You are Strong

Bending Tree

You are Strong

7

In an era where it’s nearly impossible to avoid messages and images and long-winded Internet vitriol aimed at making women and/or mothers feel broken or weak or inadequate, I want you to know:

You are strong.

You are strong because even though your house is a mess and you haven’t gotten out of your sweatpants for the past four days and you forgot all about the appointment you had yesterday (and all about the spit-up that was on your shirt), you still hugged your kids and told them you loved them a thousand times over the past week, which is really what matters most.

You are strong because right now you are juggling everything in your life perfectly and you are enjoying the hell out of this perfection before one of the balls drops.

You are strong because your life may look like a walking Pinterest board, but beyond the surface it’s really messy and chaotic and sad, and you’d wish that people would stop assuming that everything you do is perfection.

You are strong because you are growing a baby.

You are strong because you grew a baby.

You are strong because you desperately want to grow a baby, and you don’t know how to explain to your friends why you can’t, you just can’t, attend one more baby shower or coo over one more pregnancy photo–just not right now, please.

You are strong because you don’t punch strangers in the face when they ask you if your multiples were “conceived naturally.”

You are strong because you don’t punch people in the face when they ask you, “Your third/fourth/etc. baby?!  You know how babies are made, right?!”

You are strong because you chose a birth setting and maternity care provider that were right for you.

You are strong because you had a cesarean section, and there’s little in this world that takes more strength than having major abdominal surgery and then being handed a newborn (or newborns) to care for.

You are strong because you chose pain medication during birth, and it was the absolute right choice for you.

You are strong because you chose to get an epidural, but it wasn’t working right, and oh man you were hoping that it would!

You are strong because you didn’t have any pain medication during labor, and oh man you were planning on it but there was no time!

You are strong because you planned not to have any pain medication during labor, and you were able to meet your goal.

You are strong because you had a birth that made you feel empowered.

You are strong because you had a birth that was not at all what you expected it would be like, yet you made it through to the “other side.”

You are strong because you have the ability to hold multiple, conflicting emotions, including the fact that you can feel overjoyed about your baby and sad about your baby’s birth.

You are strong because you pump breastmilk day in and day out for your baby, and even though it sucks sometimes, you’re doing it.

You are strong because you were able to overcome the specific breastfeeding challenges that faced you and your baby.

You are strong because despite the fact that you desperately wanted to breastfeed your baby, you listened to your instincts and showed tremendous grace and flexibility when you realized that formula feeding was the best option for you and your baby.

You are strong because whenever you feel another person judging you for choosing to feed your baby formula, you pull up your punk rock attitude that says, “SHUT UP.  YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I’M COMING FROM.”

You are strong because whenever you feel another person judging you for breastfeeding your baby in public, you pull up your punk rock attitude that says, “SHUT UP.  I’M JUST FEEDING MY BABY.”

You are strong because you don’t have a punk rock attitude, and you’re even a little scared about being judged whenever you feed your baby in public, however you do it, but you still do it and that makes you brave.

You are strong because you are surviving a postpartum mood disorder.

You are strong because now you’re helping other mothers struggling with a postpartum mood disorder.

You are strong because you have made the choice to raise your kids differently from how you were raised.

You are strong because you’d love to stay at home with your kids, but your family can’t afford it, and you work hard–damn hard–for your kids.

You are strong because you’d love to work outside the home, but you can’t find a job, and sometimes you feel a little desperate at home with the kids all day.

You are strong because you work from home all while raising your kids, and sometimes you feel like you’re being pulled in a million and one directions, but you’re making it work.

You are strong because you want to work in order to show your kids ambition and motivation.

You are strong because you want to stay at home in order to teach your kids dedication and sacrifice.

You are strong because you know that working outside the home also takes dedication and sacrifice, and that staying at home still involves ambition and motivation.

You are strong because you’ve found the exact right work/life balance for you and your family at this moment in time, and you savor every second of this balance while you have it.

You are strong because you’ve given up on trying to find a perfect balance, and you’re just enjoying what you have, right now, while you have it.

You are strong because every time you hear someone ask about women “having it all,” your knee jerk reaction is to proudly display your middle finger.

You are strong because as much as you’d love to just curl up with a “grown up book” and a cup of coffee, instead you’re showing selflessness and curling up with your toddler and the thousandth rendition of Good Night Moon.

You are strong because although you could bring out the finger paint again today, you know that it’s not bad to have some selfish time, and that you might just lose yourself if you don’t sit down right now with a magazine and a cup of tea.

You are strong because you and your partner are making it work.

You are strong because you and your partner made the difficult decision to recognize that it wasn’t working at all, and you parted ways.

You are strong because you left a partner who wasn’t a partner at all, who didn’t have the kindness or the wherewithal to appreciate just how strong you are.

You are strong because you’ve learned how to ask for help.

You are strong because you don’t exactly have that “village” to help you raise your kids, but you’re still powering through parenting like a rock star.

You are strong because you’ve learned how to bend and sway with the wind, like a tree.

You are strong because you may have felt broken before, but now you are rebuilding.

You are strong because you won’t ever let anyone else make you feel broken or weak or inadequate again.

You are strong simply because you are, for any reason listed here and for all the million reasons that couldn’t fit here as well.

And don’t let anyone make you think otherwise.

image credit wiremoons on flickr, used under a creative commons 2.0 license.

image credit wiremoons on flickr, used under a creative commons 2.0 license.



Related Posts with Thumbnails

Be Sociable, Share!

7 Comments

  1. Leandra
    Leandra02-08-2013

    May I add:
    You are strong because despite the zillion things to do today, you take time to read Kristen’s blog. And no matter the day’s topic, reading it always makes me feel like a better woman, mother, wife, and friend. Thanks for making us laugh, think, reflect, or cry!!

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas02-10-2013

      Oh Leandra, you are too sweet! Thank YOU!

  2. Sarah
    Sarah02-08-2013

    Thank you so much for this, especially “You are strong because you are growing a baby.” I am having a rough day and this is what I needed to hear. It gives me strength for today and all of the other upcoming days that make me excited, nervous, and a million other emotions all at once.

  3. Mary Catherine
    Mary Catherine02-08-2013

    LOVE this.
    Mary Catherine´s last blog post ..five senses friday.

  4. LaNeshe
    LaNeshe02-08-2013

    This is beautiful. Women are beautiful.
    LaNeshe´s last blog post ..No Questions With Love

  5. sarahluvbug
    sarahluvbug02-09-2013

    Thank you. You have brought me to tears.

  6. Shalla Khan
    Shalla Khan02-11-2013

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

/* ]]> */