My middle daughter has a diary where she has written down some imaginary national days throughout the year.
Last Sunday we celebrated SUPERHERO DAY. She was GYMNASTIC GIRL cartwheeling across the living room. My youngest was a hybrid between ELSA and ANNA from FROZEN and my eldest veered from being too cool to get involved and wildly jumping around the room as HAWK EYE.
My daughter took this day very seriously. She chose outfits for her siblings and then went to my wardrobe to have a think about what sort of superhero I should be – I’m not sure if GREY SWEATS AND HOODIE GIRL is already a Marvel comic.
‘You don’t have a cape Mummy’ she declared after rummaging through my clothes. ‘Ah but don’t you know that not all superheroes wear capes’ I replied. ‘And did you know that Mums actually have superhero powers?’
(Now I realise this can sound conceited – this is definitely not my goal– there are a great many Mums who are much more ‘superhero’ than I am. I’m simply demonstrating how much we have to deal with and the pressure we put ourselves under)
I looked my daughter square in the eyes, took a deep breath and launched -
We often start the day with a broken night, up late tidying away toys, folding laundry or looking after a sick child or dealing with a bad dream.
Then it’s breakfast, finding uniforms, remembering everyone’s kit for the day ahead, making packed lunches - and worrying because they don’t measure up to those you see on INSTAGRAM with beautifully cut sandwiches and 3 different types of fruit - brushing hair, fighting the ‘you must brush your teeth’ war, finding coats/hats (worrying if it's too hot, too cold, sun cream, extra layers, wellies..etc…etc…), dropping off at school, coordinating diaries for after-school clubs with the other parents at drop off.
Next I’m driving to work, trying to switch my head to work mode, smiling, trying to make some skincare products, attending meetings, sending endless emails, still trying to make some skincare products, grabbing food, clock ticking and trying to get it all done - agh, still have to make a batch of moisturiser / lotion / balm, driving to pick up children from school, dropping them off in different locations, waiting in car and YouTubing how to perfect a French plait, worrying about not exercising enough, getting everyone home safely whilst discussing the intricacies of Minecraft v Roblox, making dinner or several different dinners, washing up, tidying, bathing everyone, grappling about screen time, worrying about screen time, reading three different bedtime stories, trying to stay awake long enough to get through a Netflix episode, collapsing into bed only to repeat it the next day.
My daughter stared at me, visibly unimpressed and replied simply – ‘So you can’t freeze people then?’
Whatever combination of the above your day looks like, it is a full on, albeit immensely rewarding experience. I don’t do all of this on my own - far from it - and Gareth pours an excellent glass of wine, but some people do and their invisible cape must be extra sparkly.
So, although we may not (always) wear Wonder Woman blue hot pants does not mean we are any less of a superhero. No one has made a film about us (yet) but we are the glue that holds it all together. So swish that invisible cape with pride and remember just how impressive you are.