Let’s face it. All moms are super heroes. How else do you explain our ability to handle so much? I’d like to see Iron Man hold a new born in one arm, a squirming toddler in the other and feed the dog with his feet. Or Superman clean the house, talk on the phone and make dinner while having a toddler ask “Why” over and over again. Being a Mom is hard. It takes strength, endurance and a super natural level of patience. Sometimes, we feel like the superheroes we are and the world is great. Other times, the world throws us a curve ball, whether it be a financial hardship or a tense political environment and we feel our super hero status failing us. So, here are some things to remember about how to be a super hero Mom in a not so super world.
Tell yourself that it will all be all right. Everything only lasts for a season, whether it is potty training, temper tantrums or fighting political parties. Show your children that everything will be all right. Whether we like it or not, we are the example that our children see. So, whether we have the money or not, believe in the cause or don’t; show your children that they can be brave and strong.
Explain to your kids about the power of democracy, free choice. Instead of ranting about how your candidate may not have won, explain how the democratic process works. Explain to your kids that the beauty of democracy means that anyone can be elected. Including them. Here’s looking at you 2035! Let them learn and see you learning from your mistakes. Just as the beauty of democracy means anyone can be elected, the beauty of humanity is anyone can learn from their mistakes. Whether that is a mistake in their schoolwork or the mistakes that every political party at sometimes make.
Listen, Listen, Listen. We spend so much of our time telling our kids to listen to us. Listen and obey. Clean that room. Do your homework. Don’t throw dish soap at your brother. However, how often do we really listen to them? So, take some time to listen. Encourage them to listen to each other. Only when we listen to other opinions and beliefs can we reach a middle ground. So, if we listen and encourage our kids to listen, maybe our Congress and government will follow.
Enjoy the simple things. The world can be a scary place sometimes. Our kids will be exposed to things that we never had to deal with. However, it can’t be all doom and gloom all the time. We can’t live our lives in fear. So, enjoy the simple things in life. Whether it be jumping in a pile of fall leaves or enjoying a cup of coffee in front of the fireplace. When we hear our baby laugh for the first time, it makes life a little easier. It will be those simple moments of joy that carry us through those hard times. Invest in people you trust and love. Government will let you down. Authority figures will disappoint. So, show your kids the importance of friendship. Cultivate your own friendships. Find the people in your world you can lean on when times get rough and lean away.
Don’t complain, make change. It’s o.k. to tell our kids that life can be a disappointment sometimes. It’s o.k. to complain about that test grade or sports team or election outcome. However, we should teach our kids that complaining only takes us so far. So, get off that Facebook pulpit, close that computer and do something. Study more. Practice harder. Vote differently. We need to show our kids that change comes from doing something. So, volunteer with your kids. Write letters to your Congressman. Donate a portion of your paycheck and have your kids donate a portion of theirs to a worthy cause. Every change starts with a small step. Tell your kids no matter how small they are, they can make a difference. Take some time for yourself. Amidst the laundry, the dishes and the constant ferrying of kids around, take some time for you. The super hero Mom can sometimes forget to be something other than a Mom. Any spare moment of time, we feel we need to fill with getting something done off our huge to do list. But don’t. The laundry will wait and the dishes will eventually get unloaded. Take just a few moments to reflect and your kids will ultimately thank you for it.
Have hope and don’t give up. Super heroes don’t surrender. They don’t give in to bullies or villains. They don’t cave to unreasonable demands or oppressive regimes. Super heroes are a ray of hope in a dark and dying world. As Moms, we can be that ray of light to our kids every day. We can show them that in the midst of heartache, failure and disappointment there is still hope, love and forgiveness.
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