When our daughter was born, we had four kids under 6, and three of them were rowdy boys. They were full of energy with a tad bit of crazy mixed in. When I think back, I do so with a lot of fondness and smile at the happy memories. But like all stories, there’s the good and the not so good.
It was also a time of deep heartache and difficulty. It was more than just rowdy little kids. There were days I wondered how we would make it through. Everyone was in tears, relationships were fractured, and I was lost as a mother. It’s hard for me to go back and sit in that space. There’s a lot I would change. But I can’t. I can only move forward and trust that the path will become clear. And it does. Today, I can look back with gratitude because I know the struggles strengthened us and shaped who we became as family members.
Unfortunately, we don’t always have that same vantage point, and it’s all too easy to let feelings of overwhelm and discouragement take over with negative thoughts running amok. In these moments, I find courage in the stories of others who have traveled before me. Their strength, resiliency, and choice to embrace life inspires me to take small steps forward.
Research shows that the same is true for our children. Family stories invite a greater sense of belonging. They help create a narrative and identity from which our children can draw when life gets tough. That story they’ve heard a million times about Mom turning down Dad’s invitation to their first date…that’s what we’re talking about! Quite simply, those stories connect our hearts and increase our odds of making it through hard times.
Capture their story and share it. Share your own story. It’s a story worth telling.