Parent

‘I woke up in a hospital bed. There was a $100 bill on the bedside table with a note that said, ‘GO HOME.’ My miscarriage left me almost dead.’: Woman quits alcohol and drugs ‘cold turkey’ after addict husband’s death

“I had never smoked a cigarette, never drank a beer, never had a real boyfriend. I was a naïve, 17-year-old virgin. I went to a party with my friends. I paid the guy at the door $5 dollars. ‘The punch is in the kitchen, don’t lose your cup.’ I was found on steps, lying in a pool of vomit. I fell off the Dean’s List. Then I met the man I would marry. I had a front-row seat to the most terrifying horror show imaginable. I was penniless, homeless, trickin’ on Main South for a 40 piece.”

‘I was attracted to you before you put on weight.’ It broke me. Now he’s dating a woman half my size and 15 years his junior.’: Woman works to be body positive after being fat-shamed, urges ‘You matter and you are enough’

“My doctor told me, ‘Your weight is why you lost your baby.’ I was destroyed. My weight was the reason my marriage ended and it was also the reason I miscarried. My ex-husband even went as far to accuse me of making up the entire pregnancy. I lost my love, my child, and myself that year.”

‘My home isn’t special. We don’t have the high-priced items to entertain, or space for the masses. And yet, no one cares.’: Mom has ‘open home policy’ for friends and family, ‘It’s not about the place, but the people’

“I am not a good cook or a great hostess. I often wonder if I’m doing it all right. You’ll find me making bulk Mac and Cheese in gym shorts and t-shirts, un-showered or made up. The couch is sometimes dirty and it gets too crowded at times. And yet, no one cares. All anyone really needs is a heart that says, ‘Welcome, you’re important here.’ THAT is the gift you offer when you open up your home.”

‘When are you going to try again?’ I was still unable to wipe after going to the bathroom. My baby was being reduced to nothing but a ‘try.’: Couple births second daughter one year after first is stillborn, ‘I already WAS a mother’

“As my belly grew, I began being asked the ‘Is this your first?’ question by anyone, from the cashier at Target to the waitress while out for dinner. My answer was, ‘No, this is my second. My first child died.’ You could tell by the uncomfortable look on their faces that my response was always unexpected, met with pity and also toxic positivity. I already WAS a mother.”

‘No cure? Like forever?’ I’ve been shot in a drive-by shooting, and I’d still take that pain over Crohn’s. I was so angry.’: Young woman learns to live with invisible illness, ‘It’s not the end of the world if you have to pull over, or ruin a pair of pants’

“Suddenly I could not keep any food inside of me, from either end. I was losing weight fast. The weather was nice so my boyfriend and I went to a restaurant on the waterfront for dinner. Afterwards, he took the long, scenic way home. I was in intense pain and needed to get to a bathroom. We finally arrive and he insisted on walking me to the door, not realizing I was ready to sprint. The minute I shut the door behind me, I projectile vomited all over the entryway. I became a homebody. I was accused of things like, ‘You just want pity. You’re lazy.’”

‘We would be thrilled!’ It was love at first sight. His pupils point in different directions. It’s given him an oddly-shaped head. We were immediately smitten’: Family adopts ‘incredible’ special needs kitty, Sheldon Thunderpaws

“’We are looking for a foster home for this quirky 5-week-old kitten.’ He had us wrapped around his little paw. We found out he was special needs and said, ‘We have to take care of him!’ It’s like watching a live interactive stuffed animal. Sheldon had bonded with us and we had bonded with him.”

‘This is easy, just wait until they’re older.’ I cried into her bib. I struggled to say ‘I love you’ to my baby. I shut down completely.’: Mom suffers postpartum depression, fights for help, ‘Every day is a battle, but I know I can win’

“I asked to be put on medication. My doctor said to me, ‘Are you sure it’s not just the pressure of Christmas?’ ‘NO!’ I wanted to scream, ‘This is why mothers don’t speak out. Because people belittle us. They tell us to cope.’ I was so angry. I accepted the prescription and left. I knew I needed to do something more than medication. I felt like the worst mom ever.”

‘I will never forgive you.’ We filed her as a missing person when she didn’t come home. I felt like I’d failed her.’: Mom shares candid reality of parenting a child with mental illness

“Our number one job as parents was to keep her safe, and we could no longer do that at home. There were rumors. I knew people were talking. Having a daughter with mental illness is not like having a child in the hospital with the flu or a broken bone. There were no lasagnas brought by concerned friends. No one knows what to say. It’s lonely and terrifying.”

‘I’m just tired.’ I didn’t press her about what was wrong. I let go a little. All their lives, we do this game of letting-go and holding-on.’: Mom of teen shares candid reality of having to ‘let go’ 

“The other day, my teen began college. I offered to help her find her classes. She turned me down, so I let her go a little. That morning, she wanted to get to school early, so I offered to pack her lunch. She took me up on that offer, so I held on a little. I told her goodbye at the door and reminded her to be careful, but let go a little and didn’t ask her to text me when she arrived. But I held on a little and made sure my phone volume was way up. All their lives, we let them go so they can find out who they can be, but hold on so they know we love who they already are.”

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