Updated: Aug 31, 2018

“The strength of a mother is second to none.  Even when she is in times of stress, when she is fighting her own demons, when she is beyond exhausted both mentally and physically nothing will stop her from finding the strength she needs to do for her children what she needs to get done.” – author unknown

Although these images don’t need an introduction, Vivian Banks (Janet Hubert) from the television sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Claire Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) from the television sitcom, The Cosby Show were mothers that us as African American women, aspired to be like.  Now adays on television, we don’t see many images of mothers like the quote above.  Too many women are being momangers and not a parent.

I loved how both of these mothers exemplified strength in their households in their own unique ways.  Although Vivian Banks was a stay at home wife, mother and aunt, she was that glue needed that you knew was strong and could hold herself up under anything or anyone.  Claire Huxtable showed us all how to balance being a successful career woman, wife and mother and was a kick ass feminist, in my opinion.  When you crossed the thresholds of their beautiful brownstone, you had better left your male privilege views outside.

Although two-thirds of my children are not dependent on me as much anymore, I still recall being around strong women who were mothers all of my life.  I only pray that the seeds that I’ve planted in my children have taken root and will help them grow into adults that I will be proud of someday.  We all have 24 hours every day that we are blessed to live and there is nothing like a strong mother mentally and physically to herself and her kids.

I love the example of an airline recording that states basically, if the airplane cabin loses pressure, face masks will be released that contains oxygen, once the face masks are released, you need to put the face mask on yourself first and then assist small children or anyone else seated next to you.  The point of that statement beloved mothers is to: take care of yourself first so that you can better take care of your children.  Find balance in your everyday life.

Finding balance may require you to wake up earlier than your children to plan out your day and just have moments of peace, or consider putting your children to bed at an age appropriate time so that you have time of reflection or self-care.  Set boundaries with your children and let them know that you are blocking out a certain period of time to have to yourself in the evenings.  And unless the house is on fire, do not disturb!!!  Whatever you do as a mother, take care of yourself.

Children are a blessing from God and as they become their own beings, sometimes we need extra strength as mothers, to help us deal with their growing pains.  I remember the terrible two years old era that nearly took me out of existence and these teenage years that I’m forced to face now are werking my nerves!  When will it ever end of the teenagers begging me for money? Why can’t they go back to being toddlers when Barney and candy were enough to keep them soothed.  I look back now over the things that I’ve done as a mother, and although I don’t always acknowledge that I am a strong mother, I want to encourage myself and all of my readers who are mothers or one day plan on having children, to know that you won’t be perfect, there will be some good days and some bad days and some challenges along the way.  That bundle of joy that you bought home from the hospital will grow up someday and God will give you the strength and grace (if you’re me) that you need throughout motherhood that will strengthen the lives of your children in the years to come.

What makes a mother strong?  Share your thoughts in the comments.