5 Motherhood Survival Skills I Learned from Batman
by Sheryl Cooksley
When I was a little girl, I watched Batman on our single TV set in the living room. I just thought it was fun and he was cool. I never imagined in a million years that watching Batman would provide any lessons for my future as a parent.
Over the course of my almost 31 years (so far) of being a mom, here are the
five motherhood survival skills I learned from Batman.
#5 Always have a great outfit on the ready.
C’mon, let’s be real…. Batman had that Caped Crusader outfit ready and felt super fly in it! We can all use an outfit that makes us feel special. The staples of mom clothes are yoga pants, t-shirts and a hoodie (in the Pacific Northwest anyway). No judgement here. I wear all those things. But doesn’t it feel nice to put on that one great top…. the non-mom top. The one that may be cut a little low or has some extra bling or is made of some fantastic fancy fabric. Or those jeans that make you feel sassy paired with anything but sneakers or flats or UGGS. Maybe it’s the awesome pair of dangly earrings that just up your “feeling awesome” game. All these things can provide a sense of power and beauty that changes how you see yourself. You are more than a mom who wears mom clothes. Remember to wear things that empower you, not just things that are super functional.
#4 Have some allies.
Batman had Commissioner Gordon and the entire Gotham City Police Force on his side. Who are your allies? Who stands up for you and will walk by your side when things are tough? Who in your world understands what you are going through right now…. today? No mother, or parent for that matter, should go it alone.
#3 Have a great helper.
Alfred was Batman’s right-hand man. Do you have that go-to person. The ride or die friend that you know understands your every need? The one that will bring you tea or a coffee or that special treat that makes you feel all loved. Is it your partner? Is it your bff? Having a go-to person is key to surviving motherhood. There needs to be at least one person who will take care of YOU and all your “mom duties”, not only if you are out of commission because you are sick. Moms need to feel cared for and nurtured too. Their tanks need refilled, so they can go on about filling the tanks of others. Who is your “Alfred”?
#2 Have a “Bat Utility Belt”.
The Bat Utility Belt is the iconic storage device that Batman used to store all his special tools, like my personal favorite, the Batarang. As parents our toolbelts may be filled with the ability to Google anything, knowing who to call if a Lego gets stuck in our baby’s nose, understanding developmental ages and stages, foods to feed our children, school information, etc. It’s what we have on the ready (besides our awesome outfit noted in #5) to make our lives easier and more productive….and less stressful. They are tools, like Batman’s, that offer us stability, protection, and knowledge. What’s in your toolbelt? You might be surprised at the mad skills you have and how full your “utility belt” is.
#1 Know how to use your Bat-Signal!
The Bat-Signal, you know the one that showed up in the sky of Gotham City when Batman was needed and there was some form of distress. It was a way of summoning him…. the superhero….to save the day.
Using a Bat-Signal in today’s world looks something like this:
You have a need. Maybe your baby sitter cancelled at the last minute and you MUST go to your gynecologist. This is not the place you want all your children to hang out with you. You’re in distress.
You send the same text asking 5 people individually if they can hang with the kids from 1pm- 3pm, building in a cushion for the “what ifs”. This is the Bat-Signal summoning assistance.
You just sent a Bat-Signal to 5 people you trust who may or may not see it and may or may not respond. The one that shows up is your “Superhero”.
In my experience, someone always comes through. You know why? Because I have my “helper”, my “allies” and a fantastically full tool belt that includes my cell phone.
Don’t forget to wear that go-to outfit and build 5 minutes into your request so you can have some time to yourself on the way home.
Batman didn’t do it all on his own. You don’t have to either.
Sheryl Cooksley is the mother, grandmother and fostered over 25 children. She has learned first hand what it takes to survive all kinds of situations as a mother. She is a postpartum doula and the owner of Family Tree Doula Services located near Portland, Oregon.