This comedian mom crying in the CVS parking lot is every mom with a struggling kid.

Dena Blizzard is a mom who usually likes to share videos about the most hilarious aspects of parenting. But this video was different.

On her Facebook page "One Funny Mother,” Blizzard posts videos and stories that highlight the funny side of raising children. You may remember her from last year's viral video where she filmed herself in Target defending teacher school supply lists.

But her recent Facebook Live video shares another side of motherhood — the one where we cry by ourselves in a CVS parking lot.


“This is the other side,” she said, “when things aren’t really that funny.”

And though people aren't laughing with her this time, they're loving her for it. Thousands of parents have commented on the video in support and solidarity.

Blizzard had just left an IEP meeting for her eighth grade daughter who struggles with anxiety and ADD.

(For those unfamiliar with special education terminology, an IEP — Individual Education Program — spells out the supports and services kids need to make progress and succeed in school. It's a legal document collaboratively created between parents, teachers, administrators, and others in the education system and is reviewed periodically.)

Blizzard met with her daughter’s IEP team, which includes teachers and a caseworker, to talk about a way to help her daughter with testing: She does all her homework, but keeps failing written tests. Blizzard wanted to discuss the possibility of testing her daughter verbally, or figuring out some alternative way for her to show what she knows.

As evidenced by Blizzard crying the CVS parking lot, it didn’t go well. But she wasn’t just crying over this one meeting.

“This isn’t just today,” she said. “This is years ..."

Never stop advocating for your kids....but sometimes it’s just hard. #iep #anxietykid

Posted by One Funny Mother, Dena Blizzard on Monday, April 16, 2018

Having kids with specific challenges and needs is hard. Constantly having to advocate for them can be exhausting.  

“I’m tired,” says Blizzard. “And I’m at CVS again and I always cry at CVS. And I can’t believe I’m the only person who cries in the CVS parking lot after a bad IEP meeting.”

And she's right: Blizzard is definitely not the only parent to cry over feeling helpless about her children’s challenges. My daughter also struggles with an anxiety disorder, and I’ve lost it in the car when I'm alone multiple times.

Parenting is tough regardless, but when you add mental, emotional, or physical challenges to the mix, it can become overwhelming at times.

Image via somecards.com.

Blizzard's IEP meeting went sour because her daughter’s caseworker refused to make changes to the IEP at this point in the school year, stating that it would be the high school’s job to change it next year. Blizzard argued that with months left in the school year, it didn’t make sense not to make changes that might help her daughter now and help move her to a good place before she heads to high school.

The caseworker insisted that she not change her IEP. “My head exploded,” said Blizzard. “Why wouldn’t we try everything?”

The thing is, educators' hands are often tied, no matter how much they want to help a child learn in ways that work for them.

Blizzard gushed about her daughter’s teachers and made it clear they are not the problem. They want to help and even said that they’d be willing to test her daughter verbally, but there’s not a good way for them to track or pass along that kind of assessment.

“This whole process has made me look at our education system in such a different way,” she said. “I see so many teachers trying to help me but not having the resources or the leniency to do it.”

And that’s becoming more and more common as we learn more about the various ways kids learn.

Source unknown.

“We’re all trying find the best way to help this one kid who is different than everyone else,” Blizzard said. “There are more kids that are different than everybody else — the norm is becoming so small — so why are we making every kid be tested the same way? And if my daughter can tell you what she understands, why is that not enough?”

“We have spent the better part of six years trying to figure out her beautiful brain,” she added. “And I don’t think I’ve ever been more clear as to what she needs.”

Blizzard knows her daughter, she knows how her brain works, and she knows she struggles with written tests. Her verbal ability is her greatest asset, and it’s frustrating that she can’t use it to show what she knows.

Blizzard’s video resonates because so many parents are living a similar struggle. And it’s refreshing to see the full truth of parenting — the hilarious and the hard.

We don’t always see the dark side of parenting, especially on social media. I give Blizzard a lot of credit for opening up publicly about her struggles — and for describing feelings and experiences many parents know all too well.

“Good luck to all of you fighting the same fight," Blizzard said toward the end of her video. "You are not alone. It feels very alone when you’re sitting in the parking lot, but you are not.”

Meme via Scary Mommy Special Needs.

Parents, just remember: We're all on this beautiful, bumpy ride together.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via @if24hd

An otherwise forgettable pause during the Crystal Palace and Leicester City Premier League match Monday night in England turned out to be a beautiful display of sportsmanship from two teams that definitely had their priorities straight.

During the 35th minute of the match, Crystal Palace's goalkeeper Vicente Guaita held onto the ball instead of making a goal kick. This allowed Leicester's center-back Wesley Fofana and Palace's midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate to break their Ramadan fasts.

The brief, voluntary stoppage gave Fofana a moment to guzzle some water and for Kouyate to down an energy gel. The stoppage happened shortly after sundown because Muslims are supposed to avoid food or drink while the sun is out during the month-long holiday.

This year, Ramadan runs from April 12 to May 2012.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.