From that day forth, she instinctively cares for her entire family while performing near miracles and extraordinary tasks on a daily basis ― many a time on four-inch-heels and only three hours of sleep.
She’s strong, savvy and brave. She’s Wonder Woman and Xena: Warrior Princess all rolled in one. She is supermum! Let’s count the many hero ways in which she saves the day…
1. An Iron Fist
She may not have gone to medical school, but just like Iron Fist from Marvel Comics, mummy’s healing body can cure every kind of suffering and need her child experiences. Kangaroo care, where mums and newborns maintain skin-to-skin contact, is so powerful that it can help bubba regulate his heart and breathing rates, gain more weight and sleep soundly, especially preemies.
If you’re a breastfeeding mum, you’re not only nourishing your little one, comfort sucking calms your baby and makes him feel more secure. It will also soothe him when he’s stricken with colic or reflux. Then there are also all those snuggles and cuddles that comfort your cutie throughout the day. Says Kumari Revi, 35, mum to Dhilan, 22 months, “I was never a baby person, but after I had my son, I was actually able to calm him down and I’m his go-to person when he’s upset. That’s my greatest superpower!”
2. A Ninja Warrior
Is there anything more annoying than to have your infant wake up mid-sleep because of an accidental thump or a creaking piece of furniture while you were trying to escape after laying her down in the crib or bed? NO! So, this why all mums have mastered the “the Ninja” ― an escape method in which after settling baby in her crib, they exit the room in stealth mode using a combination of crawls, slinks and backflips.
“Another ‘power’ I mastered was the gentle ‘drop and roll’ after my baby fell asleep on my chest,” recalls mum-of-one Jacintha Renganathan, 31. “I would lay him down expertly, slowly remove my hand from under his back, replace ‘me’ with a soft toy and back away inch by inch until I felt the door behind me.”
All mums have mastered the “the Ninja” ― an escape method in which after settling baby in her crib, they exit the room in stealth mode using a combination of crawls, slinks and backflips.
3. A Marie Kondo
You have to be organised when you have kids. Otherwise, you’re going to get a call from your child’s school at day’s end ― while you’re in the middle of a work meeting ― informing you that no one has picked up little Leonard. “When it was time for me to go back to work after baby number two, I started an online calendar which my hubs and I shared using our Google account,” says Chloe Lee, 34. “It can be accessed through our phones and includes everyone’s movements, who is picking up which kid and even what we are having for dinner every night.”
Since she only has a part-time helper to clean the house, Lee invested in a freezer and cooks meals in bulk, so that she can freeze any leftovers, which are polished off a few weeks later. “We work long hours in Singapore, so I don’t always have time to cook when I get home and I don’t want the kids to eat late either. Having back-up food in the freezer takes that pressure off on busy days.”
4. A Multiple Man
Just like the multitasking marvel from the X-Men series, mum cooks dinner, answers work e-mail/calls, mend errant buttons and folds laundry while explaining to the kids why Santa doesn’t visit in June. This is all in a day’s work for a mum ― and then some. There’s no denying just how this amazing talent helps to keep the family running smoothly. Although, that said, too much can cause stress, even burnout, and throw a spanner in the works of the household ― dad included!
So, know when to take a break, lady! “I think mornings are when my multitasking abilities peak,” notes Sarah Sidique, mum to Aaliyah, 2. “ I have to put on my makeup, blow-dry my hair, pack Aaliyah’s lunch and bag for school while preparing her breakfast. Plus, I have to wash her face and brush her teeth, all the while trying to down a cup of coffee, so that I’m alert enough to drive her to school!”
5. A Jean Grey
There’s no denying the unexplainable connection between mother and child. After all, you were both literally joined together for almost 10 months in utero. Just like the psychic Jean Grey from X-Men, only a mother is able to tell that her little one is about come down with something with just one look, or that junior is up to something bad in the other room. It’s also probably why it’s going to be super-hard to lie to mum later on because she’ll be able to see right through you, as if she has Superman’s X-ray vision!
Rebecca Nathan, 35, remembers waking up exactly a few minutes before her newborn did in the first year of her son’s life. “Initially, I thought my body was just responding to his two- to three-hourly feeding needs, but then I realised I would wake up when it wasn’t even feeding time. It could have been because he needed a hug or just some soothing. After he started sleeping through the night, I’d still wake up a few minutes before he did in the morning. We weren’t even sleeping in the same room, it was so bizarre!”
6. Dr Strange
Mums ― also affectionately known as the finder of lost things ― just seem to know where everything is in the house. Queries like “Mum, where’s my sock?” or “Mum, where’s my yellow balloon with the brown dots?” or “Honey, the kids locked themselves in the room and I don’t know where the keys are,” are quickly solved as long as mummy is around. How? We’re not quite sure, but just like Dr Strange, who can conjure up objects at will, she does!
7. A Supergirl
Move over, Supergirl, supermum has got this! After all, she did single-handedly push out a 3+kg human being from a very tiny space. “I never knew the amount of ‘super strength’ I had until I became a mum,” notes Yogeswari Vijayan, 33, mum to 2-year-old boy and girl twins and a 4-year-old boy. “I can hold my son's hand, carry his and my bag together with a full load of groceries from the car. Who needs to pump iron in the gym when you get enough of a workout at home?”
“Her reflexes are on super-drive after having kids. She’s able to stop whatever she’s doing mid-activity, just in time to shoot out an arm or leg to prevent the kids from toppling out of a chair, off benches or play equipment.”
8. A Spider-Man
Mum may not be able to beat Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt in a race, but her reflexes are on super-drive after having kids. She’s able to stop whatever she’s doing mid-activity, just in time to shoot out an arm or leg to prevent the kids from toppling out of a chair, off benches or play equipment.
“Just the other day, I was combing my hair while my son was jumping on our bed,” says Claire Chan, mum to Daniel, 3. “My back was to him, but the second I turned around, I saw him jump off the bed and without thinking I flung myself over to catch him before he hit the floor.” Pity the Olympics doesn’t acknowledge that as a sport, eh? Mums would be scooping up the medals, easy-peasy.
9. The Flash
Another worthy sport that is, alas, also not recognised by the Olympics committee ― speed shopping, eating, showering etc. From the day baby is born, she needs mum at least every two hours for a feed. Let’s also not forget those initial months when bubba would only doze off if she’s sleeping on mum. What about when your toddler can’t bear the thought of you leaving him for more than two seconds and bangs on the door while you’re trying to take a dump?
So, mums need to get creative! “It’s all about time management and prioritising your needs,” explains mum-of-one Janice Singh. “I eat while my daughter is preoccupied with a toy or activity while I’m in her line of sight. I also shower really quickly, I no longer have time to really scrub my hair. As for shopping, I race through the store and pick up items I know I can try on easily. Even better if I can try them on at a nearby mirror and not have to queue up for the changing room.”
10. Wonder Woman
Remember those pre-baby days when you would be totally wrecked if you didn’t get your full eight hours of sleep? Then, you’d feel like you couldn’t operate at all and maybe even take an MC to “recuperate”. Fast forward to motherhood, also known as, “you never know when you will ever sleep through the night again”. It’s a scary thought, but you’ll be surprised at how your body adjusts to the lack of sleep.
Mum of two sons, 9 months and 3 years, Jessica Gullichsen, 37, has not had a full night’s sleep in years. Yet, the journalist manages to get into work on time, meet her deadlines, pump breast milk in the middle of the day and rush home every night to be with her boys. “I’ve never been more exhausted, but I think I’m coping well, which is astonishing to me because I love to sleep!”
We hear you mama, we hear you!
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