7 Essential Superpowers for Dads

Becoming a dad is one of the most fulfilling stages in a man’s life, and quite possibly the most challenging. Part of the reason it’s so challenging is that you don’t have all of the information – nobody fills you in on what you can really expect when joining the ranks of new dads.

Maybe our dads think it’ll be funny to watch us struggle…

One major thing they don’t ever tell you before you become a father is that you need to develop superpowers. You’ll be expected to perform miracles and transform yourself from a mild mannered fellow into a full-on superhero on demand.

I came up with my own list of essential superpowers for dads, but just know that this is only a start. The full list could fill a book (hey, that’s a great idea!).

1. Superhuman Strength: Can you carry a diaper bag, a screaming toddler, multiple bags of groceries, a handful of toys, and still have an arm free to open the car door? Better start practicing.

2. X-Ray Vision: Finding a lost toy in the middle of a messy room, locating a missing hamster, and seeing through a wall to make sure that your kid is not shredding or coloring on your taxes or eating the soap will be a valuable skill to develop.

3. Mind Reading: Can you tell if your wife really doesn’t mind that you’re leaving her at home with the kids while you hang out with your buddies? (Now how would she answer that question?) When your child says they don’t need to pee (for the third time), are you able to look deep within their brain and see the puddle on the floor ready to happen? You’ll find mind reading to be one of the most indispensable of the superpowers.

4. Bilocation (Being in two places at the same time): Learning to be in two places at once is a fatherhood skill that sometimes escapes the best of us. Imagine pushing your daughter on the swing while spotting your son on the monkeybars. See yourself changing a diaper while you also stir the dinner and answer the phone, dropping none of them. Visualize changing the oil filter while also balancing the checkbook and shopping for groceries…

5. Extraordinary Diversionary Skills: The focus and drive of a child is amazing. Amazing, and sometimes maddening. Your toddler really, really wants another kid’s prized possession, and is about to have a major meltdown. Or you’re trying to leave the store without the toy that they just have to have. How are you going to distract them? And threatening them or dragging them out screaming is not an option…

6. Transmogrification: You’ll need to be able to turn a fridge full of leftovers into a meal to please even the pickiest eaters, and the ability to take an almost empty pantry and make it into a feast for a gang of starving kids (most useful in the middle of the night during a sleepover)

7. McGuyver Fixit Skills: “Dad, my [fill in the blank] is broken! So-and-so dropped it (stepped on it, ran over it) and it doesn’t work anymore. Fix it!” Alright dads, take your Swiss Army knife, duct tape, and Superglue, and rebuild it. You have an hour. Go! You’ll find your inner engineer and your latent handyman skills, or you’ll be driving to the store right at closing time to buy a new one. Your choice.

Don’t let this list scare you off. Just pretend that under your (spit-up stained, spilled on) shirt, a big S is tattooed on your chest. Fake it ’til you make it, right?

What are your favorite dad superpowers? (Or ones you wish you had?)

Image: Xurble at Flickr

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

16 thoughts on “7 Essential Superpowers for Dads

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  • Derek, been meaning to make it over here for a while & this is just the right post. I so relate. I don’t know if I have all 7, but they’ve certainly wanted to be used at times.

    #8 would be a rockin’ sense of humor, which you seem to have. 🙂 Peace, bro…
    .-= Pamir | Reiki Help Blog´s last blog ..ITP – PDSA’s Annual Conference and Reiki =-.

    • Pamir –

      Thanks for reading! And yeah, without a sense of humor, us dads would be (even more) crazy… LOL

  • Your blog is awesome and sounds like it’s all from the heart.
    3 cheers to you my friend . Being a functional dad is a very honorary position to hold in this universe where most men
    sow seeds and take off for fear of taking some responsibility and standing up as a man of worth and pride.

    Good stuff!

    • Hortense –

      Thank you for reading, and for your compliment. Fatherhood is both tough and rewarding, and it does take guts to stick around and be present with your kids.


    • It’s great to read something that’s both enjoyable and provides prgamaistdc solutions.

  • Electo-sensory perseption:
    As kids we always forgot to turn off the lights when we left a room. He always seemed to know and would shout at us from another room in the house, “Turn off the light when you’re done!” To this day we don’t know how he ever knew all the time. One thing is for sure… it’s hereditary.
    .-= Patrick Regan´s last blog ..Ubuntu 9.10 Preview: Kernel Mode Setting =-.

  • I have all of those super powers.

    In my dreams, at night.

    Unfortunately, in real life I don’t have any of them…. and I have 3 kids.

    I feel sorry for my kids 🙂
    .-= Peter P´s last blog ..How can I pray for you? =-.

  • Derek,

    You forgot :entertainer! To be able to turn a cry into a laugh in 3 secs flat!

    Thanks for a great blog!

    Leslie-married to the best superhero EVER!

  • … and this is only the beginning when you’re a single dad!

    Nice list. Many people have the stereotype of Mom having all these powers, but with telecommuting and home-based ventures, it may be the dawn of the Superdad age.

    Great stuff, Derek!
    .-= Family Matters´s last blog ..Degrees of Intimacy =-.

  • Loved this post and grabbed your feed.
    Just fathered a second child.

    What about being a super teacher, encyclopedia, tape recorder etc?

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  • Awesome post. I love your site, keep up the good work!

  • Christopher

    The ability to grow extra limbs. Multi-tasking just got easier.


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