The Strength of A Mother

This is a picture of strength. Our culture tells us that this is what strong looks like. Someone who works out and has the results to show for it.

Strength though, can look so different. It can look like a mom who has been up for most of the night and wears the same clothes during the day, hair pulled back, no make-up. It can look like a mother who carries her baby on her back and a jug of water for the day on her head. Different cultures and places, strength can look different.

“She had a natural birth. She is so strong.”

“She was in labor for a crazy amount of x hours. She is strong.”

And those statements are true. Those ladies who made those choices they were strong. But what about those who wanted to have certain outcomes with their births, but for whatever reason couldn’t?

Mothers looking down upon themselves for the choices they made and the choices they didn’t make. Judging themselves and questioning their strength because of their birth choices or outcome.

Homebirth, hospital birth, med free, epidural, c-section, planned induction, fast labors, long labors.

Many of us make our birth plans. Sometimes the end result is just what we wanted and other times we are left with questions.

We second guess ourselves, “If I would have only done this then…”

“Maybe if I didn’t do that then…”

We can guess and wonder and question and may never have the answers of what could have been.

For those who didn’t have the births they planned or look back on that day wishing it could be different, I am sorry.

These days when our children are born are so precious, we hold them with us forever. Some of the memories are happy and full of joy. Some memories are hard and difficult to revisit.

We so easily define strength as having set out to accomplish something in the way we would like to and actually conquering it. I think we do this with birth too. We have a picture in our mind of what it should look like. And when it doesn’t happen, we sometimes say that ‘we failed.’ I especially hear this with mothers who will choose to attempt a VBAC. If the outcome was not the VBAC as planned, a mother can feel devastated.  She feels like she failed.

But my hope, my desire is that no matter what birth story you have, I hope you see the strength you had within you that day.

Because ultimately, no matter what choices we mothers make, we want the best for our baby. We want the best for the future of our family. 


Your story matters. Your feelings matter. But even with all that, I hope you can look back and see your strength. See how strong you were. I hope you can look back and be proud of who you were. Not because of the way your birthed your baby. But because you birthed your baby. You brought human life in this world. Life! The precious, precious gift of life with unlimited possibilities! Even if there were interventions needed, a baby grew within you and the baby came from your body. You gave birth and when you gave birth, you gave life. You gave a child a chance to be born, a chance to grow, a chance to make a mark on this world. While the world may judge us and we can also judge ourselves with the outcome of our births, I pray you can see yourself as you are. A strong mother whose strength isn’t based on the way she birthed, the way she looks or all that she doesn’t measure up to in the eyes of the world. True strength comes from the choice to love and give at all costs for the sake of our children. That is what strength really is.




Birth can be many things, why not believe it can be beautiful?

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