She may not don a cape, but there’s no denying that mothers are superheroes just the same. While DC and Marvel are yet to capitalise on the obvious windfall that would come with the proliferation of ‘SuperMum’ and all her accompanying merchandise (think oven mitts and ironing board covers), there’s no denying that mums share many of the major traits required to meet the criteria for superhero status.
- Alter Ego
Just as Superman is Clark Kent and Peter Parker is Spiderman by day, working mums also conceal their true identity. During the day, they hide behind façades carefully constructed to help them blend in and not draw too much unnecessary attention to themselves. They go about their mundane tasks in order to uphold the pretense that they are everyday, normal people. Nothing to see here.
Occasionally though, a crisis occurs while SuperMum is in the midst of performing her ‘normal person routine’. This is when she is forced to sneak off to the nearest phone booth for a quick costume change, enlist the help of her trusty sidekicks (often referred to as ‘Dad’, or ‘Grandma’), before reverting back to her ‘normal’ persona, usually without having even blown her cover.
- Always Saving the Day
Whether she is a working mum or a stay at home mum, our mothers have an inherent ability to ‘save the day’, even when the situation seems most dire. This happens so frequently that common folk forget to express gratitude, and in some occasions, vilify her for her heroic actions.
Unfortunately, this is too common a theme in the world of superheroes. They risk their lives to save the world, and yet all anyone else can do is complain.
Being a superhero isn’t easy. It can certainly be a burden at times. I’m sure there are many times that Batman and Superman are keen for a night of Netflix and chill, but unfortunately, the world isn’t going to save itself.
- The Source of Their Powers
Our superheroes have been given a gift, and with this gift comes responsibility. Like other superheroes, this gift often comes following a life changing event. Many superheroes gained their powers following a traumatic event, freak accident or a science experiment gone wrong (or in some cases, right). Whatever the case, the process leaves them forever changed and with powers beyond their wildest dreams. Much like childbirth.
- They Have Weaknesses
Every superhero has their own version of kryptonite and our SuperMums are no exception. While they may not be rendered powerless by a mysterious green substance (in fact, she probably knows the perfect stain remover for that), their shortcomings might include being ‘too soft’, ‘too proud’, ‘too emotional’, with most falling victim to their own omnipotence at some point.
- They Get the Job Done
Regardless of their beginnings, most superhero stories more or less follow the same storyline. One day, they are a normal human being going about their life, minding their own business, and the next they are imbued with godlike powers, with their lives being changed forever.
With great power comes great responsibility, and our superheroes now have a job to do.
So no matter how tired, how overworked, how underappreciated they feel, they defeat the odds and get the job done. Every time.
So this Mother’s Day, make sure you show your superhero just how much you appreciate all the times she has ‘saved the day’.