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5 Life Lessons Only Parents of Children with Birth Defects Will Understand

5 Life Lessons Only Parents of Children with Birth Defects Will Understand

Birth defects affect one out of every 33 babies, and that defect will often impact the entire family. Parents of babies with birth defects are uniquely affected because they face the challenge of helping their child meet their full potential in a world that is challenging for everyone.

With every challenge of caring for a child who was born with a defect, there is also an amazing lesson that teaches parents about love and life. These lessons include those of hope, strength, courage, and learning to love through the pain.

Here are five life lessons that only the parents of children born with birth defects can understand.

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How to Be Fearless

Fear is something that we learn over time. We learn to fear rejection, the future, and the dark. But, mostly, we are afraid of the unknown. But, having a child with a birth defect can help relieve those fears because you quickly learn that there is no time to waste in being afraid. The time you miss out on because of fear is time you could have spent loving.

How to Participate in Advocacy

The moment you realize that your child has a birth defect is likely one of the most difficult moments of your life. It is a moment that you would not wish on anyone else, and it is not until this moment that you are able to truly understand what it means to be an advocate.

Your child gives you a voice and the drive to stand up for others in ways you never realized you could.

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When you have a child with a disability, you are not just an advocate for your child and your family. You have the unique opportunity to stand up for other families in your community and around the world. This was especially true for my partner and me; our child had been injured through medical negligence at birth.

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    You can quickly find yourself speaking to doctors and lawyers, not just on behalf of yourself, but also on other families who have gone through a similar experience. Brain injuries during birth are common and many parents with disabled children are at a loss on how something like that could have happened.

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    This position is a heavy one because you know that your abilities in preventing the sadness others may feel are limited. But, you know every moment that you breathe life into your cause, you might someday help relieve the pain of another family.

    How to Dream Big

    So many people choose to limit themselves over the smallest of things. But, when you parent a child with a disability, you learn that even the big things do not need to stand in your way. The way that all children are able to reach for the stars is aspirational to parents. Because if your child, who was hindered so early in life, is able to dream big, why can’t you?

    How to Believe in Yourself

    Disabled children believe they can always work harder, do more, and be better versions of themselves. From the very beginning of life, they strive hard to overcome the obstacles that they never asked for or created for themselves.

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    Watching your child perform small miracles every day inspires you to believe in yourself, both as a parent and as a person with so much to give to the world.

    How to Transform Lives with Love

    Love is the one thing that makes everything feel alright, even if only for a moment, and love was what helped you get through every difficult moment of those first weeks of parenting.

    A child helps you learn to love unconditionally, and ask nothing in return. The ability of your child to love you so much despite everything can transform your entire life in ways you never imagined.

    All children are precious miracles with much to teach us. But, there are some lessons that only parents who have had the joy and heartbreak of raising a child with birth defects will truly understand.

    Featured photo credit: Stephen Hockhaus via flickr.com

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    Published on April 9, 2021

    50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving

    50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving

    Being a mom is not easy. Being a single mom is even more challenging. Having children means you are on the job 24/7. Even while you are sleeping, you are still ready to wake at the slightest peep because that is what moms do.

    Moms, especially single moms, need more people cheering them on. Your love and care matter to your kids. You are their superhero. I think single moms are superheroes, too.

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    The quotes below are words of encouragement for all of the single moms out there. Keep up the great work! Your hard work will pay off. Someday, they will be grown up and living on their own. Your job will never truly be done as a mom, but you can pat yourself on the back today and every day for doing mom duty day in and day out.

    Here are 50 single mom quotes to encourage all the single moms out there.

