Not all Super Heroes Wear Capes…


Today I read a sticker at a friend’s facebook page that read:  I am a SUPER MOM: that got me thinking “Not all of us super heroes wear capes!” And that brought me to write about my favourite subject for all times!!! Mothers… and I like to call them Super Moms!

Super heroes have super powers. What super powers do moms have? Can anyone else balance a 6 month old on their hip, hold the hand of an ever wandering 6 year old and still have an interactive conversation with their mum in law on the phone, of what to make for dinner?

Can any super hero face the wrath of a 2 year old who just does not want to get out of the cycle that belongs to the other kid? Most would decide to retire early and play golf the rest of their years.

So while super heroes get time to change into their costume of choice, relax in their mundane non-hero public life, and even manage a relationship or two on the side, the super Mom never gets a minute off duty. She is not a bird, she is not a plane, she is Super Mom!!! Coming to save the world! …..

Home is where the heart is, they say.  Home is not home without a mother! A woman, as a mother, mother-in-law and grandmother is what makes our home worth running back to after a tired day of work (or atleast interesting enough to talk about at work!).

Mothers come in all shapes and sizes.

The sit at home Ones:

I always wonder who coined the expression in the first place.  There is no concept of ‘sit-at-home’ when you are at home.  You are always running around after either the househelp, or the kids, in the kitchen or out to the market! As Maya Angelou very rightly said, a woman’s work is never done!! This is the kind who is always doing all the hard work and is still looked up as the ‘farigh’ (free) type! It’s quite the contrary and increasingly there is research going on in terms of the time women spend on chores that is not accounted for in national labour surveys and other time-use measures.  A woman is the manager of her house and like all projects, the house is one that requires her dedication, commitment, thinking and yep, regular monitoring too! And then ofcourse there are the children who would always come to the mom whether its about being hungry, or fighting with another sibling, or running up to her only to check if ‘she is still there’…quiet time is one blessing this category of mothers does not enjoy!  So for all you home-based moms out there, you definitely make the top slot of super moms!!!

The “working Mom”:

Then ofcourse there is the working mother and the associated woes of always running around too, from one deadline to another! A working mother is the ultimate multi-tasker, tab-browsing her way through life!…when she is at work, she is also managing phone calls from home and in between official meetings, also managing why the maid turned up late, or how the driver needs to deliver something somewhere, etc etc.  The moment she enters the house after a long day of work, she is greeted by excited kids who want to narrate the day’s highlights to her…she also needs to immediately shift gears and turn into the above category…the ‘home based’ mom.  There are days when only my son can make me bake cookies for him after a very tiring day at work, no other super power would ever have convinced me!! Then there are days when you wish you could just run and hide somewhere and not have to deal with so much workload.  That’s when a quote I once read somewhere gives me the courage to go on.  I do not recall where I read it, but it was an advice from an older woman to a younger woman on how priorities in life is like juggling plastic and glass balls…while it is okay to sometimes miss catching the plastic balls, we should focus our energies on not missing the glass balls…and that’s my advice for all the upcoming working moms.  It is okay not to be a super woman at all times.  We’ll still be super moms and family is what should and always come first!!

So while the source of a super hero’s power might be kryptonite or a spider bite, the source of a supermom is a hug from your child when you return home or a wet kiss when he goes to sleep in your arms at night.

The Ultimate Mom:

Then ofcourse, the last but not the least category is your own mother!! No matter how tired you are, and how frustrating life can get, a big warm hug from your own mother is what makes the life worth living for. 

No matter how old we get, we still want our own moms, our own super moms! My mother is an absolute supermom for me, and I know that my naani is a supermom to her! I wonder if super mom powers are passed from one generation to the other, getting stronger by the years? We all recall the most fun moments are the ones when we are sitting with our grandmothers (nani and dadi) surrounded by their daughters (khalas and phupos) and exchanging a lifetime of experience and joy! You can feel the super power and the strong bonding it brings! Why else would cousins and extended family be still closer to each other than all the random acquaintances in our lives? It is all the super mom phenomenon!

At the end of the day, there is nothing better than running back to your own mother, seeking refuge in her arms and believing that everything will be alright after all.  Yep, that’s the Ultimate Mom.

Once upon a memory, someone wiped away a tear.  Held me close and loved me.  Thank you, mother dear!

23 responses »

  1. Hey Shaista, this is wonderful. Although nowadays I am having a feel of the ‘sit at home’ mom (but I totally agree with you that it is a wrong term since they are always on the move), however, I can always relate to the real mom in me,i.e. the working mom. And you are so right girl, family should ALWAYS COME first.

    the last paragraph on our ‘ own moms’ is beautiful.

    well done!

  2. Thats Great…… Wonderful and outstanding effort.
    One of my colleagues have read it with tears…
    Its really a heart-touching reality (She said after reading)
    Best of luck Sis….

