understanding

‘That isn’t going to look as good after 30 years and a baby.’ Well DUH! I’m not getting this for 53-year-old me. I’m getting this for 23-year-old me.’: Woman urges ‘my tattoos are for me, not you’

“My Papaw passed away when I was in high school during a very trying time in my life. My tattoos are a very personal thing to me. They’re artwork that shows how I see the world. Right there on my skin. I love it. But I have a very suit and tie job, and unfortunately, not everyone agrees. And they choose to share their opinion with me.”

‘I found an older couple on the street, walking and holding hands. ‘Is this how it is all going to end?’ I worried how hard it must be to be over 65 in this crazy time.’: Woman says ‘we’ve been given the gift of time with our loved ones’

“Running through the streets in the midst of the coronavirus felt like time had turned back 25 years. I ran by a group of neighbors standing a few feet apart, talking and laughing like they had all the time in the world. I passed by a man spraying his bushes, a woman jumping rope in her garage. Everything had slowed down.”

‘Instead of seeing my son and potentially giving it to him, so he can give it to my parents, I just won’t see any of them.’: Single nurse mom says ‘I am doing my part, and I am now asking you do yours’

“I am a nurse at a Portland area Hospital. I rely heavily on my family to watch my son while I work my 12-hour shifts. But I am also so much more. I am a single mother to a 9-year-old boy. I am a daughter to a mother who has had asthma her entire life. No more hugs, no more kisses. I am making a sacrifice.”

‘When a mother says she needs help, that’s exactly what she meant! She is not saying she is incapable.’: Dad urges ‘there is no human being in the world able to give up as much as a mother’

“When a mother says she’s tired, that’s all she meant! She did not say she wants to forget her baby exists. When you arrive at a mother’s disorganized house, it doesn’t mean the house is always disorganized. When you listen to a mother screaming, it doesn’t mean she just screams. She has spoken 300 times that day in a normal tone. Every day she gives up her own life, to live the life of another being.”

‘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.”

‘When I say I need a break, it’s because I am breaking. A break so I can put my pieces back together, and be the mother I want to be.’: Mom explains what ‘I need a break’ really means

“I’m not saying I don’t love my family. I’m not saying I wish I didn’t have children. I’m saying going to the toilet with an audience, every time, can get tiresome. That shaving my lady bits without an audience would be ace. I need a break from being needed, so I can just feel like me.”

‘I ended up at a play-date with my daughter’s bully. Her pain and hurt spilled out over coffee. I left with guilt.’: Mom encourages daughter to show bully grace, ‘We don’t know what others are going through’

“When my daughter told me about her bully, I advised her to ‘stay away from her.’ Weeks later, in walks her bully’s mother. Here I was, right across the table, with so many things to say. But I didn’t. For the first time in my life, I shut my mouth and listened. This mom was having a really hard day. A really hard life, actually. There was nothing she could do to stop it. She knew it had spilled out onto her daughter and that…that part hurt her most.”

‘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.”

‘No, no, don’t sit next to him darling, move away.’ This sentence cuts like a knife. It shatters my heart into a million pieces.’: Mom of autistic son wishes no other parent to ‘experience this ignorance’

“We were just waiting to see Santa. I will never forget that room, it was so beautiful. All done up with snowmen, lovely lights, Christmas Music playing. It was sensory heaven for my little boy. I will never forget that woman. I will never forget the way she looked at my little boy. The way she stared. The look of disgust on her face.”

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