Strong Woman?

What is a strong woman?


Is it someone who can lift hundreds of pounds?  Like the women in the Olympics?


Is it someone who can fight or box or has a black belt?


Is it someone who doesn’t shower so has a strong odor?


What is a strong woman?


Why am I always called a strong woman?


What makes a woman strong?


I think what makes people think I am strong is that I don’t over react to situations that “normal” woman might get all excited about or fret about or get anxious about.


For example:  My mother was making a list of all the “tragedies” she has had since Christmas.

*the bedroom flood

*the new sump pump

*her sister dieing

*tree branches through the roof

Now which of those are really tragedies to get all upset about?  Some women would not be able to handle any of those.


My first response to her was something like this:   The sump pump certainly wasn’t a tragedy, the water wasn’t anywhere near the furnace.  Maybe if the water had reached the furnace it would have been a tragedy.


To which she responded something like:  Yes, to you and I that wasn’t a tragedy but to others it would have been.


So… because I can take things in stride – like sump pumps, and flooded bedrooms, and trees through the roof – that makes me a strong woman?  Because I don’t get emotional about that and have a nervous breakdown and need someone to rescue me?


Is that what makes a strong woman?


If so, then that is because I was raised that way (obviously, if my mother is a strong woman).


I was raised to just fix it.  If there is a problem (tragedy?) then you just get ‘er done.  You repaint the bedroom, you install a new sump pump, you prepare to repaint a bedroom after the branch damage is repaired.  You call the insurance, you call the repairmen, you schlep your butt to the hardware store to get the right parts for the new sump pump.  You just do it.


I was raised, that woman/girls can and should be able to take care of themselves.  I can do all those things and build a castle in my backyard as well.  I own the power tools and know how to use them.


But just because I can do all those things, does that make me a strong woman?


Is being a strong woman just about having abilities to cope physically or is it also an emotional/mental state?


If I am classified as a strong woman, does that mean I can handle emotional tragedies as well?  What does that look like? Is it stoicly standing by your father’s grave in 3 feet of snow at 7 months pregnant and not sobbing hysterically?    Is it holding your head as high as you can when you are told you must move from your home and community because of a job transfer?   Is it laying in your delivery bed after giving birth to a child and being told she was being life-flighted to another hospital and not screaming and sobbing?


If so… than I guess I’m that kind of strong woman too.


Here is the kicker.  I don’t necessarily enjoy being a strong woman.


On the inside, I am not as strong as you think.    I would love to be taken care of.  To be told “it is OK” to not be strong, to not hold it all together, to let someone else take care of things.   Would I be able to let go, if given that option?  I don’t know, no one has ever offered.


I do believe that while a good portion of my strength was learned/inherited, another large portion of it comes from God.  While my faith has wavered greatly (massively) over the last 5 years, I still believe that He is in control, therefore why should I get worked up over things.  I don’t need to worry (I don’t tend to be a worrier, though I do tend to run multiple scenarios in my brain that may or may not come to fruition).


Honestly, was I worried when that baby was taken away to the helicopter?  Not really.  Someone asked me once how I handled it because they were sure they would not have handled it so gracefully.  I just did.  That is how “I roll.”


How did I handle my father’s death and then a baby shower the next week?  I just did. I had to.  Life goes on.  What was I to do, curl up in a ball in the corner?  That isn’t me.   Do I still cry myself to sleep with the grief of his death.  Yes, I do.


When my mother tells me her bathroom/bedroom is flooded on the same day as my Christmas Open House, do I get all stressed about it and fret?  Nope, I put on my shoes and bail and move furniture.  That’s what I do.


Am I tired of being called a strong woman?   YES

Am I tired of being a strong woman?  YES

Will anything really change? NOPE

I will always be a strong woman because that is who I am.

However… feel free to help me out… or take care of me… or treat me like a “not strong” woman (whatever that looks like)… because it would be nice.


I was raised by a strong woman.

I am a strong woman.

I am raising strong women.

While I may not like it all the time, I would rather be a strong woman than the opposite.