My husband brought home two costume items on Halloween after work: a pirate hat and a cape.
I chose the cape and in true mom-fashion, took ten minutes to turn it into my tongue-in-cheek costume for the year: Supermom.
Hair and makeup were already done – and by done I mean not done at all. I threw on an apron with a soother pinned to the top, hand sanitizer taped to the middle, a diaper and a coffee mug in one pocket and a baby toy in the other. With a burp cloth over one shoulder, I carried my purse AND the diaper bag across my body and in the other arm, I hauled the car seat with the baby in it. The finishing touch – my shirt had real spit-up stains! Imagine that! haha! With my dollar store cape draped across my shoulders, we were off to take our kids trick-or-treating at Grandma’s house.
The costume made me laugh because it wasn’t too far off from my regular life right now – a little stressful and last-minute, with a lot of mess and imperfection and a healthy dose of mirth. We snapped a few photos to freeze the moment in time so we can look back when the kids are older and everything is different, to remember what it was like right now.
It was fun to pretend for a couple of hours, but as they usually do, things got real when we arrived back home with buckets of mini chocolate bars and gummies in hand.
Our oldest two were fighting about who would hand out candy to the other trick-or-treaters while our two year old was a puddle of tears in the middle of the living room, chocolate smeared all over her lips and the sleeves of her bunny costume. The baby, of course, was very ready to eat.
I sat down in the armchair to feed him while my husband handled the oldest two and helped the bunny into her jammies.
Supermom was gone. The apron and cape were hanging over the high chair, and it was just Super Tired Mom in her place!
There was a time in my early mom years when I couldn’t possibly be caught in a costume like that in public because it’s not perfect. In fact, there are still times when perfection threatens to steal the amazing life I have right in front of me by telling me it’s all simply not good enough.
But as I grow older, I am beginning to understand.
Here’s what I know about being a super mom: super moms are not born, they are made. They are forged in the fires of sleep deprivation, spit up and sippy cups. They are grown from the earth tilled under by tantrums and toilet training. They are refined by the flames of daily giving yourself up for someone else and knowing deep inside that you would not have it any other way – that through this process comes real gold.
You know when I feel most like a super mom? When I survive a solo trip to the store with all four kids. When I successfully navigate the waters of crazy post-time-change behaviour without seriously losing my cool. When we can laugh together even though life is hard and we are all tired.
It has nothing to do with kids in matching outfits or a spotless bathroom. And boy am I glad!
Super moms, all of you – keep on doing what you are doing. Be open to the changes that motherhood brings to your body, your mind, your heart, your spirit, but most of all, your soul.
We carry on with hope in our hearts because we know that God makes all things beautiful in His time.