I used to think that I was strong; level-headed and logical, driven and determined.  But now that motherhood has wrapped its arms around me and held on tightly to my hand, I can see that I am a different kind of stron­g; I see now that I have a different kind of strength.

This strength cries.  This strength worries.  This strength is physically stretched and drooped and aching.  This strength is fuzzy round the edges and has lost track of time; of night and day.

This strength, this quiet kind of strength that barely speaks above a whisper, this strength was forged out of love.

This strength is real and grouchy and vulnerable.  It is high, low and everything in between.  It is every colour of the rainbow and every shadow, note and pitch…and our children see it all.  They see through the tired façade even when we cannot.

Our children don’t see the exhaustion, they see the mama, always here.

The mama; strong enough to grow, birth and nurture her baby.

The mama; strong enough to bid farewell to sleep and prioritise little people with big needs above all else.

The mama; strong enough to kiss away scrapes and soothe bad dreams; to build hope and peace out of doubt and chaos.

The mama; strongest of them all.

Because the minute that I held my daughter in my arms, my whole sense of self changed forever.  “I” became “we” as I would forever feel what she feels.  And no matter how hard or how low I may ever fall, I know that I will forever spring back up to meet my child with open arms and eyes of wonder.  I know that no matter how broken I may ever feel, I have an inner strength to build me up again and pull me through.

And we can all draw on this strength, each and every one of us.  Because this strength, this new and magical kind of strength, is always there; patiently waiting.  Because this strength, which we barely even notice or expect…this strength is the strength of motherhood...and our children see it all.

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