acceptance

‘The monitor went crazy. Suddenly, there was a half dozen doctors in the room, bagging my son. ‘I’m going to watch him die, aren’t I?’: Boy diagnosed with rare Sturge-Weber Syndrome, ‘A birthmark changed our life’

“He was hitting his milestones. He was happy. He was supposed to beat the odds. One evening, we noticed he wasn’t himself. He wasn’t making eye contact and was whimpering non-stop. We thought it was the heat, so we gave him a cool bath and went to sleep. The next morning, his face turned blue before my eyes. He went limp. The ambulance came and took Noah away. I couldn’t believe it. My baby wasn’t my baby anymore. Watching him fight made me so strong. For him. For us.”

‘There’s a rule at my daughter’s school. If you’re going to invite one child to your birthday party, you’re required to invite them all.’: Mom of autistic daughter says ‘You never know the gift you’ll get by simply saying yes to every child’

“Right now, my daughter is friends with no one. She keeps to herself and sees little interest in gossip or small talk. And that has to do with a little part of her called autism. Include the child who keeps to themselves. The one that’s weird. The one that’s ‘rude.’ Extend an invite to those who are like you, but also those who differ.”

‘My manager interrupted. ‘Wait, what? You need to get that checked out.’ I’d lie and say I was ‘gay.’ It was easier to explain.’: Woman shares candid reality of being asexual, ‘I’m not broken’

“It all hit me in high school. ‘Why is everyone obsessed with sex?’ It had never occurred to me sex was a huge part of life. Couples would make out in the stairways. Sexually active friends would re-tell their experiences in detail. I was disgusted. My therapist would ask if I was ‘this way’ because of my parents, who didn’t have a good relationship when I was growing up. People think a person, especially a woman, need to have a partner to be happy.”

‘How will you know you don’t like sex if you don’t try?’ Kissing left me uncomfortable. As a ‘good Catholic girl,’ I was pressured to marry and have kids.’: Asexual woman says she ‘doesn’t need sex to feel happy’

“I grew up in a conservative household. My father had strict rules: Dating was for finding someone to marry, and premarital sex was bad. I had my share of crushes, but I could never imagine myself doing anything sexually charged. When I went to college, a guy friend asked me out on a date. He was aware I wanted to stay a virgin. I quickly realized kissing left me uncomfortable. I was told time and time again, ‘You just haven’t found the right person yet.'”

‘At least he doesn’t…’ As a special needs parent, I hear this all the time. Each one takes a little slice out of me I can’t fill back in.’: Special needs mom urges you to ‘validate’ those who ‘give you a glimpse of their challenges’

“I don’t let very many people into our lives, mostly because I’m spent. And one of the reasons is because of things like ‘at least.’ When you ‘at least’ me as a complex parent, I feel minimized. I feel unheard. I feel compared. If a person gives you a glimpse of their challenges, honor their experience. Validate them. Meet them where they are. And if you can’t think of anything else to say, ‘Can I get you coffee or tea?’ always works.”

‘Why doesn’t she leave?’ She thinks if she just tries harder, if she’s a better wife and mom, he wouldn’t get so angry.’: Domestic abuse survivor pens PSA, ‘we need your love, not judgement’

“He has threatened to tell the judge she is a bad mom and will take away her kids. He has taken away her money and convinced her she cannot make it on her own. He has told her if she tries, he will kill her or her family. He has brainwashed her to think it’s all her fault.”

‘I grabbed mascara to hide my puffy eyes. ‘But you’re pretty enough, mama.’ The words stopped everything.’: Mom reminds us it’s okay to ‘lower your standards every now and then’

“‘Let mama throw on some clothes and put makeup on.’ Some days, I embrace the chaos. I laugh it off. It’s fine. This was not one of those days. I felt the tears welling in my eyes. There I was, day 3 of dry shampoo, on my knees in my 6-year-old’s closet 10 minutes before we had to leave. My toddler sitting atop the kitchen table, spilling milk from his brother’s cereal while the dogs licked the sticky floor. The words came from the other side of my bedroom door. I stopped frantically searching for a bobby pin. I just stopped.”

‘Some days, I’m not even a human. I’m a crystal ball to ask, ‘Where’s my other sock? What’s for dinner?’: Mom shares touching proof ‘invisible mothers’ are ‘seen’ after friend’s act of kindness

“No one can see if I’m on the phone, cooking, sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner. Some days I’m only a pair of hands, nothing more! ‘Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?’ I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ A satellite guide to answer, ‘What number is the Disney Channel?’ I’m the invisible mom.”

‘I’m feeling upset. I need to hide my face so people won’t see,’ my 4-year old cried. ‘I just want to be by myself for a minute.’: Mom stresses importance of ‘honoring needs’ to build trust, love

“She laid her head down in the booth to hide her face and I ate my chips and salsa. I didn’t yell. I didn’t whisper threats. I didn’t demand she pull it together when the other restaurant patrons looked our way. She was clear about what she needed. I let her have it. She needed a minute, you guys. Sometimes, we all need a minute.”

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: