My Motherhood Superpowers

I love my book’s cover:


The cover has a superhero vibe, but even though I named my podcast and book Adventures with Postpartum Depression, I must confess that I never thought about the superhero angle until my cover designer sent me this beauty. I know, weird. When I was writing my book, I always had in mind an adventure from a fantasy story like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. But now that I have published my book with this cover, let’s pretend that I was always trying to evoke a superhero vibe.

I recently read the novel My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Frederik Backman. The protagonist is a little girl, and the little girl thinks about people in terms of superpowers. Like, so-and-so has a superpower of staying quiet when there’s nothing that can be said. Or, so-and-so has a superpower of giving hugs when hugs are most definitely needed. Ever since reading that book, I have thought about myself in terms of my superpowers.

Or, more accurately, I think about my non-superpowers.

Superheroes have powers, but they only ever have a few. Like Spiderman can climb up buildings but he can’t fly or make himself invisible. Iron Man has an ass-kicking suit and is ridiculously smart but he can’t breathe fire like a dragon. And the Hulk can use his rage to good effect but he’s probably not good at tasks that require a delicate touch.

I like to remember that as a mom, I’m a sort of superhero, but that does not mean I have unlimited powers. It means I have two or three strengths but otherwise, I’m just human.

These days, my superpowers are snuggling, reading books with my children, and hugging them when they are upset.

And these are some areas where I am decidedly human and non-superpower-y:

  • Laundry. Always amassing. Never conquering.
  • Tidying. No matter how many times I clear off the kitchen island, nature truly does abhor a vacuum.
  • Remembering what to pack for outings. I only survive with checklists. Checklists are my equivalent of the Batmobile.
  • Getting knots out of Pippa’s hair. This job requires magic provided by a special brush and detangler that my mom hunted down.
  • Managing sibling fights. I often hear them starting to get aggrieved but I rarely intervene in time. Oh well, they are learning about the art of social interactions.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.

The next time I’m beating myself up for being a lousy mom, I’m going to try to remember that even Batman has limited powers.