Going out of the house with two-year-old triplets attracts the kind of attention typically reserved for circus trains and flash mobs. Besides the perennial observation “you’ve got your hands full,” I often get referred to as Supermom. I have to admit to a bit of discomfort with this moniker. I get asked, “How do you do it?” I very honestly respond, “Just like you — you just keep doing it.”
It’s the truth. It doesn’t matter if you have one or five, singletons or quadruplets. Dirty bums get clean diapers, empty cups get more milk, and ouchies get kisses. Laundry gets clean if not folded (wrinkles never killed anyone). Dinner makes it to the table. By the grace of God, we make it through the day with a full complement, and (sometimes) an empty sink.
Moms I meet try to minimalize their own experience, convinced the daily routine at their house must be a cakewalk compared to the constant bombardment of life at my house. “I just have one and that’s hard!” they say, or, “I have three, but not all the same age!” They are certain I must be made of sterner stuff, or have some sort of secret to getting my shit together. Surely a mere mortal could not accomplish such feats of motherhood.
I typically deny this assertion of superpowers, but let me start a new trend. Behold as I rip open my button-down shirt to reveal the food-stained “S” emblazoned on my tank top (you know, the one I’m wearing to keep my twin skin from oozing over the waist of my mom jeans like pizza dough). Yep, you got me. I’m Supermom.
You’re “just” the working mother of a newborn, surviving four feedings a night before dashing off to the office. You can run efficiently on twelve minutes of sleep and a cold piece of toast. You even remember to put on lipstick and wear matching shoes. You move about in a trance state while still being effective at your job, then head home and do it all again tomorrow. You know what that means? You’re Supermom!
You’re “just” pregnant with baby #2 and caring for your firstborn. All you want to do is hurl. Or sleep. Or hurl yourself to sleep. You can’t though, because your little one is up. He’s hungry, cranky, and he has a massive blowout. Oh dear lord the smell. But breakfast is served, you manage to keep yours down, and the big wheel keeps turning. If you’re not Supermom, I don’t know who is.
You’re “just” a two-under-two mom with a wobbly infant and an always-on toddler. Holy crap. How do you wrangle one kid off the dining room table while keeping the boob or the bottle in the baby’s mouth? How do you keep them both happy while getting zero time to yourself? You know how? You’re Supermom!
You’re “just” a stay-at-home mom to three young kids, like me. Unlike me, you’re hurling yourself over a baby gate with your toddler in arms, chasing behind your kindergartener with the lunch box she forgot, while your three-year-old decorates the family dog with a permanent marker. You do more housework before noon than most people do in a week. You don’t even get a nap during the day, because someone is always up and needing supervision. All in a day’s work for Supermom!
You’re “just” the mom of older kids: one in high school, one starting college. You still have the laundry and cooking, but now you have car insurance and tuition to keep you up at night. Your heart must be cloned, since it’s in two or three places at any given moment. Do your kids know how much you worry? Nope. They’re just living their lives—all thanks to Supermom.
Every good mother is Supermom. There is no harder or easier. It doesn’t matter if you’re you, or me, or that lady down the street with the two rowdy boys on dirt bikes. Rip open that button-down, show off your “S”, and proclaim it proudly. “I’m Supermom!”
Because you are.