Comments Make Me Geek Out

  1. We all have times when we feel that we are drowning in our own imperfection – I get you on the sticky floors! – but all we have to do is look into their eyes to see the unconditional love and know that they think we’re supermom. That’s all that really matters. Who cares about the piles of laundry?

    ps. I hope that he’s feeling better :)
    Kat recently posted..Finish the Sentence Friday – #4My Profile

    • He recovered quickly after that, thank you Kat.
      I absolutely agree – “the laundry will always be there” – I have said that more than once. :)

  2. Oh. Oh Kim. I love this post. We have written about very similar things today and this has me all teary-eyed. You are the absolute BEST mom.
    Katie recently posted..filling spaceMy Profile

  3. Oh, Kim. You have spoken to my heart today. There are so many moments of second-guessing. Or moments where I don’t second guess because I just fall into the roll of not-at-all-super mom and accept it. (You should see my house. You’d feel better about yours).

    But we are the best Moms our kids have, and that is a fact I cling to, sometimes.
    Laura recently posted..Boy ClothesMy Profile

    • I remind myself of that, Laura: I am the best mom for them.
      I get them and I try my best and though I mess up, I know they know that I love them. That means a lot – even when my house is a mess. :)

  4. This is gorgeous and inspiring and TRUE.

  5. yep. I have glimpses too sometimes :) Right now I’m sitting enjoying my lunch while I can. M and O are watching Caillou momentarily. Maybe I’ll let them watch another one just so I can sit here a bit longer. Not glimpsing supermom at present. haha.
    sarah reinhart recently posted..Here catch! New sibling, new house, new schoolMy Profile

    • I have allowed an extra episode myself from time to time – just because. It is OK to relax from time to time. It is good for them, too, I think. :)

  6. Carey H says:

    I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this. I seriously think it would save the world if we all just realized that we all feel this way. Thank you!

  7. Beautiful Kim. I know all too well the moments of feeling like less than Supermom, but it is also important the moments when it all comes together for us! :)-Ashley

  8. Yes, of course, there are glimpses. Usually when I FINALLY make a dinner they will all eat. ;) This is something we can all relate to, Kim, I know. Thank you for sharing it. xo
    Elaine A. recently posted..What a Wedding it Was!My Profile

  9. I think Supermom moments is all we ever get – nobody should have that much power all the time ;)
    You are the best mom he could possibly have! xoxox
    Kerstin @ Auer Life recently posted..Valuable Information Will Be Supplied By A ChildMy Profile

  10. Definitely can relate to this. I often feel like the glimpses are few and far between. It’s so much easier for me to focus on those moments when I don’t get things right but those moments are wonderful. I hope that your boys is feeling better!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Ask a Yogini: Why Practice Yoga Inversions?My Profile

    • Thank you, Christine – he bounced back quickly after I wrote this.
      It is easier to see those moments when we think we fall short, isn’t it? I love it when a good-feeling-moment pops up and I let myself enjoy it. :)

  11. I know this, Kim.
    90% if the time, I am totally not Supermom, not even close. But yes, some days, we are what we need to be to our children, and that is enough.
    Alison recently posted..The Art of MotheringMy Profile

  12. Oh my goodness those first two stories, it’s like your telling my life. And Kat is so right about drowning in our own imperfections! But yes, glimpses of super mom happen here too. And somedays, I choose to believe in them.
    Tricia recently posted..I’ll never be done making my kids’ childhood magicalMy Profile

    • It is nice to see those glimpses of Super Mom, isn’t it? It is refreshing since it is usually easier for me to reflect on the thing I wished I could have done differently.

  13. Glimpses only, but yes. So much.
    I do so much every day. I’m hard on myself multiple times a day but I blog, care for two kids, get the puppy out of trouble, and try to make money. Sometimes I even do make money. So on many days, I go to bed knowing I’ve done a lot.
    Scarlet is all about Dada right now but when she was sick, it was me. And I knew that my hugs and cuddles were superheroic to her. Even if there was nothing else I’d rather do.
    Tamara recently posted..Winter’s Leftovers.My Profile

  14. Oh – I can so relate to this post!
    But I think that if someone else asked your 2 boys they would definitely say you are supermom and the best mom ever!!!
    Even though it comes with sleep deprivation – those nighttime hours soothing a child are some of the best memories as the kids get older!!!
    Kim recently posted..Calming Your MindMy Profile

    • I hope they would say that, Kim! (I would like to think so, anyway.) :)
      Although I do not like to see them sick, those cuddles are pretty special – especially since they are getting harder to come by.

  15. Beautiful and touching! I think we are all super moms sometimes – at least to our kids, even when we feel like we’re not.
    Lisa @ The Golden Spoons recently posted..Tuesday Ten – What’s In My Car?My Profile

  16. This is beautiful. I think more mamas need to share the not so glamorous side of parenting. The media and sites like Pinterest make it seem like everything is always rainbows & sprinkles while raising the child. I was really starting to feel inadequate. This post made me feel like I’m not alone. I’ve gotten dirty looks when my son starts crying in a restaurant and even had a nanny yell at me when I turned my back for a second to find my son had tripped and fallen after running. Society thinks we really should be superwomen all the time but we’re only human & I thank you for reminding me.

    • We are only human, it is true. We cannot expect perfection all the time, including from ourselves. I have to remind myself of this, too. All we can do is the best we can.
      Thank you so much for your kind words and your comment!

  17. The most important moment in parental development is that instant you realize you’re not perfect – nor do you have to be. Just be in the game, like you were on the night your kid was sick. That’s what makes you supermom – just being there.

    My superdad moment? I’m not telling.
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted..Go Ask Daddy About Prehistoric Revivals, Kryptonian Symbols and Precious TimeMy Profile

  18. I just discovered your blog. This post is beautiful! There are so many times we feel like we are doing everything wrong but I love that you captured a moment that put it all into perspective.

    • Thank you so much, Becky. It is wonderful when we can recognize one of the moments when it all comes together, isn’t it?
      And thank you so much for your comment – I am so glad you are here. :)

  19. You are supermom. No one could be your son’s mom as well as you. :-)
    Lady Jennie recently posted..Artichoke Heart AppetizerMy Profile

  20. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we are doing wrong that we can’t see all the things we are doing wonderfully!
    Robbie recently posted..Double WideMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] Although there are times that I feel like I still have that magic touch as a mother, four really has a way of squashing my momma heart sometimes. Now that he is feeling better, the cuddle embargo is definitely ON once again. […]