I had a million thoughts running through my head as I sat in the hospital waiting room. My husband was undergoing major heart surgery, and I was trying my best to stay strong. I knew that I had to; if I gave into my worries, I would be a mess. I think that the very thing that kept me going or that caused me to find strength was my kids. What you don’t realize is that your kids help you to find strength that you didn’t even know that you possessed.

You look in their eyes and you know that you have to protect them at any cost. You know that no matter what you may feel, you have to help them to see the best. You want to make their life easier, and you never want them to feel any pain. They’re your kids and it’s your job to make everything okay! So when your family faces some adversity or something potentially traumatic, you know that it’s your job to show them that everything will be just fine.

Planning helps everyone and gives you power

I am normally a planner, and I decided to make that my focus throughout this whole process. Staying on top of everything would ensure that life stayed as “normal” as possible for everyone. If I planned out their school lunches, their rides to and from school, and everything else to keep our household going, this gave me a sense of purpose in a time where everything else felt completely out of control. Planning things gave me some power as I felt otherwise helpless, and my kids benefited because of it.

I found that the more energy that I put into thinking through the needs of my kids and my husband, the more positive I could remain. It’s as if I made a decision to stay positive and to help everybody through this situation full of unknowns. I knew that taking the guesswork out of what this period of time would be like would help everyone in the end.

By staying strong and organized, I could overcome the worry that I felt inside. I knew everything was going to be okay, and I was going to do everything in my power to help everyone else to see that.


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 Keep lines of communication open with the kids

I answered whatever questions that my kids had, and I think that’s important too. Keeping an open line of communication meant that I could calm their fears. I may not have had all the answers, but even five and seven year olds need answers and comfort. That was my job, even when I felt scared or uncertain myself. I helped them to understand what was happening. Talking about things with your kids in a traumatic time is so important and really takes the fear out of things for them.

I would say that this whole experience actually brought us much closer together in a unique way. When you face something so huge, you have to choose to stay positive. This helped us to learn the power of positive thinking. It also showed us that talking to our kids really helped to calm any fears that they may have. Staying organized may sound silly, but trust me when I say that it kept things normal for them and for me. You are essentially turning away the anxiety and choosing positive productivity.

My best advice to anyone who goes through something like this is to find your focal point. Your family is the most important thing and you will do whatever it takes to keep things normal and positive. You may feel overwhelmed with emotions and worry, but in the end you have to be strong for your kids and your loved ones. You will find strength that you never knew you had, and you will be amazed at how a little organization and communication can go a long way!