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That apron doubles as a cape, yo. Photo (slightly cropped) by Flickr user mirsasha (Creative Commons license).

That apron doubles as a cape, yo. Photo (slightly cropped) by Flickr user mirsasha (Creative Commons license).

Yesterday I read this phrase: “…the cliché of the single mom as superhero…”

Everyone wants to be a superhero and no one wants to be a cliché, right? So my initial reaction was, ew. My initial reaction was righteous anger.

A couple hours later, my reaction was, omg I’m a cliche I’m deleting my whole blog!

A couple hours after that, I remembered why I called this blog single writing mom in the first place. Because SWM. Which usually stands for “straight white male,” and of which there seem to be trillions and gazillions and quintillions, and more every day. And you know what? There are lots of single writing moms, or at least lots of single working moms. TONS of us. And maybe I don’t have a whole lot of new stuff to say about being one. Maybe I’m just one of the tons—not a superhero at all, just one more in a line… But in my efforts to connect with the tons of us I know are out there, I wasn’t finding a lot of blogs.

You know why? When you’re a single writing mom, you don’t have time to write a !@#$ing blog. So I decided to make time, and to make a little joke about how there are as many SWMs as there are SWMs, and here we are.

I write about balance. I write about cute stuff my kid does. I write about trying to make it through another day. I write about food and my attempts to eat healthy and make kid-friendly meals. I write about writing. I write about writers. I write about whatever. The point is just to write. Sometimes, it’s a good day and people comment on what I write. Sometimes I feel like I’m yelling into a void. Tis the life of a writer and a mother, no?

But superhero? Some days I feel like one. Some days I wish one would show up and save me.

Where did I land on the whole “cliché of the single mom as superhero” idea? That if single moms handling their lives like BOSSES is a cliché, then 1) maybe we should examine why society is so screwed up that there are enough of us to achieve cliché status, and 2) proud to be a cliché, for the first time ever. I didn’t ask for this life, but look at me rockin it.

Then I got Ani DiFranco’s “I’m No Heroine” (aptly, off the album Imperfectly) stuck in my head, where it’s been pleasantly lodged ever since. Enjoy–and if this song isn’t your bag, Ani’s got one called “Superhero,” too.

I’m No Heroine, by Ani DiFranco


You think I wouldn’t have him unless I could have him by the balls?

You think I just dish it out? You don’t think I take it at all?

You think I’m stronger? You think I walk taller than the rest?

You think I’m usually wearing the pants just because I rarely wear a dress? Well…


When you look at me, you see my purpose, you see my pride,

You think I just saddle up my anger and ride, ride, ride?

You think I stand so firm, you think I sit so high on my trusty steed?

Let me tell you, I’m usually face down on the ground whenever there’s a stampede.


I’m no heroine—at least not last time I checked,

I’m too easy to roll over, I’m too easy to wreck,

I just write about what I should’ve done, and sing what I wish I could say,

And I hope somewhere, some woman hears my music, and it helps her through her day.


Cause some guy designed these shoes I use to walk around,

Some big man’s business turns a profit every time I lay my money down,

Some guy designed this room I’m standing in, another one built it with his own tools—

Who says I like right angles? These are not my laws, these are not my rules.


Yeah, I’m no heroine. I still answer to the other half of the race,

I don’t fool myself like I fool you. I don’t have that power, you know, we just don’t run this place.