How motherhood continues to teach Amy what real strength really is.
As I look back at the women and heroes I admired as a young girl, all of them were ‘tough’. The women in the books I read, and the ones I wrote my school projects about, were all fighters and warriors in their own way.
Fighting against war.
Changing the world in some way.
And so, as a young teenage girl trying to work out her place in the world, that was the definition of strength I took on.
I decided that to be good in this world, I needed to fight.
And I most certainly needed to be busy.
Until mamahood came along. With the exhaustion and reality of babies and work and a body that struggled under all that ‘fighting’. I couldn’t do it anymore.
The warrior in me – the one I thought I needed to be – was tired and burnt out. Rest was forced upon me. And it was in that rest that I realised…
I didn’t know how to be a mama and a wife and a woman who loves to nurture and go slow and be creative just for the sake of it.
I didn’t know how to celebrate the fact that I have kept my three children healthy today. I’ve made them feel special and loved, and I have organised all they need to be happy.
And I didn’t know how to honour my role as wife, as someone who holds the space and supports her man, and who softens and opens up and lets him lead her at times.
Being a strong women used to mean something so different to me. Being strong used to involve armor, and achievement, and not needing anyone.
Now I am beginning to understand that, in fact, strength as a woman comes from both the achievements and the vulnerability. It is both the role we play in this world and the way we nurture those we love.
It is softening and receiving at times, and holding our boundaries at others.
Strength, as a woman, is both. Which has turned out to be my greatest lesson and greatest challenge.
And still is.