There’s a saying that goes, “the best view comes after the hardest climb.” This statement rings true for me and maybe for you too. I can imagine the next line to this quote being….”and there is NO easier way around the mountain.” ? You have to climb up, even when you believe you can’t anymore. Because giving up isn’t an option. When you body aches, your mind is overwhelmed and your vision blurry…you have to keep going. That’s what I call The Grit of Motherhood. That’s why I called my blog “Moms Winning.” I meet moms all the time who are succeeding against all odds and challenges. We are winning and we are gritty about it. Grrrr….
What is GRIT anyways? When I worked in human resources, we talked about this term grit as a characteristic a person had or didn’t. By definition, grit is: courage and resolve; strength of character. In the work world, we (HR) would see the most successful people having a higher level of grit. These individuals would have the courage to step into tough situations and handle business all while maintain proper principles in decision making. They gained trust and had influence.
For us moms, grit is what keeps us going beyond our limits to help, nurture and provide for our families. Grit is what wakes us up at 5 a.m., 5 years in a row. Grit keeps us going even when we haven’t had 30 minutes to ourselves in over a month. Grit is being brave while walking down the street with a double stroller and grocery bags falling off of it, babies crying and people staring at you, feeling highly vulnerable and overwhelmed. Grit keeps us going after a terrible day in family court when a judge make us feel like an idiot for petitioning for justice. Grit is what champions are made out of…and that’s us today. We have the fight in us to rise above all obstacles. We have grit and we are winning. We CAN keep going; we’ve made it this far.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was a gritty person before motherhood, and I’m sure you were too. I took life setbacks as fun challenges and kept a pep in my step and fought the good fights of life with courage and strength. Once during college, I took a medicine that my body had an adverse reaction to. It threw me right into a depression. Like “Cynthia-needs-anti-depressant-pills” and group counseling type of depression. I almost flunked out of class and didn’t eat or sleep for months. I remember my best friend had to force me to eat ramen noodles, she wasn’t going to let me quit on life. This moment specifically blurred my vision on my identify and made me forget my enthusiasm for life. To get through that time, I had to pull everything out of myself and beat it like a champ.
Then we have motherhood where my grit level jumped exponentially. I’m not even going to mention all the grit that is required to house a baby and then push it out. I gave birth naturally, without drugs, TWO times, so those were very GRITTY situation. Much courage was needed.
But now, I’ll just get into a “mama’s gotta work” mode…having straight focus on my goal. Examples: It’s 10 p.m. and I need to do laundry, so I’ll stay up until 1 a.m. folding and organizing clothes. <> Just so that things are in order and my children are good. Or, I’m so used to it now, I have ONLY an hour to clean the entire house and cook dinner for everyone, I just jump right in and handle business. No time for thinking…we must “just do it.” I can remember a time, I was out in Queens, just finishing a training, my girls were younger so my stress level was higher. I walked out of work and found a flat tire on my car. I was in an unfamiliar area, with no one to call. I had to beg the babysitter to stay later because I could not make it back to my house in time and I had to walk around Queens, New York, asking for help with my flat. And as a woman walking around asking for help with a flat, I felt so vulnerable. But I found a repair shop, walked in with my head up like I couldn’t be messed with, and figured out how much time and money it was going to cost me to fix my tire. I hated the situation but had to face it head on and grind my way through. GRIT.
I know so many moms dealing with so much too. Single moms, not single moms…being brave in very uncomfortable spaces and trying times. Raising children who require more work or medical attention than the average child. Dealing with scary doctor reports, unkind people and making decisions that are life altering. Or how about dealing with life, betrayal of a loved one, working through forgiveness and having to turn around a smile for our children. How are they making it with what feels like the weight of the world on their shoulders? GRIT.
And we get over the mountains don’t we? One at a time. One day at a time. I can tell you today, I didn’t think I would make it a couple times. After we get past the climb of these mountains, we have the BEST view. You are so much better today because of your courage and strength and persistence to get though. We might have dragged ourselves some of the way, crying and kicking, but we made it through. When I think back to who I was 6 years ago, I am so thankful for where I’m planted now. I wouldn’t want to relive ANY of my moments, but I am so thankful for the stronger, wiser and more confident person I’ve become. Like Kanye says, “you can’t tell me NOTHING.” And that’s who you are today, a better person than who you were years ago. Technically, you’re not even the same person, our cells renew constantly, so scientifically speaking, we aren’t the same people physically. With that I say, keep climbing moms/sisters, keep climbing. Yes, you can make this gritty climb some more.
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