My Story of Strength

I have received information and materials from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., the makers of EXTRA STRENGTH TYLENOL®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.

Motherhood crept up on me. As a child I preferred books to dolls. As a teen I babysat a little, but didn’t seek it out. As a young women I never really thought about being a mom then or in the future.

An early marriage and two sons were as much as surprise to me as anyone who knew me. I ran into an old friend from high school after I had two little kids and the friend looked at me like I had birthed puppies.

“Huh, I thought you’d be in charge at NASA by now.” Nope, sorry. Just a mom. Sorry to disappoint you and NASA.

Though my pleasure in being a mother was serendipity—an unexpected joy.

After a divorce, I intended to focus on my sons. I contemplated the possibility that I would have no other children and therefore never have daughters. At twenty-five, I wasn’t too impressed with myself as a daughter, so I made myself believe I wouldn’t be missing much.

It’s always been important to me to be thankful for what I do have and not waste energy longing for something that’s not meant for me.

Serendipity found me again, however. I remarried (and happily—together almost twenty years now), and we had two daughters.

I don’t like to casually toss around the word “blessing.” It’s a powerful word, and saying it too much dilutes its power. But, still, my daughters have been a blessing.

They have taught me lessons in humility I didn’t even know I needed to learn. After two easy-going, chill little boy-babies, I considered myself to be A Really Good Parent. It’s so easy, don’t you know? Just clearly express what you want, and children do that. I should write parenting books! Other parents should come to me for advice! Ha!


I shot out two little beautiful monkeys who immediately bounced off the walls and started breaking things, including all my preconceived notions of parenting. Humility—I got some.

Now my sons are all grown up and don’t need my active parenting anymore. Here I am in a new phase of my half-empty nest, raising two teenage girls who are beautiful and smart and fun to be around. The high-energy of toddlerhood has transitioned into something amazing—young women who are exciting and fun to be around.

These girls are going to change the world, just like they changed mine.

I never planned for children, but they happened to me. They are my joy and my strength every day, and I am thankful.

What gives strength? Who gives you strength? Tylenol wants to know.

Do me a favor and check out

My story is there. Yours can be too!

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Extra Strength TYLENOL® is partnering with actress Andie McDowell and her daughter, actress and singer Rainey Qualley, to launch STORIES OF STRENGTH, a program that encourages people to share stories honoring someone who has been a source of strength in their lives. Andie had the opportunity to learn how her strength inspires her daughter, Rainey, to be strong for her up and coming career in music and is excited to share her personal story, as well.

Get involved–visit the TYLENOL® Facebook page at and share your story via video or a photo and a few short sentences. Each story shared will support, an organization that activates young people to be strong leaders for social change. If you participate, you will also have a chance to win a weekly prize from TYLENOL® to take the strength passed on to them to do something that is important to them.

In addition to viewing inspirational stories, you can visit the TYLENOL® STORIES OF STRENGTH Facebook page at to learn more about Andie MacDowell and Rainey Qualley’s involvement in the campaign. You can also visit the STORIES OF STRENGTH page to receive tips for how to stay strong from Robin Miller, MD.

There are moments in life that require extra strength — and when pain sets in, those are the times that Extra Strength TYLENOL® aims to be there. For 20 years, Extra Strength TYLENOL® has been the #1 doctor recommended brand of pain reliever. Extra Strength TYLENOL® is clinically proven to provide strong, fast pain relief.

Check back soon for my interview with Andie and Rainey!

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