Grief Journal Relationships

To The Woman Who Questioned My Parenting

To The Woman Who Questioned My Parenting www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Stacey Skrysak

You’re fat. You’re ugly. You have an awful cheerleader voice. I’ve heard it all over the years. As a television news anchor, it comes with the territory: not everyone will like you. It was a tough pill to swallow early in my career, but the older I get, the more confidence I have about who I am. Viewers often attack the appearance and performance of news anchors, but that’s about as personal as it gets. That was until now, in my case.

People Magazine Article: To The Woman Who Questioned My Parenting www.herviewfromhome.comMy family was thrust into the spotlight recently as we shared our story of child loss with major media outlets like People and Yahoo. No longer was my story of two angels and one amazing survivor geared towards an audience of parents and those who have experienced a loss of their own. The masses were now reading my family’s journey and not everyone was a fan. “Oh puke. Some people just aren’t supposed to have kids,” read one comment. Another said, in part, “It’s probably a good idea to accept it when a doctor tells a woman to abort some of them.” My friends were appalled by the comments and couldn’t believe how insensitive people can be. But, I was honestly not bothered by the harsh remarks. I knew that people around the world were reading about my family, and much like television news, not everyone is going to like it.  It wasn’t the national attention that finally got to me, it was a recent comment on my Facebook page that brought me to tears. I posted a picture of my daughter, Peyton, during a Children’s Miracle Network event (she is one of the organization’s miracle children). This is what someone wrote:

She is beautiful and a miracle. BUT, have you ever wondered if Peyton, might resent that every time you mention her, after all she is an individual, you always reference her siblings. Recently, you put up a pic of her, but it is all about the fact that she was premature, had siblings, lost babies, speaker for moms that lost children, etc. She is here. Now. Live. Focus on her, not the fact that she is the only surviving triplet.”

In the 2 1/2 years since my children were born, never have I felt so hurt. It’s taken over two years for me to get back to feeling like my old self, yet it only took a few seconds to read this and kick my happiness to the curb.  In the moments after I read this comment, so many thoughts and snide remarks came to mind. I wanted to yell at this woman. I wanted her to know how simple words can hurt. And I wanted to shout, “You have no idea!!!” Instead, I walked away from my computer and calmed down. I put my life out there on the internet, so I have to realize that people can share their opinion, good or bad. I responded to the woman’s comment and explained how we find ways to celebrate Peyton every single day and that regular followers of my blog know that. What people see on Facebook or on the news is just a snippet of my life. And while the lady apologized, it’s something I still can’t get out of my head weeks later.

Skrysak Triplets 2013: People Magazine Article: To The Woman Who Questioned My Parenting www.herviewfromhome.comTo the woman who criticized my parenting, try to put yourself in my shoes. Not only am I a first-time parent, I am also the parent of two children who died. I have to figure out the normal tricks of the trade when it comes to raising my daughter, but also how to balance the grief with my beautiful, living child. Peyton is an individual, an amazing miracle child, who we celebrate every day. She will always know how special she is and we will find that perfect balance to celebrate her, along with remembering her brother and sister. Yes, Peyton is here. Now. Live. But, I’m not going to forget that she was a triplet and I’m not going to hide the fact that I am a mother to two angels.

To the woman who criticized my parenting, please cut me some slack. I’m doing the best that I can…and I’m proud of the mother I have become.

To the woman who criticized my parenting, please cut me some slack. I’m doing the best that I can…and I’m proud of the mother I have become. Instead of learning each other down as parents, why don't we start building each other up?

About the author

Stacey Skrysak

Stacey Skrysak may not be a native of Nebraska, but she called it home for many years. You may recognize her from her days as a morning and noon anchor on NTV in Kearney. She liked Nebraska so much, she even married into a Cornhusker family! These days, Stacey lives in Springfield, Illinois where she is a news anchor for WICS-TV. Stacey and her husband are parents to Peyton, their surviving triplet, who was born more than 17 weeks premature. Abigail and Parker are their triplet angels watching from above. Through her heartbreaking experience, Stacey has become a voice for dealing with grief, infertility and life with a micro-premie. Her triplets have touched thousands of lives around the world, thanks to Stacey’s blog “Perfectly Peyton”. Stacey looks forward to sharing the trials and tribulations of balancing work and home life, all with a little humor thrown in.

  • Donna

    That woman doesn’t have a clue. I believe you are doing the right thing by making sure Peyton knows she has a brother and sister in heaven. Peyton is thriving and that is testament enough that you and Ryan are great parents….and that Riley is a great fur-brother.

  • Angela Fry

    Oh Stacey. I’m sorry that people can be so rude. I love hearing updates on Peyton and I more than admire you for telling your story of loss. I’m not sure that I’d be brave enough to do that. You and your family, as always, continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. ❤️ Angela (fellow 2013 triplet mama)

  • Sarah

    Beautifully written. That lady has no idea. I hope she has never had to go through losing a child because no one should. I have a triplet angel baby and two survivors and it’s hard everyday even though everyday is full of joy. It’s the true definition of “bittersweet”. You see your survivors and you think “there should be 3”. Of course, you are incredibly thankful for their lives and thinking “there should be 3” doesn’t make you any less thankful. I believe with all my heart that you should continue to tell Peyton about her siblings and what a miracle she is. You’re a great mama!!!

  • Kieran

    Stacey, you don’t know me either. I lived in Grand Island, NE for many years and wandered onto your blog this morning via one of those friend, of a friend, of a friend…paths.
    So quite simply, I am just another random and anonymous voice on the internet. But please listen to me when I tell you that I have experience with this…and people, in their rush to be comforting – whether it is to the one grieving or to themselves – can say some of the most stupid and cruel things imaginable.
    I am so happy that Peyton is with you and my heart hurts for you and for your husband and for the rest of your family who is not.
    Please let me know if you ever get to South Carolina. I would love to buy you lunch because I think you’re incredible and I would love to have even the smallest opportunity to get to know you and tell you that I too am proud of the mother you have become.

  • Thanks for the reminder that a simple comment can be so painful even in the midst of more positive ones. Thanks for sharing this side of the story too!

  • Kelly M.

    Stacey,

    Speaking both personally as the single surviving twin of a premature multiple birth and professionally as a therapist who specializes in grief and loss, I applaud everything you are doing for the public AND for your daughter. My mother grieved openly and often spoke about me in the context of my sister, which taught me the beauty of love laced with loss, pain and beauty walking hand in hand.You are arming your daughter with strength that will last a lifetime. Additionally, from a neurological and psychological standpoint, your daughter has already imprinted the loss of her siblings just as deeply as the adults around her have. Thus, if you were to stay silent or “protect” her from that loss, she would experience confusion and unprocessed trauma that could negatively impact her in devestating ways. So based on our current base of scientific evidence, doing what the commenter suggested and “focusing on her now… not the fact that she is a surviving triplet” would deny her of an identity that is vastly important to her emotional well-being, both now an in the future.

    So bravo, Mamma. What you have instinctively chosen to do for your sweet family is what years of research strongly supports. Those within your large circle of influence are so lucky to have you.