A costume I am not wearing this Halloween

“I can’t stand to fly

I’m not that naive

I’m just out to find

The better part of me

I’m more than a bird

I’m more than a plane

More than some pretty face

 beside a train

It’s not easy to be me.”

-“Superman” by Five for Fighting

So tomorrow is Halloween. And obviously I will be wearing my perma-costume ever since I became a Working-Mother-of-Two: Superwoman. Because well, anyone who can pull off Halloween costuming, ghost-shaped-cookie-baking, pumpkin carving, hurricane prepping, trick or treating and behavior chart making all in the same 48 hours deserves to be called Queen of Damn Near Everyting Superwoman, right?

Superwoman is an understood allusion in Mommy Land to a “woman who does it all.” This has had positive and negative connotations. Some women will claim they never would want to be a Superwoman, while some would revere other Moms as being just that. We throw the Super-word around like it’s either a Super-compliment or Super-insult. It’s another word we use that makes us feel either superior or inferior in the ever growing field of Mom-spectations. Not expectations by Moms but expectations of Moms.

(But before I continue, let me digress for a second)

Interesting Facts About Superwoman via Extensive Internet Research:

1. She is a villain to Wonder Woman. Pfft. These chicks never stick together.

2. Lois Lane was the first Superwoman.

3. Superwoman was referred to in the comics as Queen Bitch. Interesting.

4. Superwoman was part Amazon. Obviously. Amazon women are bad ass.


Here she is. Do you even see a diaper bag ANYwhere!!?

So why do we describe a woman who “does it all” as Superwoman? (what is the “all” part anyway? Does it involve cake and eating it too? Does Superwoman even eat cake?) Do we assume that only super powers can handle what women have to do in life? Do we sell ourselves short in what we are capable of as just regular women?

This question first came up for me in something a co-worker said last week. It’s not something new to the vernacular of mommy-talk. We all utter some version of this statement at one time or another.

“I’ve figured out I can’t be a good teacher and a good Mom in the same day.” You can substitute the word teacher for wife, sister, daughter, friend or ANY other title you try to maintain AND be a Mom.

It’s sort of bothered me in it’s poignancy and truth. We often look at the choices we make as we go through the day as definitions of how we are doing as Superwomen– Get up early or rush my kids out the door? Go grocery shopping today or just feed them Spaghettios? Turn off the TV or enjoy the peace and quiet while I make dinner? Stay home with the sick little guy or get a grandparent to stand in?

In every choice we make as parents, we see a reflection of who we are. Often we look to our friends (who are usually mothers we admire) to help us make our way through the choices before us. We think that our choices mean something about our moral code of motherhood.

But the thing is, it doesn’t. We’re just making cookies, throwing together costumes and buying flashlights with the rest of the world. We are using the best judgement we have (and sometimes the best judgment our friend has) and we are hoping that at the end of the day, we produce a person or two, or three, or four (God help me!) that other people want to hang out with.

Superwoman had superpowers, Amazonian strength and the respect of all the citizens of Earth-two. You, my friend, are more than that. You have twice the powers, twice the strength and the respect of your significant other, your friends, your co-workers and (the most coveted) your own mother. You are a woman, no super prefix needed, who does great things every single day.

You make ghost shape cookies, you stock up on library picture books in preparation for a hurricane, you create a “healthy eating chart” to cure your toddler’s dislike of all things vegetable. You read to your kids at night. You make sure they have their favorite book for “sharing day” in their backpack in the morning.

Random Ghost Cookies— perfect for the Mom with no cut outs in the house!


You are just you. An (extra)ordinary Mom just trying to do good work in all facets of life. Just hoping to be able to say-someday, “I made these people and look at how wonderful they are.” And as stated in the cheesy pop song I used as an epigraph,we are all fumbling through motherhood to “find the better part of [you].”

No cape. No flying, No knee high red boots (well, maybe….), no big red S on your chest.

Just an M. M for Mommy. M for Mama. M for Mom.


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