Family

‘They weren’t just born to rock the boat, they were born to build a new one. Strong-willed kids are a lot, but the world needs them.’: Mom to ‘tiny torpedo’ says strong-willed kids ‘will always be worth the struggle’

“Their voice ricochets off walls and it’s surprising glass doesn’t shatter. If you take out their batteries, they STILL RUN WILDLY. They were born with an opinion—about everything. We question. We doubt. We feel guilty. The stress-filled knots in our shoulders grow tighter each day. And worse, WE THINK WE’RE FAILING.”

‘I don’t want this life. I’m not cut out for this!’ I heard ‘I’m sorry’ on the other end. Adrenaline began, my face got hot. Then the tears started to roll.’: Boy with down syndrome diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

“Oliver was on vacation with his dad when I got the call. ‘He stopped walking.’ Weeks pass. His lymph nodes are swollen. Something just wasn’t right. I remember telling my boss, ‘I have to leave!’ Before I could even get a response, I was gone. I’m worried the ER doctor missed something. The doctor is quiet. I can see in her eyes she is trying to stay calm for me, but something is there. I scream. Deep down, she knows something I don’t.”

‘No Jack! No doctor!’ I hold him tightly, feel his heart beating. It is heart breaking. I question why I put him through what feels like torture.’: Mom thankful for affectionate siblings who help calm autistic brother, ‘It just melted my heart’

“I have had to physically put myself between our boy and the floor so he doesn’t hurt himself by banging his head in frustration. It is heart breaking. I make sure to bring Jack to all of his siblings’ visits as well. WHY?! These rare moments. ‘Oh Jack, I’m not hurt. Give me a hug!’ She assured her anxious brother. ‘See Jack, Maddie is okay.’ Olivia whispered into his hear. It quickly became a sister sandwich. How beautiful is that?”

‘A stranger approached, startling me by placing her hand on my shoulder. ‘Can I do anything to help? Would you like me to buy you a coffee?’: Mom ‘surprised’ by young mother’s kind gesture, ‘I wasn’t as alone as I felt’

“Bloodcurdling screams. My daughter’s lungs could shatter glass. A grandma approached us. She wanted me to scoop up my inconsolable daughter and comfort her. I’ve done that before, but at this point, my daughter was too far gone. As much as this woman wanted to intervene and help, she didn’t know my daughter.”

‘Your dad thought he could hit me, but you will NEVER hit me. I’ll kill you first.’ She was a 400-pound woman. I was a 9-year-old child.’: Woman survives child abuse and PTSD, repairs relationship with abusers, ‘I was born a SURVIVOR’

“She had me by my pigtails. She cornered me into our closet using a man’s belt to spank me. A friend saw her, and told her if she ever hit me again, he’d tell his dad. Later my mom tried having me committed to a mental hospital. After a 24-hour sit in at the ER, a doctor came in. ‘There is nothing wrong with you, except the fact you need to get away from your mother.’ I wanted a mom who WANTED to be my mom.”

‘I lost all my pregnancy weight by 8 days postpartum because I was so sad. I don’t feel worthy of them at all.’: Mom’s severe struggle with postpartum depression

“I watched Mackenzie sleep on the monitor for an hour one night just praying she would forgive me for being who I am. I’ve been so confused because I LOVE being a mom. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. I have 2 beautiful children… so beautiful and so perfect, that I don’t feel worthy of them at all.”

‘What if Matthew doesn’t come home this time?’ I watch him struggle to breathe. I gasp for air, screaming as my mother holds my shaking body.’: Sister advocates for brother battling Cystic Fibrosis, ‘I will stand beside him in this fight, forever’

“My tears soak the sleeve of her sweatshirt. A sharp, strong pain runs through my chest. For the past 19 years, I have watched him swallow hundreds of thousands of pills. ‘What if Matthew gets sicker? How much time does he have?’ I finally decided I was tired of watching. Life gave me the greatest gift of all: a brother. I will stand hand-in-hand beside him in this fight.”

‘Are you her nanny?’ ‘Did you kidnap her?’ I had a mom call me her Au Pair at gymnastics. We get stared down.’: Single black mom adopts 2 white siblings, is constantly judged by strangers but urges, ‘Love goes beyond skin color’

“When I tell them I’m her mom, they reply with, ‘Ohhhh. She must look like her dad then.’ In line at stores, I get stared down. I say out loud to Elizabeth, ‘Mommy loves you!’ And she replies, ‘I love you mommy.’ That makes the people so confused. You can see their brain cells burning with confusion. Whenever she misbehaves in public, people stare so hard to see how the ‘nanny’ is going to handle it. Sometimes I say, ‘You can stop looking. I’m her mother.’ Then, I was notified she had a brother. I thought my family was complete, but I was wrong.”

‘I would claim, ‘Oh yeah, I hurt myself. I’m wearing a hard brace until it heals.’ I never told my parents I wrote a suicide note.’: Woman known as the ‘girl with one arm’ hides prosthetic for 2 years, finally realizes, ‘they knew I was different, they didn’t care’

“I lived in a small town in the deep South. I was 15, the age where acne, boy problems, and all that fun stuff was going on. To make matters worse, I was born missing my left forearm. I wore my prosthetic to school for 2 entire years without removing it for gym class, soccer practice, nothing. For 2 whole years, that mind game would go on, leaving me feeling suicidal on my 17th birthday. I woke up feeling like I was done with living. It was a bright, sunny day. I sat in my room writing out all the reasons I didn’t want to be here on this planet. I broke down in tears. I knew I had to make a choice.”

‘Life gets loud. Pay attention to the nudges in marriage. The cues. Don’t ignore them, don’t fight them.’: Woman urges ‘you can’t put your spouse on the backburner’

“‘Okay. Bye.’ That’s what our marriage needing work sounded like. It’s wasn’t an, ‘I love you.’ It was a big ol’ red flashing sign. After 3 children and 20 years together, careers, and attempting to maintain a home, marriage became an afterthought. We function better when we are in front stage. Centre stage. Every time.”

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