"Here's to strong women.
May we know them.
May we be them.
May we raise them. "
How does this image make you feel? If you are anything like me, you kind of feel like it could be unbecoming? A mom with an apron, baking fresh homemade bread and tidying up the house. For me, it sparks up the feeling that I don’t do the stay at home thing well because I don’t whip it up like her. I bet she has a mixer. I got one at my wedding but it is sitting in a box in the garage. It’s true. Ask my mom. She has asked me multiple times if I have gotten it out of the box. It was in her basement for the first five years of my marriage. I guess I never had a reason to use a mixer. I was too busy having babies and breastfeeding for a year and then getting pregnant again, and then chasing toddlers and when I have down time, I tend to not want to pull out the mixer. Cue the picture of the mixer collecting dust.
She looks so happy too, bless her soul. Happy to be baking and cleaning. For me, I am happy if I can find a great bakery that can whip up a gluten free cake for a reasonable price. If they can do dairy free too, well then we won the battle of the day. Insert clapping hands emoticon
Things have changed, haven’t they?
I’m not sure there are many moms these days that can truly relate to this picture. Now if we showed a mom doing a handstand with a kid on each leg, this is the image we want to relate to. Remember that I said, “want” to relate to. We all want to be strong moms in some capacity. Insert picture of me doing a handstand.
Do I consider myself a strong mom? Well, yes and I can’t lift 100 pounds over my head. The strong mom doesn’t have to be able to lift a million weights above her head. The strong mom is within all of us, when we stand up for our family and for what is right.
My daughter’s friend told her she had a butt that went all the way up to the ceiling and back down. Kids being kids. But I told my middle daughter that she is strong enough to walk away from friends who say mean things to you. There is always someone to play with who will be nice. Strength is walking away from the people who don’t let you in. Pure. True. Strength. I’ve dealt with that as an adult, a gazillion times. I have had to walk away from people who Do Not Let Me In.
I think the difference between THEN and NOW is that we don’t pretend. We don’t have to pretend to be perfect. In fact, I think vulnerability is respected. Strong moms are vulnerable. If you were to see me on a Sunday night before bed when I’m dreading the week, you can see my vulnerability as clear as a newly cleaned windshield. Squeaky Squeak!
I think my husband probably wouldn’t call it strong. Maybe bat shit crazy?!
And NOW, we have a voice. Strong moms have a voice. It can be heard on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, boomerang and whatever else I’m missing out on.
NOW, we have businesses from home. Strong moms can create an empire, even when we are home. And they can hold high-paying jobs in the workplace. Cue the picture of me putting on beautycounter eye liner and lip gloss. #boss
The only thing missing in this equation is we have to believe in ourselves. And sometimes strength is in the silence. Accepting things in silence and keeping your family tight and close. Silently walking away from people who don’t want you to succeed. There are those people, remember. Not everyone is going to be inclusive. Those are the weak ones. Steer clear. Cue car screeching away.
And, forget about that woman in the picture. She is long gone. Think about what makes you a strong mom. Maybe it is lifting heavy weights and teaching your daughter how to do it too. Maybe it is in the quiet way you teach your daughter self-confidence and self-love. Maybe it is teaching your son to be the one who sits next to the quiet kid. Maybe it is exercising your voice to help your community. Maybe it is posting a picture on Facebook on how you are having a hard day and strong enough to admit it. Realizing that you don’t have to keep quiet and smile. You can use this new world to let it out.
And maybe it is baking a fresh loaf of bread. There is strength in being an amazing, powerhouse baker, don’t’ get me wrong. Because now you are teaching your child how to be a gourmet chef. Like I said, it’s a new world.
Be responsible with your power, strong moms. Because we do have power. And our biggest power is raising strong and kind children, first. We are shaping the next world that we live in.
And remember to tell yourself positive thoughts as well. Especially on those hard days and during those tough phases of parenting and in life. (Which we are all going through now). I know it is something we have to do on a daily.
Just because a woman is not President does not mean we cannot take over the world.
It always will start at home. We have the power. Our children are the future. We all have it within us. Nobody can hold us back.
Just repeat this mantra: I am strong, I am strong, I am strong.