Gina Badalaty, creator of Embracing Imperfect, is a long-time personal and professional blogger whose mission is to teach people how to accept differences and embrace adversity, which she does by sharing her own struggles as a mother raising daughters with disabilities. At the young age of 33, Gina had a stroke, which presented a lot of new challenges and losses that she had to learn to accept and embrace. Shortly after that, she had her first daughter, who was diagnosed with Mosaic Down Syndrome as well as an unfortunate condition that created a hole in her heart. Her heart healed on its own and Gina and her husband learned to love the person their daughter was becoming, so they decided to have another, who was diagnosed with autism as well as some other sensory processing issues; what a storm her life had become! On her site, she started a series for her blog called the "F-word Series." In this series, she created an article that focuses on Fortitude. "According to Dictionary.com, fortitude is a noun meaning, "mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously." Seemingly, fortitude sounds like a difficult skill to cultivate, but it also sounds necessary for the lives that we are all living at this current time. It's safe to say that if you are already a parent, you have at least a little bit of fortitude. But, in all honesty, there may be days that are so hard that you struggle to feel strong at all; you just want to break. However, your strength lies within your ability to stay where you are after breaking down and giving into the impulses around you. "Fortitude is waking up every day as a mother and father and doing what you gotta do to give your kids a better life." Badalaty outlines some important practices that every parent can do to harness their fortitude. So, what can you do to develop this skill? The first thing you can do is "Get Up," as Badalaty says in her article. This means that if you are down right now, that's alright, but you can't stay down forever; grieving is fine for a while, but eventually, you must move on. Give yourself time to grieve whatever situation you are in and then get up and push forward. Next, you need to try setting a goal that is "too high." Goals can take your eyes off of your current circumstances, build your self-esteem, and help you focus on the future. Try a new perspective on your pain, as well. Do your best to view it differently then you have been seeing it. The truth is, character is built from pain and while happy times are great, they do not build you up and grow you as a human being; work your pain like a muscle. "Trust the process" (immediate eye roll). That phrase can be so annoying; it is tired and over-used. But, it is also true. You are not going to be the best version of yourself overnight; you must take baby steps to get to where you want to be. There is going to be pain and heartbreak along the journey, but all of that garbage is building you to be better and feel better. Lastly, "be thankful every day." Keep a list, write it down in a journal, download an app...do whatever you need to do to keep yourself grounded and remind yourself of all the beautiful and wonderful things that you do have. To close her article, Badalaty says, "What I don't have, I don't need and I'm learning NOT to sweat that stuff. That is making me stronger." All in all, focus on the good and don't worry too much about the bad; it will pass.