The Strength of a Mother

December 19th, 2011 by Dionna | 5 Comments
Posted in Ensure Safe Sleep, Guest Posts, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting, Respond with Sensitivity

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I am so proud to share a guest post today from the beautiful Starr of Taking Time. Read more about Starr at the end of this post!

I wake to the sound of crying child. As I sleep walk from my bed to theirs I notice the time, 1:30 a.m. I groan and chide myself for only going to bed at half past eleven. In my heavy exhaustion I comfort my child, which thankfully takes just a few minutes, and then I gratefully sink back into bed.

In what seems like only a moment, I open my eyes only half believing that someone else is crying and see that it is only one hour later. As I crawl from my bed in a deep sleepy fog I remember that the children seemed to be coming down with a cold the day before. This must be why they keep waking. Usually they are good sleepers but on this particular night my ‘good sleepers’ vanish and at exactly one hour intervals, my children take turns waking and crying. When the children finally rise for the last time it is just past 6 a.m., and although they were unwell enough to have had a restless night, they are not unwell enough to sleep all day. They cough and sneeze and start running around the house at full speed. I pull myself from the comfort of my bed for the last time and try to surrender to the fact that this is going to be one of those ‘tired’ days.

The day drags. The children are grumpy and tired. I grow irritable and impatient continually looking for an impossibly rare moment when all three of my children might settle down enough so I can doze on the couch – such a moment never arises. While I pull myself to the kitchen to make dinner I bite my lip to stop from joining in with the crying.

Suddenly, I notice -really notice – my children’s little faces; glassy feverish eyes, shivering bodies, woeful tears. I steady my own trembling lip and instantly gather them close. My tiredness vanishes as I dig out remedies from the cupboards. I forgo my first option of a fast and easy dinner of pasta and begin a home-made chicken soup from scratch. I prepare big bowls of herbal infusions for their baths, prepare massage oils and extra warm bedding. I try to cheer their tired spirits with funny stories and silly songs. And when my poorly children are finally tucked in bed sound asleep I collapse, tired and drained, yet readying myself to meet another sleepless night if necessary.

Again I marvel at nature’s plan. We wander somewhat naively into parenting, and what we discover, when we hold our infants in our arms for the first time, is a depth of strength and a power of emotion we never realised we possessed. This is a mother’s secret, this is her magic.

This strength carries us through pregnancy and birth – and not just natural birth of course, every transition from maiden to mother seems to carve out parts of our hearts that only rested secretly hidden before. This strength carries us through the challenging baby and toddler years bolstering us through each new change and each new decision. As our children grow, this mothering strength grows and we are able to travel through life with our children finding joy in sadness, beauty in hardship, and wisdom amongst chaos.

As a mother I don’t always think I fully appreciate that there is this part of my spirit that never fails me. When I pause, however, in those moments of deepest frustration and deepest worry and breathe, I suddenly realise that I am able to meet even the darkest of days. My mothering heart is strong.

I kiss my children’s sleeping faces and my thoughts are prayers. I pray for their wellness and their happiness. I pray that I as I mother them I will never forget this strength of my heart and that even through the weariest days I will find peace.


Starr Meneely lives in a sleepy English village with her husband, three children and their cat. She is the Home Education columnist for The Mother Magazine and also blogs at Taking Time where she writes about natural mothering and living.

Stop by and check out some of my favorite posts from Starr: Growing Habits, Replacing the Battles, and Homeopathy in My Healing Cupboard.

5 Responses to:
"The Strength of a Mother"

  1. That’s beautiful, and so inspiring! There has to be some hidden strength somewhere for us not to completely throw in the towel on days like that.

  2. Amy   Amy_willa

    Oh, Starr, what a beautiful post! I am going to remember that mantra! “My mothering heart is strong” Thank you for your beautiful post.

  3. Very empowering! I am expecting my third in March and have been a little worried about how I am going to manage three. Posts like this keep me empowered to do and be my best for my family. Mothers are definitely the heart and soul of the family. Love of family keeps us going!

  4. Terri   onelovelivity

    A beautiful post. Thank-you for affirming the strength of Mothers everywhere.

  5. mamapoekie   mamapoekie

    love this post. Sharing in SS today

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