It was clearly evident as I was juggling two tiny airport novices through the airport this week, with their bags, my bags, and their millions of questions...
Long security lines with the nylon fencing that means everything but containment to these two...
Hundreds of strangers that are prime targets for questions (to the older man traveling alone: "why do you have a tiny suitcase?"; to the cancer patient: "why do you have a mask on?")...
Moving walkways that have the sole purpose of separating your children because one wants to run and the other prefers to be a statue...
Touching every germ...
Fifteen sticks of gum chewed and swallowed...
...It was clearly evident that strong obviously means a lot more than physical strength for a mom.
Strength is patience.
Strength is graciousness.
Strength is a clear mind.
Strength is multi-tasking.
Strength is not melting down.
Strength is putting these littles first, before your own needs.
Strength is letting your bladder nearly burst because the kid in the aisle seat is sound asleep.
It's always this way for moms. The physical, tangible strength is only the tip of the iceberg. Moms are required to draw from a gigantic mountain of strength on a daily basis.
But, physical strength is still part of that iceberg. Being physically strong as a mom is absolutely crucial. Having a strong body frees us up to handle all the other loads that we must carry.
Not once as I was manhandling giant bags and little kids did I question my body's abilities. Simultaneously lifting two suitcases on and off an airport shuttle was not even a thought. Lifting a 35 pound toddler up and over the sleeping kid into the aisle so he could go potty was not difficult. I could rely on my shoulders, core and legs to easily do whatever I needed them to do.
Let me tell ya, as a mom the last thing you should be worried about is a rotator cuff tear or a sore back. You have far more pressing matters to deal with. (Like how many times you have to calmly answer the question "are we there yet?")
Physical strength needs to be easy, because this other stuff is hard. Getting up with a sick baby in the middle of the night is hard. Teaching your son how to listen and obey is hard. Working through a learning disability with your daughter is hard. Dealing with stubbornness, anxiety, body image issues, poopy underwear, dinner that everyone hates again, and the never-ending taxi service is hard.
When you become a mom, all of these issues fall in your lap and you can't really hand it off. (Hopefully you have a good partner in your husband, but the mom is the mom.) You do all of this hard stuff whether you want to or not.
And it all requires so. much. strength.
Being a mom is hard for so many reasons, so having a strong body should be a given. You should never have to doubt and question your physical strength. Being physically weary on top of emotional weariness is far too exhausting.
Is your body strong? Double check. Does feeling weak and frail weigh heavily on you at times? I hope not. I hope you don't feel like you're constantly getting injured or you avoid certain jobs because you don't think you can do it. If so, you need to change this. Get stronger!
Carve out tiny chunks of time to work on your strength. Lift weights, learn good technique, and be consistent. Do it right. You must.
This is the best place to start.
Is your heart and soul strong? Double check. The iceberg of strength that we are required to draw upon can feel like it's melting at times. We get weary, frustrated, angry, bitter, tired, impatient and unkind.
When you're melting, draw upon "the Spirit that God gave us that does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7).
Remember that He gives "strength to the weary and power to the weak" (Isaiah 40:29).
Remember that it is God that "arms you with strength and keeps your way secure" (2 Samuel 22:33).
Remember that "in His hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all" (1 Chronicles 29:12).
And when you're at your most weary, pray these words: "But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me." (Psalm 22:19)
Strong is more than muscles. Muscles are wrapped up into it, of course, but as a mom we have to be strong in so many ways.
If you need more physical strength, go get it.
If you need more strength for your soul, go get it.
Don't let yourself feel like you're melting, momma. Strength abounds, even when we're weak. Let's get after it!
This has always been what Strong Mommas is about.
And this is exactly what the Strong Mommas Membership is all about. Being physically strong and spiritually strong...building muscles everywhere. Learn how to lift weights, how to eat better, how to support other moms, and how to do it all with a heavenly perspective. Are you ready? Click here to learn all about it.