As 2017 is about to begin we look back. It’s automatic. There were some parents this year that really touched us, mostly due to their extreme openness and their refusal to let “life” get in the way of dreams, important causes and other personal missions. Not only is this hard to do when you have children to take care of, but it’s hard to do while the world is watching. We look up to the following parents for staying strong—and real.


In a story for Time, actor Patton Oswalt wrote an exceptionally moving tribute to his late wife, who unexpectedly passed away in her sleep in April. Oswalt described his and his young daughter’s sudden loss like this: “She hasn’t left a void. She’s left a blast crater.”


Jamie-Lynn Sigler: The beloved actress and mother proved courageous when she revealed her 14-year battle with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to the public in January. Here’s an early reporting from People.


Amanda Booth: The model-turned-mom continues to share her and her son’s story in this Harper’s Bazaar article. She continuously views his Down syndrome as nothing more than a part of who he is.