Confessions of a Supermom by Melanie Lynne Hauser is not a book I would have ever considered reading if I hadn’t won it in a contest. I would have judged this book by its cover and thought it was a guide to housecleaning or driving kids around! That’s what the title sounds like at least. Had I not won this book, I would have greatly missed out because it turned out that Confessions of a Supermom is a very interesting and fun story.
It wasn’t until after I had read quite a few pages that I found out the story was fictional. Up until that point where fiction took over, you could have fooled me into thinking I was reading an autobiography as it was all written in first person and all the events seemed real. The story is about Birdie, but I suspect Melanie, the author, used some of her own motherly experiences, thoughts and instincts when writing this as some of the things the main character says are so true to life. Birdie’s sense of humor and down to earth thought system made it easy to sympathize with the character and helped my enjoyment of the story overall.
So now you are wondering who is Birdie and what makes her worthy of a 300 page story? Birdie is a divorced mom to two kids, Martin – 13 and Kelly -15. At the start she describes to us one fateful event in which she became a “Super Mom”. It all started one day after the kids were off to school and Birdie found a stain on the bathroom floor. She tried many things including Swiffering the stain away only to find it wasn’t going anywhere. She ended up applying so many different chemicals that she passed out from the fumes. Later, she awakes to find her hands have become spongy and liquid comes out of them…like a Swiffer! Her hands, as if out of her control, clean the stain until the floor sparkles.
Back at her grocery store job, Birdie starts to “hear” when things are scanned incorrectly – weird! But she decides she must just be sick still from the fumes and goes about her normal business. Although she’s trying to act normal, it’s obvious something happened to her that day in that bathroom and we see this more as she cleans up after, and then disciplines, some kids in the store. It was like she knew all about them – she knew when they were lying – she even knew what rules they had broken in the past. Birdie seems to know everything – she is Super Mom!
Will she use these powers for good? Does she really have these powers at all or is she just nuts? And if she’s so good at figuring out these kids on the street, why can’t she figure out her own kids? You’ll have to read the book if you want to learn all of this!
Her powers are really quite funny when you think about it. Who would ever guess that being a super-cleaner or a super-child disciplinarian would be so fun! and so energizing! I wouldn’t mind the super-hearing she seems to have. At one point she’s even able to “hear” her daughter as she instant messages someone.
This story is a normal everyday story of a mom’s life, but with a crazy twist…Well it’s pretty ridiculous actually! Although much of the story is very realistic, these superhero powers are thrown in making it a fun fantasy story. I can relate to Birdie’s thoughts and feelings even if my life isn’t really like hers. I feel just like Birdie in that I can see when kids are in danger or trouble and it bugs me that their parents don’t do anything about it. Of course, I don’t do what Birdie does! I don’t run up to the kid and tell them they better not do that anymore. I don’t get out of my car to tell some teenagers to buckle up! But it sure is fun to think about.
So when Birdie sees a mess to clean OR a kid in danger/trouble, she suddenly has a massive burst of energy and confidence. We find that Birdie is normally not at all self-confident. For example, she can’t believe that Carl, a fellow PTA member and father, could possibly be flirting with a “big brown, blobby, leaky me.” However whenever her powers take over she loses all inhibition and is able to say the things she’s always wanted – and this mostly means keeping kids out of trouble. Will this confidence help her with Carl? Maybe, maybe not…
A few other characters that make this story complete include the following:
Patty and her husband are the picture perfect PTA couple/leaders and all around perfect people. She really tends to put Birdie down. It’s not that she’ll come right out and say it, but she’ll say compliments in a backhanded way. This is something that would make most Mom’s, including Birdie, cringe! Too bad Birdie doesn’t have the confidence for a snappy comeback…yet.
Carrie is her coworker and friend who thinks she’s gone completely nuts. Carrie stands up for what she believes in at the PTA, and stands up for Birdie as well. She tries to use her psychology classes to help Birdie gain confidence, and she’s also dead-set on setting her up with Carl. She sounds like a really good friend who just wants to help.
Carl is a pretty confident and nice guy who has his eyes on Birdie, even though she’s too clueless to see this in the beginning. If only she could gain that confidence!
Her son Martin is a young geek, as she says it! Kelly seems to be the “cool” teen. Although they are more opposite then night and day, they both seem to neglect their mother’s feelings and needs right from the beginning. Later, they both become embarrassed when their mother starts acting a little strange – well a lot strange, but they just want her to stay away. Right from the start I could tell one of the major problems in Birdie’s life is that she’s having a tough time relating to her kids. Now she has these super powers, will the help?
In the end, I wouldn’t want my hands to be like a Swiffer, but I wouldn’t mind the other powers. This truly was an interesting read and I’m glad I gave it a chance. I would guess Birdie’s story is best suited for Mom’s, however any adults can enjoy this. My favorite parts involved seeing Birdie react to trouble-making children and thinking how I would love to do the same thing! I’ve only told you a little bit of the story so you definitely have to pick this up as the rest of it is even more interesting.
This is the first book I’ve read by Melanie Lynne Hauser, but I’d be willing to read another. This isn’t a major thriller, so don’t expect non-stop excitement and mystery. Instead it is just a funny and cute story about a Mom who just happens to be Super. Enjoy!!