I remember when I was young enough to still believe my mom had super powers. I have no idea if she actually knew what she was doing, but I was convinced that she was the smartest, strongest mom with special powers for finding anything. To me, my mom was Wonder Woman.
But more recently, it seems that parenting has become less about being superheroes and more about what we are doing wrong. There are so many “help” books available that it can feel overwhelming and frustrating trying to figure out how we “should” be parenting.
Lucky for us, our kids still think we are magical and can do anything and everything, so let’s stop worrying about what we don’t do well and focus on our own super powers (however silly they may seem).
Here’s an example in my own life that helped me realize that maybe I had super powers, too. I’d had an exhausting day both at work and at home that evening with the kids. I was in one of those moods where nothing I did seemed to go right, and everyone was a little cranky by the time bedtime rolled around. As my husband and I were getting ready for bed, I heard my 2-year-old daughter start calling out for me. When I peeked in on her, I could barely keep myself from laughing out loud. She was on her tummy, half-awake, crying, with her arm stuck through the crib railing, her nightgown up around her head, and her naked moon butt poking straight up in the air! She must have been trying to take off her clothes while asleep but gotten frustrated halfway through, and couldn’t fully wake herself up to finish the job.
So I snuck in, adjusted her clothes, and rubbed her back. She quickly stopped crying, fluttered her eyes at me, and whispered, “thank you, Mommy. I love you” and with a sigh of relief rolled over and fell back asleep.
And that was it! Such a simple problem solved. It took almost no effort, but the immediate relief and loving words were so genuine. I patted myself on the back and realized that it’s the small stuff we do every day that makes our kids believe we can achieve the impossible, especially at a young age.
Here are some other super powers I have discovered I possess– once I started looking at things through my kids’ eyes:
* Building impenetrable fortresses. I am a far cry from an architect, but being taller and stronger than my little ones allows me to create structures with pillows, chairs, and blankets that seem inconceivably large to them. The best part for me is the snuggling and book-reading that occurs inside the fort.
* Curing any boo boo. I lament the day when my kiss and hug (and a lovingly placed band aid) no longer alleviates even the worst ailments for my kids.
*The force field shield: When my kids are fighting, and one wants to get away from the other, I will enact a “force field” on their bedroom door that won’t let the other sibling pass through. I don’t know how this one still works, but at least for now the force is strong with this one.
* Fighting away bad guys. In our house, our kids know that mommy and daddy scare away all the bad guys with our special powers, and that snow monsters and ghosts do not exist in California.
* The magic of remotes: This only works on younger kids, but ours still haven’t figured it out. Whether it’s a keyless entry minivan sliding door or a remote fireplace, our kids think it’s magical that we can “blow” on it and it will magically open or turn on.
* Scaring away nightmares. When my kids wake up in the middle of the night from a scary dream, all they need is a good tucking in, a quick snuggle and a kiss on the forehead and they drift back off to sleep. I wish it was that easy for me!
* Super Daddy Speed: Our 4-year-old is a big fan of Blaze and Lightning McQueen right now, and whenever daddy is driving, he downshifts and his “super daddy speed” zooms down the highway. It doesn’t seem like much, but B is convinced that dad has super power boosters in his car!
So this Halloween, put on your superhero cape and remember that to the only people that truly matter, you are their Wonder Woman!