I had no idea how exhausted I could be before I became a mother. I also had no idea how patient, selfless, forgiving, obsessed, goofy, nurturing I could be.

I had no idea how strong I was until I endured 40 hours of labor and birthed Edie squatting, standing on my own two feet. Then I had no idea I could become even stronger by struggling through six months of painful, constant breastfeeding and living to tell the story. I had no idea I could crawl around on the kitchen floor on my hands and knees wiping up smashed blueberry pancakes for fifteen minutes, to get all of the crumbs in a neat little pile to be scooped up a half second later only for my toddler to come sprinting through the pile, knock her cup of water off of her table onto my head and track the scraps (now soggy) all over again--I had no idea I could experience something like this without reacting AT ALL except to say, "Oops! Did you spill? It's okay, Mama will clean it up," to my half-concerned looking child and then proceed to start over, dripping hair and all. I had no idea I could be that strong until yesterday when that whole scene went down.

And you know what I think the coolest part of motherhood might be? Knowing I'm not the only one struggling; I'm not the only one cleaning up the same mess before I even finished the first time. Every mama has her own collection of stories of superhuman strength. And I think it's worth recognizing and celebrating, and Mother's Day is the least we can do.

Here's to you, Mama crawling around on the cold tile! You are doing it, and doing it well. You are so strong!