Motherhood comes with some unexpected gifts. Yes, of course – that incredible new person who erupts in miracles and coos and smiles, stretching out into the world day by day. As our child grows, we can’t help but grow too as mothers, as women, as human beings. With more love? Absolutely!!! More love than we ever thought a body and heart could conceivably contain.
But also – more patience, more resilience, more resourcefulness, more strength, more power.
For many of us, motherhood is a chance to connect to an inner fierceness that we’ve never expressed before in our lives. Our inner Mama Bear. Mama Bear stands her ground to defend her cubs. She’ll snarl, she’ll pull out her claws and bear her teeth to anyone who gets between her and her cubs’ safety.
When our child’s wellbeing, inner and outer, is on the line, we often access the power to push ourselves beyond. Beyond our limiting ideas of who we think we are and what we think we are capable of. You know those stories of mother’s lifting up a car to release their child trapped under it? That power. You may find it during your birth, when you rock those last few pushes to bring your baby out. You may use it to stand up to family members who think they know better than you what’s best for your child. You may call on it to fight for educational or legal supports that your child needs.
In becoming a mother – a process that doesn’t just happen on the one day that you give birth – I discovered an inner fierceness that I never knew I had before. I even took “fiercemama” as my online handle. Somehow it was easier to unleash my wild inner power when it was for someone else. The hardest things we ever do usually are for someone else’s benefit, not our own.
Freeing the inner Mama Bear can be scary, as we open the cage door between her and a world that constantly wants to keep her pinned down. A world that tells us that when we are powerful, authoritative and assert ourselves that we are too…. well, too something. Too loud, too bitchy, too agressive, too emotional, too hyterical, too shrill.
One of my dearest friends has been searching for answers and solutions to her child’s unresolved health problems for going on two years. She works tirelessly to fight for what her child needs, often in a hospital system where the doctors and staff hold most of the cards in their transactions. After a challenging and disappoint day in doctor’s offices last week she wrote to me, “the good thing is that today I learnt I have a backbone”.
The best news is that once your inner Mama Bear is revealed to you, she needn’t only come out when beckoned for your children’s sake. She is yours to call on as needed. Her power and ferocity are yours. Yours to call on whenever you need to stand your ground and defend what’s good and right. For your family,. For yourself. For the world. Roaaaaaarrrr!!!!