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Sometimes life deals a hand to you that most people would never choose for themselves, but that doesn’t mean that finding joy in your own journey isn’t possible. And today’s guests speak to this in a way that is just so beautiful to see.

Tommi is a mother of 3 wonderful girls. Her oldest daughter Amanda was diagnosed with a rare form of Spina Bifida, a debilitating and progressive neurological condition, when she was 6 years old. As a result, she has endured dozens of surgeries and many extended hospital visits in her life over the last 23 years. Once you hear her story, I know it will inspire you and help you to appreciate all the little victories in your life.

There were so many great takeaways from this conversation that I know will resonate with you as well. Hearing their perspective, their outlook on life and the things they have learned from this experience was nothing less than powerful and inspiring.

This mother and daughter duo shares a ton of great advice for families who need to spend a lot of time in hospitals. From keeping your child in the loop, not just about life at home, but the conversations with medical treatments when it’s appropriate. They also reinforce the idea that we can only focus on the things within our control, and if you can find humor along the way, it makes a huge difference.

Key Takeaways with Tommi and Amanda

  • Sometimes ignorance is bliss when thinking about the number of surgeries.
  • The importance of keeping your child in the loop with everyday life at home when you have a child in the hospital.
  • Finding ways to experience some joy in the hospital, especially during the holidays.
  • Make sure to focus on the little things, as sometimes they are more important than we initially realize.
  • Think about the things that are in your control, and not in the things that you can’t control. Those little things can be a small victory for the day.
  • Treat child patients just like any other child, even when it comes to discipline.
  • The importance of teaching your children that it’s not okay to treat medical staff poorly just because you’re frustrated with your own situation.
  • Your child will appreciate that you include them in the conversations about medical treatments when it’s appropriate to do so.
  • Children that spend a lot of time in the hospital tend to be more mature than children who don’t by the sheer amount of time spent with highly educated professionals.
  • Finding humor will make your daily life much easier.
  • The challenges of finding your identity when you’re always caring for others or focused on your own health.
  • Even though you haven’t chosen the journey you’re on, finding joy in it makes all the difference.

Tommi and Amanda Tweetables

  • “Life and the joys that life can bring go on even if it’s not looking like you want it to.” – Jamie Freedlund
  • “A lot of times there’s not many things to celebrate. So you have to take that time when there are reasons to celebrate.” – Amanda
  • “Celebrate the little things. Sometimes those are the big things, and we don’t realize them at the moment.” – Tommi
  • “Remember that kids are a lot brighter than you give them credit for.” – Amanda
  • “Sometimes you just have to let go. I’ve definitely learned to love harder and laugh louder.” – Tommi


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