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    1. “Being raised by a single mother, I learned to appreciate and value independent women.”—Kenny Conley
    2. “As a single mum you’ll discover inner strengths and capabilities you never knew you had.”—Emma-Louise Smith
    3. “One thing I know for sure – this motherhood thing is not for sissies.”—Jennifer Nettles
    4. “Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”—Gail Tsukiyama
    5. “And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.”—Mark Anthony
    6. “She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them along.”—Margaret Culkin Banning
    7. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”—Alice Walker
    8. “Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is.”—Anne Frank
    9. “Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for.”—Jennifer Lopez
    10. “You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are.”—Melissa Etheridge
    11. “Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.”—Ricki Lake
    12. “You don’t take a class; you’re thrown into motherhood and learn from experience.”—Jennie Finch
    13. “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”—Oprah Winfrey
    14. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”—Charlotte Brontë
    15. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”—Nora Ephron
    16. “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”—Diane Von Furstenberg
    17. “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”—Margaret Thatcher
    18. “Women have discovered that they cannot rely on men’s chivalry to give them justice.”—Helen Keller
    19. “Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.”—Sharon Jaynes
    20. “Success, they taught me, is built on the foundation of courage, hard work, and individual responsibility. Despite what some would have us believe, success is not built on resentment and fears.”—Susana Martinez
    21. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”—Maya Angelou
    22. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”—Ayn Rand
    23. “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”—Rudyard Kipling
    24. “The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because stuff worked out. They got that way because stuff went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”—Elizabeth Gilbert
    25. “There will be so many times you feel like you failed. But in the eyes, ears, and mind of your child, you are a SUPER MOM.”—Stephanie Precourt
    26. “Motherhood is the ultimate call to sacrifice.”—Wangechi Mutu
    27. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”—Maya Angelou
    28. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”—Princess Diana
    29. “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”—Jill Churchill
    30. “There’s no doubt that motherhood is the best thing in my life. It’s all that really matters.”—Courtney Cox
    31. “I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”—Mitch Albom
    32. “I have found being a mother has made me emotionally raw in many situations. Your heart is beating outside your body when you have a baby.”—Kate Beckinsale
    33. “Single moms, you are a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, a maid, a cook, a referee, a heroine, a provider, a defender, a protector, a true Superwoman. Wear your cape proudly.”—Mandy Hale
    34. “I’m not really single. I mean, I am, but I have a son. Being a single mother is different from being a single woman.”—Kate Hudson
    35. “Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress, and twice the tears but also twice the hugs, twice the love, and twice the pride.”—Unknown
    36. “For me, motherhood is learning about the strengths I didn’t know I had, and dealing with the fears I didn’t know existed.”—Halle Berry
    37. “A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things… a mother’s love is more than enough.”—Denice Williams
    38. “You do the best you can. Some days you feel really good about yourself and some days you don’t.”—Katie Holmes
    39. “I would say to any single parent currently feeling the weight of stereotype or stigmatization that I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other part of my life.”JK Rowling
    40. “Just because I am a single mother doesn’t mean I cannot be a success.”—Yvonne Kaloki
    41. “I didn’t plan on being a single mom, but you have to deal with the cards you are dealt the best way you can.”—Tichina Arnold
    42. “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.”—Garrison Keillor
    43. “A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things, a mother’s love is more than enough.”—Deniece Williams
    44. “Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.”—Meryl Streep
    45. “Having kids—the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings—is the biggest job anyone can embark on.”—Maria Shriver
    46. “Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.”—Cheryl Lacey Donovan
    47. “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”—Agatha Christie
    48. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”—Princess Diana
    49. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”—W.R. Wallace
    50. “Being a mother is the greatest blessing and the hardest challenge in all of life.”—Dr. Magdalena Battles

    Final Thoughts

    Single moms are remarkable women. They are to be respected and honored for all that they do. If you know a single mom, then share this article with them. Tell them “you are doing a great job as a single mom.” They need our encouragement and support.

    They may be parenting alone, but it is good to let them know that there are people in their life who care for them. We can all be there for the single moms out there. Even if it is just to say, “keep up the great work, you are an amazing woman!”

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    If you are a single mom, keep up the good work! You are amazing, and your kids are lucky to have you!

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Dummer via unsplash.com

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