The Strength of Motherhood

Jessica Ennis Hill and Alison Powell for the P&G Thank You Mum Campaign
From the moment I had given birth and that first time I held Wilf on my chest the word that struck me the most about how I felt was 'empowered'. Holding my son in my arms I felt like I could literally do anything. I had created a life, a whole little person and I would spend the rest of my life doing the best I could for him. I felt strong.

Then the second feeling I felt almost immediately afterwards was worried, I worried that he was breathing, I worried what that red mark meant, why was he crying, was he feeding enough, the list goes on. I felt worried but at the same time a strange certainty that I knew I was going to give him as much of me as I could. Knowing that I would and could endure almost 18months of him not sleeping longer than 45 minutes anywhere but in my arms or on my tummy because he needed me and I had to have the strength to give him that and everything he needed from me. The boy that made me a mum.

Now that he's older I get to the end of the day and worry if he's felt loved enough that day, that I've given him enough of me.

Having a second child these feelings were revisited and felt just as strongly, this time with the hindsight that the hardest parts are short lived and will pass. What I cling to in my everyday with my children is that in the tough moments where I can't put one down and the other one is not putting on his shoes, and my tea is cold and my emails are glaring at me unread there are golden moments too. My big boy will learn to do his own shoes and be proud of himself for doing so and my baby will learn in closer to me and give me a smile. That I have these two amazing little people that won't be little forever but will need me for different reasons as they grow.

I read a quote by Donna Ball the other day that I've thought on a lot since, 'Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else's happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you're not sure what the right thing is...and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong'

Yesterday I attended an afternoon tea with Jessica Ennis-Hill and her own mother Alison Powell. They talked to Gabby Logan about their relationship and how Alison had supported Jessica to become the Olympian she now is and also how Jessica feels as a mother to her own little boy. Jessica and her mother Alison are ambassadors of the P&G 'Thank You Mum' campaign which celebrates a mothers strength in helping their children achieve their dreams. 

I actually brought Mabli along with me and she enjoyed it so much she tried to join in with the conversation. Burbling and cooing so much I decided to move to the back on the audience but Jessica and Alison sought her out afterwards for a chat.

One of the things Jessica said that really struck a cord with me is how much you realise your own mother did for you when you become a mum yourself. I remember clearly in those first hazy few days of becoming a mother for the first time feeling like I wanted to call my mum and say 'I'm so thankful, I had no idea!'

My relationship with my own mother has been complicated over the years but I'm thankful for the lessons she's taught me, the ones that stuck with me throughout my life and helped make me be the person I am today. To be kind and humble, to question things and know your opinion matters and believe in yourself. As I am now a mother to a girl I realise the importance of showing our daughters how important their opinions are, how we are strong. When I look at Mabli I wonder if she will one day be a mother and how she will need me again, in a different way.

The P&G 'Thank You Mum' campaign invites everyone to join in saying 'thank you mum' for the role they play in raising strong children. 

As with most things to do with being a mum I have to say this video make me feel really emotional! especially the line 'It takes someone strong to make someone strong'. I know that if there was something my children wanted to work at to achieve I would be there for them every step of the way just like mums do all over the world every day. It's funny the strength you pull on when your children need you, when you're feeling tired or stressed or scared yourself and you manage to keep your voice steady and never make them question that everything was always OK. 

What do you think of the video and the 'Thank You Mum' campaign?

in association with P&G

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