All parents struggle to stay strong for their kids, but I think parents of special-needs kids are especially challenged. One Teen Mom knows that all too well. Leah Messer says she tries to stay strong for her disabled daughter. Leah has 4-year-old fraternal twins, Aliannah and Aleeah. Aliannah has been struggling with a condition that requires her to use a wheelchair. In fact, the whole family had to uproot themselves to move to a more accessible home. And for the longest time, Leah didn't even know what was causing Ali's development delays until the finale of season 4 of Teen Mom 2. But knowing more doesn't necessarily make it easier for Leah emotionally. Here's what she told Wetpaint.
I try to deal with it the best way I can. I try to stay strong for Ali ... I don't let her see me weak. I never will let her see me weak. I am her strength and she's my strength.
Leah credits Ali for staying so positive and happy -- and helping her stay positive, too. I can see how their positive attitudes feed each other. That's amazing. But you have to feel for Leah. It's natural for parents to feel like we have to put up a strong front for our kids. After all, our kids depend on us. They need to feel secure that they can depend on us, that we will love them no matter what, and that we will do everything within our power to help them.
Unfortunately, we're not superheroes. Leah can't cure Ali's condition, even though she probably wants to. That must be so painful for her.
I agree it's important for our kids to see us exercise self-control and find healthy coping mechanisms when we're stressed. But I also think it's okay if Leah lets her daughter see that she feels sad and frustrated sometimes. Kids need to know their parents are human -- because that's how you learn to deal with difficult emotions. So I hope Leah isn't too hard on herself. Sometimes, when we put too much pressure on ourselves to be strong, we end up falling apart anyway.
How do you feel about showing your kids signs of weakness?
Image via Leah Messer/Instagram