Some mornings, you greet your kids with steaming bowls of Cream of Wheat, sprinkled with cinnamon, accompanied by a seasonal berry salad and followed by a reading of their favorite story. ¶ Other mornings, you mainline the coffee, toss a couple of waffles in the toaster and comb the older one's hair while the baby plays in the recycling bin. ¶ Pay no mind. Regardless of your morning, you can convince even the harshest of critics that you are, indeed, Supermom. (Although the baby does smell faintly of beer. Were those bottles not empty?) ¶ Here's how to pull it off:
1. Look sharp.
More than one would-be hero has been brought down by crusted oatmeal, aka the kryptonite of Supermom. That's why Amy Eschliman and Leigh Oshirak, authors of "Balance Is a Crock, Sleep Is for the Weak" (Avery), recommend the following:
"Layer your clothes, and put the last layer on after you've left the house," Eschliman says. "That's going to cover up the organic material your baby left on your shoulder."
And while we're on the subject, "Put on some lipstick to distract from the bags under your eyes," Oshirak adds. "And above all, invest in some really good concealer."
2. Talk the talk.
Supermoms speak a distinct language, which relies largely on playing loose with the facts.
"Oh, we don't watch TV" and "I don't let my kids eat sugar" are two of Eschliman and Oshirak's faves.
Just as important, of course, is what you don't say. "Mommy needs a drink," for example, would never spring forth from a supermom's mouth. (Again, truth is not the goal here.)
3. Remain calm.
"The calmer you stay, the more it looks like you've got your act together," says Kristin van Ogtrop, author of "Just Let Me Lie Down."
"I know when I ask my kids to do anything in anger, it never works," she says. "But when I approach things in a way that's calmer and more rational, it's like giving my kids a pill. It's amazing."
Same goes for the office, she says. "Even as disasters swirl around you, remaining calm -- even if you don't feel that way inside -- makes you look unflappable."
"If the notion of being a Supermom even registers with you, you probably have a lot of advantages," Van Ogtrop says. "You're not worrying whether you have enough money for milk; you're worrying about the milk being organic."
Focusing on the relative ease of your life (Relative! We said relative!) can help you appear, and actually be, happy.
"Happy, to me, makes a Supermom," Van Ogtrop says. "Because even when things go wrong, which they always do, they just seem like little speed bumps, not stop signs."