Life is Tough my Darling, But so Are You – Mommy Blogger

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Life is Tough my Darling, But so Are You – Mommy Blogger

February 17, 2021

My name is Teri and I’m the proud mama of two busy, beautiful, demanding, loving little boys. Being a mom is a challenging and beautiful adventure that nothing else in my life prepared me for. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who is there through all the ups and downs, awesome friends who are happy to share their parenting knowledge (or at least laugh with me through the chaos!), and an extended family who is always ready to help. When I’m not trying to stay on top of the craziness of mothering, I work as a communications professional.

 

When I was going through IVF before we had our first son, I bought a pencil case.

I was at the phase where I had to take medications during the day, which meant I needed to carry the drugs to work. I hadn’t shared widely about the fertility treatments we were doing­—only a select few at the office knew. So I decided I needed something to transport my goods.

Any one of the small little makeup bags or purses cluttering up my closet would have worked, but I decided I was going to treat myself, as a small way of making this whole thing slightly more bearable. And so I went to Indigo and found the perfect thing. Written on it in non-cheesy gold lettering were the words: Life is tough my darling, but so are you.

I am sure this sounds insane, but at the time I was looking for any shred of a sign that things were going to turn out well. I was an emotional disaster, clinging to any lifeline or floating piece of debris I could get my hands on. So I bought it. It was a good reminder, and it brought me hope.

Fast forward a few years to the start of 2020. Our first son is almost two and a half and I’m at home with our four-month-old—and a broken arm. I have to have an around-the-clock helper (thank goodness for Grandma!) because I can no longer lift him, which means I can’t change diapers, feed him or handle naptime by myself. I thought it would be the low point of my year. Oh, how wrong I was.

As my arm healed and my little babe and I started to fall back into a workable pattern, the world effectively shut down. My husband transitioned to working from home full time. We pulled our oldest out of daycare and kept him home as well. My quiet mat leave, filled with Mommy Connections classes and coffee dates with other mom-on-mat-leave friends, ceased to exist.

As the weeks turned into months, it was a challenge but things weren’t all bad. The weather warmed up and we could go for daily walks and play outside in the backyard. We potty trained our oldest and painted the entire main floor of the house. My husband got time with our newborn that he wouldn’t have otherwise, and we all got extra time as a family. We saw extended family as much as possible and friends when we could.

As September loomed, I started to get nervous about going back to work. My team was working from home full time, and I was anxious about learning the new tools and processes when everyone else had already been doing it for months. I found going from mat leave to working mom to be tricky transition even with my first, and this time I was doing it from my basement, in the middle of global pandemic. But I was excited about working again, and about getting back to our routine, with both boys now in daycare and doing well.

And then two days after I returned I lost my job, along with most of my team. That stability I craved was upended and suddenly I was thrown into a world I hadn’t anticipated. I now had no life insurance, no benefits, and was faced with sorting out severance and pensions and a dozen other things. My routine was non-existent and the normalcy of working for an organization I had worked for more than 11 years was gone. It was a whole mess of change and emotion, in a year that was already rife with change and emotion.

It was a really tough year for me personally, and for our family, but it wasn’t an easy year for anyone. We all have stories about why 2020, quite frankly, sucked. Certainly we were lucky in that our little family and our loved ones stayed healthy. Too many families had to deal with illness or losing people, and that weight of a world in mourning has yet to end.

We have turned the corner into 2021 but a lot of the same challenges remain. There is hope on the horizon but we are still living through a very difficult time. I struggle with cutting myself slack but, if ever there was a time for it, now is the time. If you feel like you want to scream, I hear you. If you just want a tiny break, I completely understand. If you feel like you could crawl into bed and sleep for a week, I absolutely empathize. You’re not alone. But, as the wise pencil case says, life is tough my darling, but so are you. We will make it through.

 

 

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