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Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, MD Headshot

Embracing Your Parenting Superpower

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Can I share with you a secret? Many days I wish I had superpowers. It's true. And, I feel much better now that you know.

My family loves all things superhero so I'm sure that hasn't helped my fantasy of one day waking up and being able to get my kids to school at lightening speed, while cleaning the house, doing all the cooking, grocery store shopping, and household organizing before my first cup of coffee - or while having that first cup of coffee.

In addition to superspeed, superstrength would be incredibly handy. Anyone who has attempted to sew one of those Varsity patches onto a jacket or elastic bands onto ballet slippers knows exactly why this is true. My grandmothers were able to sew these things without batting an eye, making me wonder if they had some element of superstrength that ended with that generation. In fact, they seemed to be able to do superhuman things like that while cooking, cleaning, smiling, giving advice, and organizing some major community event. I need a nap just thinking about a day out of their lives!!

When you stop to think about it, it's truly amazing that we have done so well without super powers. Most of us are not stay at home parents yet we're expected to juggle kids, jobs, relationships, household chores and community obligations with a smile and without a complaint. And, for the most part, on most days, we do ok.

Well, we do ok until one of our balls in the air starts to wobble. Perhaps we didn't leave as much time for the carpool. Perhaps we miscounted the amount of dinners we needed that week. Perhaps we forgot to reload the lunch account. Perhaps we wrote the school event on the wrong day. Perhaps we thought our partner was going to start the kids laundry. Perhaps....well, you get the idea. There is always another perhaps. There are endless ways for our well timed day to implode. After all we don't have super powers.

Then again, while we may not have super strength and speed, we do have super resolve and a super human ability to keep ourselves and our kids moving forward despite the chaos around us and what hurdles life tosses our way. After all, if this isn't the embodiment of a superhero, then I'm at a loss to explain what is...especially since, on most days, we accomplish this with a smile on our faces and without personal assistants.

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