I am STRONG. Let this be your mantra.

You’re pregnant, or you have a new baby, or a toddler, a primary kid, a teenager. Perhaps you have a selection of all the above. Hell, maybe you have all the above (hats off to you!)

At some point I guarantee you as a parent you will have to go through Hard Things. Things you don’t want to deal with. You might feel weak. You might feel emotional. You might feel like your once-firm body has betrayed you and is now softer, spongier, and likes to surprise you with a sneeze-wee.

Your hormones at some stage will likely be splattered all up the wall, the house will be a mess, your career hanging on by a thread and you’ve somehow become the playground parent the teachers hide from.

It is all too easy to feel like you’re failing.

You’re not. You are strong.

We all go into this parenthood malarky with the best of intentions – our kids will be smart and beautiful. They’ll definitely be in bed by 7pm and they’ll DEFINITELY sleep through the night. Those horror stories of sleepless nights have got to be exaggerated, yes?!

From the moment that little bundle is placed in your arms, you are going to be the perfect parent. You will only ever feed this kid organic vegetables and clothe it in the cutest garb. You will breastfeed – it’s totally natural so it can’t be that hard?

And then the shit hits the fan. Literally.

Parenting is not an easy, run-of-the-mill task. Often even the act of getting pregnant in itself isn’t simple – and we are expected to navigate this gargantuan task of CREATING LIFE while still doing all the things we did before, and more. And we’re supposed to do them while wearing a clean shirt and a smile?!

I want to tell you something…

You, my friend, are so bloody strong.

Give yourself credit for all of the things you’ve been through and you continue to go through on a daily basis in parenting and in life…

Getting pregnant may have been planned or unplanned. You may have dealt with IVF, miscarriage, loss, or separation. You might be doing this alone by circumstance or choice. You may be dealing with poor health and diagnosis, or disability. You might have no job – or too much job. There will be sleepless nights and burst pipes and drawn-on walls. You will spend hours debating and deciding on that perfect colour for your kitchen and it will IMMEDIATELY be splattered with spaghetti Bolognese.

You are allowed to acknowledge all of the absolute pants that come along with parenting and you might feel like that laundry mountain is just to much to climb today.

But guess what? You. Are. Strong.