You have probably seen the anti-feminist essay and the feminist response floating around Facebook. Neither of those young authors is a mother, so I thought I’d give you my perspective, the view of a…da da da DAH! Supermom!
“I want to be a mom who takes care of her children and doesn’t miss out on their lives. And that is OK.”
I do take care of my children, and just because I work does not mean I’m missing out on their lives. We Supermoms can do everything. We make coffee, fix breakfast for the kids, get them dressed, take a sip of lukewarm coffee, get in the shower, get out, put on a shirt and wipe a kid’s bottom, take a sip of cold coffee, reheat our coffee, put on makeup, chase a naked kid through the house and get them dressed again, chug cold coffee, put on our pants, brush our teeth, throw in a load of laundry, get toothpaste on our shirt, change our shirt, wipe the other kid’s bottom, clean up breakfast, pack lunch, eat a spoonful of Nutella, dry our hair, get the kids to the car, text the maintenance man, confirm a hair appointment, pull up to school, remember it’s picture day, text a friend to bring a hairbrush to school, head off to work. All the while, husbands are drinking a hot cup of coffee (that you made) camped out in the bathroom with the morning news.
I actually married a good guy who helps me a lot, and I am extremely grateful. He has always valued my choice and always submitted to my wishes as I do to his. I recently realized how much my husband does at home when he started doing nothing. Two months ago, he ruptured his Achilles tendon. For the first 30 days, he couldn’t climb the stairs to the second floor to the boys’ rooms. I was doing all the cooking, all the cleaning, all the laundry, giving the boys a bath, and putting them to bed, after a full day’s work and a 45-minute commute. My husband’s absence was clearly evident in my sheer exhaustion.
“The man is to be the provider, protector, and leader of his family.”
Until he’s not. Many mothers, especially single mothers, play two roles—every single day. One of my best friends has been the head of her household for years as her husband has been out of the country for the military. She changes the lightbulbs. She puts together toys on Christmas Eve by herself. She unclogs the toilet. She is a Supermom. My co-worker got pregnant as a teen and ended up raising her two kids alone. She worked all day, took care of her kids after school, and when they went to bed, she got her bachelor’s degree online. Then she worked all day, took care of her kids after school, and got her master’s degree online. Supermom.
“It is OK to like cooking. It is OK to take care of your husband and children.”
Sometimes I serve dinner like this, and that is OK.
I have so many examples of Supermoms I could share—my own mother, my mother-in-law, my grandmother, my husband’s grandmother, my sisters-in-law, and my friends. They are both working moms and stay-at-home moms. Most have taken their husbands’ last names; a few have not. They coach soccer, they use a grill, they operate on patients, they bake brownies, they volunteer, they work, and they take care of their families. They do the very best they can every day, even when their choices are limited.
“That is a lot of pressure. And I don’t understand why feminists want to take it on. Why would you want that?”
Because we Supermoms want it all. I love going to a job every day and publishing my work. I love taking my kids to the park. I love cooking a hot meal for my husband and catching up over dinner. I love having dance parties in the living room and snuggling my kids before bed.
My superhero kids!
That cooler is out because I went grocery shopping on my lunch break. Superpowers!
This morning, my 3-year-old asked which Power Ranger was the leader, and I told him that more than one person could be the leader. My 5-year-old chimed in, “Like you and Daddy.”
Yessiree. I want my boys to see men and women as equals. Just as I want them to see that a female can be their doctor or the next president of the United States, I love it when they see their daddy putting away laundry, making breakfast, and taking them to the doctor. We have made so much progress from two generations ago. I am lucky and privileged that I get to make a choice every day. My life, and my children’s lives, are better for it.