It's no secret that motherhood is incredibly challenging. While there are varying roads that can lead to motherhood (from conception to adoption), I'm going to focus on mothers who know what it’s like to give birth. Pregnancy is rough enough (and for some, rougher still), but nothing compares to the life-altering moments you labor through in order to bring your baby into the world. The pain is beyond excruciating, only adding to the labor and delivery moments that prove moms are strong as hell.
Again, that's not to say that a mother who adopts or doesn't give birth isn't strong. Motherhood tests the very fibers of your being regardless of whether or not you gave birth, or even how you give birth. Women are strong whether they decide to have children, can't have children, or don't want children. And since the "mommy wars" are still at thing, it's worth reiterating that strength is measured in a number of legitimate ways.
Still, I know there were some definitive moments during my labor with my son that left both me and my partner amazed. One was laboring at home for so long, sans any kind of medicated pain relief. Sure, I had a doula coaching me through it and rubbing my back, but the labor pains were something much more intense than I could have possibly ever imagined. Because I was trying for a home birth (which quickly turned into a hospital birth), I was also surprised at the strength I had to get out of a tub, get dressed, walk down the stairs, and get to the hospital. Of course, those final pushes that left me with some birth injuries also showed me how strong I really am, too. So, since motherhood also comes with an extra side of self-doubt, I think it's always worthwhile to look back at those labor and delivery moments that prove you can do just about damn near anything.