Motherhood. It’s full of surprises. Some are gross, like your infant peeing or pooping on you,  multiple times a week, but also really good surprises, like the crazy amount of joy you feel when your six year old learns how to do a backbend after failing for weeks.

Motherhood is also full of amazing extremes that steadily flood your senses, ranging from moments of deep joy, sadness, happiness, overwhelm, frustration, excitement, chaos, total exhaustion and love. Basically, there is never a dull moment.

That being said, one of the best “surprises” that I have come to understand as a mom, is an age old truth, “Being a mother reveals strengths you never knew you had.” Caring for little ones tests you in ways that bring out these secret strengths, for example, I never knew I could carry an infant, walk my dog, grab groceries and drop my five year old off at kindergarten, while climbing windy, steep San Francisco hills, all in under 30 minutes before work, but I did it, and I did it well. Or how I always dreaded math, but when my daughter needed help, I found patience, perseverance and mathematical abilities I never knew I had in order to help her.

Motherhood brings out an incredible ability in moms to find a way to help their children however possible. It enables us to push aside age old insecurities or confront them head on and find a way to help and support our children grow. Part of me believes this is driven by a deep desire to not only support them, but also to encourage them to be stronger than we ever were.

Like my six year old who pushed herself to learn how to do that terrifying backbend. It was with my encouragement and also my ability (that I had no idea I had within me, I normally think of myself as impatient and easily frustrated) to positively help her understand that she was capable of accomplishing this elusive thing she so desperately wanted.

Yes being a mom means being tired or being overwhelmed or both at the same time, but it also means facing daily challenges that push us to find these hidden strengths that perhaps had eluded us at other times in our life and to use them to help us raise strong children. During those amazing extremes of joy and sadness and everything in between, be sure to remember, that you have amazing strengths within to help in each of those moments because along with the birth of your children, was also the birth of a new you, a strong mom. Happy Mother’s Day.

Everyone here at Shinebright wishes all of the moms out there a happy and restful Mother’s Day. We’d also love to hear about the secret strengths you discovered in your journey as a mom. Please share in the comment section.