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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Dear Mum: Even ‘strong mothers’ need a listening ear

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Dear Mum,

Strong mums need love too – you know, the ones you turn to for inspiration and support; those you look at and think: “they must be doing so well.” 

But what if I were to remind you that strong mums come in different forms and personality types and all mothers have the ability to utilise their inner strength. 

The truth is, strengths and weaknesses, levels of vulnerability and resilience, as well as moments that test every ounce of your patience varies from one person to another. There is no rule book for what a mum is strictly supposed to be, feel or act like.

No course or offered advice can fully prepare a mum for motherhood because each experience is different and comes with its own surprises. Mums build resilience by persevering and pushing through the unexpected. They survive off sleepless nights and cold coffee. They wipe away tears, fears, drool, and full diapers. That’s strength. 

Read also: Dear Mum, Black dolls are not only for Black kids

What you define as a strong mum is based on an observation that you may have made. You assume a mum is doing well because of what you see, but it’s clear to see how what you perceive may be different to the reality.

Some mums might actually be reflecting their strength outwardly and are doing great, but there are times she may choose to hide her inner struggles to the outside world.

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Regardless, it’s important to check in on mums – even those you think are okay and strong – because love is always appreciated and an unexpected hand of support or listening ear may do wonders.

It may even be an opportunity to connect and be there for one another through a turbulent time.

There is no particular definition for what a strong mum should be like, and if you catch yourself observing what you perceive to be a strong mum, consider reaching out to her just to check she’s okay.

After all, strength is not defined by having it all together, it is derived from trying your best to survive life’s storms. 

Kind regards,

Chereen

Chereen Shurafa is a Doha based community counsellor, writer, and certified change coach. She is the founder of “Dear Chereen”, an online platform dedicated to mindfulness, mental health, and inspiration.


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