A bite from a radioactive spider turned Peter Parker into Spiderman.
Superman received powers from the sun, and Batman bought his powers with family money.
I never would have expected to know these facts in my single days, but now I have two boys—one who is almost four and obsessed with anything “super."
It's strange to think that to him I am hugely powerful. I'm the person that solves mysteries, fights his battles and heals his wounds with a kiss. Instinct or adaptation...who knows? Motherhood brings out these superpowers. You could call it a “mama-morphasis."
This mama-morphasis is different for each woman and our powers vary, but here are five I think are broadly applicable.
1. Superhuman strength
For example, you have the ability to accomplish tasks during the day with very little sleep. It's pretty unreal to see how adaptive the female body is when you're in charge of keeping others alive....literally alive. You may not feel like a superhuman but you are. You are in the club of women who stay up late to finish homework projects, nurse every two hours at night, soothe sick babes, and make sure everyone else gets sleep.
So grab that extra cup of coffee because you deserve it.
It's just part of the job. There are times when it's great to be able to focus on one thing at a time but in reality that's *not reality*. As a mother, you get.stuff.done. You cook the dino-nuggets while you're unloading the dishwasher, while you're playing princess with your daughter, while you're trying to reply to an email...all while holding a baby on your hip.
(You're amazing! And impressive!)
3. X-ray vision
You generally know what's really going on inside your child's mind and body. It might take time to investigate, but mothers usually know when something is wrong or off. Never doubt your motherly instinct; use it to advocate for your child.
4. Superhuman speed
You may not have been a track star, but you are now a sprinter who is able to accelerate in an instant whenever necessary. With your ninja-like reflexes you can grab that toddler before they fall down the stairs or stop your child from wandering too far away or teeter into the street.
5. Making babies and feeding babies
I don't need to go into detail here. It's just simply miraculous what the female body does in order to grow life, birth life, and sustain life with her body. This alone should make you feel like you can conquer the world. Because you can.
Like most superheroes, mothers have a kryptonite called 'guilt' which hits you when your baby is placed in your arms for the first time whether from a doctor, midwife, or adoption agency. A dose of guilt automatically comes with your new baby, just like your super powers.
There will be times when your superpowers fail you and guilt and fear creep in.
Just recently my five month old crawled off the changing table as I took my eyes off him for a second. We ended up in the children's hospital for a night talking to neurosurgeons about his newly acquired skull fracture. The guilt was massive and a burden too big to bear. The “what ifs" and “if onlys" circled my mind like a broken record and I wanted so badly to rewind time.
He is now totally fine and I'll probably just baby him a little bit more in life, but the fear and guilt really got to me. It was paralyzing. I made a mistake; I wasn't superhuman in that moment, and my son suffered because of it. The truth is, even with all your motherly superpowers you won't be able to save your children from experiencing pain, because that's a part of life. You'll go crazy trying to be perfect and control every situation.
As mothers, we must live in the moment—not the past or future.
You must trust in something greater than yourself; learn to breathe and meditate.
Meditate on the good in life while you exhale the guilt.