Confessions of Super Mom by Melanie Lynne Hauser left me asking myself more questions than the author probably expected me to.
Birdie Lee is a suburban single mother of two, saddled with a toad of an ex-husband. One day, she spots a Stain of Unknown Origin and, when regular cleansers don’t do the job, she mixes them all, passes out, and wakes up with Super Powers.
On the one hand, this is a cute little creative book, a nice little bit of mind candy after a hard day’s work. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the pages fly by.
On the other hand, it started to irritate me that Birdie’s super powers manifest themselves primarily in stereotypical “mom” things, which includes cleaning and taking care of children. Seriously? A woman finally gets super powers, and they are to make things super clean? What is this, 1950?
But then, I thought, maybe *I’m* taking Birdie too seriously. Because if I have to be honest with myself, Birdie’s super powers are a whole lot more practical than, say, the ability to shoot webs out of my wrists. I’d much rather be able to zap the kitchen clean, eavesdrop on my teenagers’ text messages with no effort, and prevent kids from climbing up dangerous things. Honestly? What I wouldn’t give for the ability to impose a Super Time Out.
Which then led me to think that maybe I diminished Birdie’s powers because they were stereotypically women’s jobs, but why should that make them less important or useful? And what did that say about me and my own implicit gender bias? Why should Birdie aspire to stereotypical men’s powers? Isn’t the ability to make things nice and neat and safe greater than (or at least equal to) the ability to throw a punch at a bad guy or leap tall buildings with a single bound? Wasn’t it Lily Potter’s protective maternal love that ultimately saved Harry Potter?
Like I said, I totally overthought it.
But whether you want something to think about, or whether you just want a drop of mental sorbet, this book will do it for you.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Told You…” is set to be released in the Fall of 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here.