  3. Dear Shaista This is your tribute to to mothersin general and your mothers in particular .I absolutely agree with you how our mothers are busy keeping the family together without any desire of appreciation or gratitude from their childern still not being supportive of MOTHERS DAY concept as they duly deserve that all days are their days .A mother cannot be understood by a non mother .No matter how far a mother lives from the other they carry the same , would say ,dangerously firey passion for her cubs.A mother ‘s heart is lit with the powerful energy of CREATION (TAKHLIQ)which lies under this universe.I have seen mothers going through tremendous hardships and still protecting their offsprings so much so that being oblivious of their surroundings harms them immensely .The mother figure in a family is like a fountainhead of warmth and love which is ultimately a lifesaving phenomena in today’s global society where humans are placed as secondary to the wordly gains under the firmly established system of IMPERIALSIM.Imagine the innate strength a mother carries that she stands agaist the system.I like your efforts to recongnise this strength .As for myself i can only say that throughout my life i had been busy being a potential mother (before marriage a mother to my younger siblings)and now to my grands.This is the role which is so fulfilling that inspite of all my shortcommings i can stand up to any challange holding this torch in my hand .After I had raised 5 kids (LOST ONE)I utilised my energies in acedemics to the extent that i have completed my PHD theses.
    I dedicate my degree to all those mothers who could not conceive/create/generate the concept of menifesting thier energies into acedemia as all of them are carrying this potential.SABIHA AKHLAQ

    • Phupo Sabiha, thank you for your beautiful words and thoughts. You are indeed one Supermom we all look upto as a role model. Much love, Shaista.

  4. wonderful, very sweet and kind… very positive. but here’s another idea to write on:

    the constant ompettition between mothers on who is a better mom? who potty trains her child first? the working mom’s superiority over the not working mom? the home based mom’s sense of self righteousness over the other? and the home based mom’s who are not cooking or driving or cleaning or even changing their kids pampers themselves as they have maids to do so.

    ofcourse this is 0.1% of the Pakistani population. most of the population works in fields or at home, while managing a dozen children, without complaining or worrying about her health, without having maids or drivers or anyone to support her, mostly with dominating men and in laws….

    i like your last category the best! the best mom is always our own. there is no one else like her!

  5. by the way, you bake cookies after a hard day’s work? really?? WOW!!!

    the most I’ve done for Saaru is … oh ok, baked her birthday cakes or make her daily dinner… but its easier for me beause after work I’m just a mom at home, but you’re also a daughter in law, a daughter and a mom to a smaller baby. talk about multi-tasking…kudos to you Taita

  6. Dear Tatoo!I hv read your article.Mashallah very impressive and well written.Tatoo after reading it almost I hv tears in my eyes…I don’t know why??may be the writting is so practical,emotional and full of reality and love that I can’t control my emotions.I love you so much….

  7. Shaista Baji

    This is an amazing piece. You have truly captured the essence of a mother in this captivating work of yours. mA Bravo Bravo!


    Fizza Tirmizi

  8. Wonderful article!Living here in the west with three kids, and full time work is really no easy ballgame! Also no super mom at the end of the day to give you a big hug…i can totally relate to that! As for the sit-at-home-mom, i guess thats why here they changed it to stay-at-home-mom……as sitting is a luxury!!!Keep up the good work!

  9. Its very well written. Usually we dont realize how much effort we put in as mothers. We are just in the cycle to perform our duties. Thanks for writing about the super moms 😉

  10. As always beautifully written…I never realized how much my mom did for me till I had my first son. That is when it hit me like lightening and I knew what it was all about. I was actually little scared… But yes moms make everything worth it. They can understand what you are feeling by just looking at you and that for sure is the biggest superpower they have! Beats X-ray vision any day 
    Keep them coming Shas….love reading your thoughts as I can completely relate to them.
    Lots of love

  11. Good Job shaista. Its a really touching and lovely topic. Once I heard somewhere you will realize how much your mother did for you when you will be a mother yourself. and that is so true Now I am a mother of three girls and here in US you have to do everything by yourself. We are super Moms like you said in the article, we are super cooks and super cleaning ladies and super drivers too picking and dropping kids to schools come back work with the kids at home and alot. God give courage and strength to all mothers.

  12. Thanks for this blog Shay. I can totally relate to what you have written: first, having a working and ultimate mom and now being a new stay at home mom, who is forever striving to become super or aka “ultimate” mom. I think this is one of the most ‘taken granted of’ relationships in the world, however, and a BIG HOWEVER, the MOST rewarding too. We all just hope that in this screwed up world we end up producing half decent human beings. Love you for writing this 🙂 Big cheers to all mummies out there 🙂

  13. Shaista, u have the loveloiest, most heartwarming topics ever 😛 I guess we’re going through similar phases of our lives and I can so much relate to all that you say here. I believe all moms are super moms, all moms have to be super moms yet I also believe that the love and regard for our moms comes from something much more deeper than that. I mean i8ts not the
    “superness” as much as its the “mom-ness” that we cherish, love and hold dear.

    —-and I wish one day i’ll have the power that my mother has of giving all and wanting none, of extending the feelings of unconditional love and endless affection, of making us feel the presence of a force field around us, of giving us security and tender care, of making us into who we are, of shaping our lives, of holding our fingers and walking us into a beautiful future and leaving with us the gift of an enriching past.

    One day I hope all mothers will be able to look back at their lives, and smile with their kids at how well their super-moms juggled the glass and the plastic balls. One day I hope the kids will be able to look back at their lives and realise how their over-loaded super-moms sometimes let go of the plastic balls. One day I hope the kids will grow up and pick up all the shredded glass from the time when the super-mom couldn’t keep up her juggling act and dropped the glass ball. One day I hope the kids will nurture the moms wounds, take care of her needs, wipe her tears, give her smiles and tell her proudly that they love her for not being the “super mom” but only for being a mom. As today I stand here, an independant women with kids of my own,looking back fondly at my life and saying to myself “mom! ur the best!”

  14. Aww Shaista this is such a good read, it has made me all teary. I certainly understand and appreciate my mom more after having my owm kids. Moms are the best!

  15. Dear Taita i read it again….Its really impressive….no words to express my feelings.So proud to be your mother….

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