I'm Not Supermom, But I Still Wear a Cape
Disclaimer: This post is part of an ongoing ambassador program with Simon Salt Photography. I received a complimentary photoshoot in exchange for this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
This post is probably going to upset some of my mom friends, but I’m just going to say it anyway. There is no such thing as a supermom. People say it all the time, but let’s face it if being a mom was a superpower, there would only be one Supermom.
I know I know… it feels like we’re being supernatural when we manage to nurse a baby in a carrier while preparing dinner and handling business on the phone or juggling a toddler at the same time, but that’s not a supernatural. Multi-tasking is certainly a skill and being able to nurture your child from your own body is pretty amazing, but it’s not supernatural.
I realized really early in motherhood that I did not like being called supermom or referred to as a superhero. I mean if you look at the definition of a superhero it’s “a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers.” I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fictional person. I mean sure my life would make for a great novel or reality television show, but I’m still a real person.
I’ve certainly been guilty of calling a mom, including my own, supermom, but then I became a mom and I realized it’s so problematic. Why? Simply put, we put them on this pedestal and think that they don’t need anything. There’s no real room for errors or emotion. It’s why talking about post-partum depression or struggling with any aspect of motherhood isn’t supposed to be talked about in public. We’re not supposed to admit that we cried because our kid peed on the floor and we burned dinner. We’re not supposed to admit that being a mom is incredibly hard and exhausting. I mean superheroes don’t get tired, right? Superheroes don’t need help and if they do it’s usually from other superheroes… Avengers, anyone?
These are all the thoughts I had swirling in my head when I scheduled my last photo session with Simon. I crocheted a cape to wear in the pictures, so that I could specifically write a post about not being supermom and hanging up my “cape.” I was prepared to say that I do not have super powers and nothing about me is supernatural, so please stop acting like motherhood means I’m invincible. And then…
Simon had me pose with the cape at a typewriter and all of a sudden I felt powerful. I couldn’t see the images he was taking in that moment, but I started thinking about this post, and this one, and this one. Posts that left my inbox full from people wanting more or wanting to help. People telling me thank you for sharing my story. Suddenly, I was rethinking what it means to be a superhero. I mean writing obviously isn’t a supernatural ability, but being able to put words together in a way that makes others think gives me power.
And let’s face it, like fictional superheroes, my power was unleashed once I needed to fight. I’ve been writing for a really long time. I’ve been a social justice activist since my undergraduate studies when I wrapped a black tie on my mouth and refused to speak in class to stand in unity with every minority on campus to show what happens when diversity isn’t a priority in admissions. But having Sesame helped me see this connection that I hadn’t seen in the past. He became the catalyst I needed to unlock my “superpowers.” He’s the reason that I talk about the uncomfortable topics in mixed company. He gave me the courage to push buttons and use my words to bring about change.
So, who am I to knock other women calling themselves supermom or boasting about their superpowers? A superhero is also defined as an exceptionally skillful or successful person. Being a mother certainly takes skill and some of them are certainly exceptional at the job.
As for me, I’m not a supermom, but I still wear a cape. I just wear mine for social justice advocacy through writing. Why do you wear yours?
Find out more about my social justice work here: Raising an Advocate
About the Photographer: Simon is an Atlanta based Family, Senior and Maternity Portrait and Fine Art photographer. His work has been published nationally and showcased in several local art shows. Cabbagetown Neighbor calls his work “quirky, quaint, and quizzical.” You can view more of his work on his site Simon Salt Photography and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest