CORK nurse Theresa Tierney-Bugler will celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday with a newfound sense of gratitude.
After a whirlwind 12 months, which saw her redeployed while studying for a Masters, she is looking forward to going back to basics.
Now back working in child and adolescent mental health services, Theresa said she has learned a lot from the last 12 months.
“The pandemic has made me realise how society relies on working mothers and the pressures this places on them,” she said.
“It’s also taught us a lot as a family. We were a very active family, who went to every sporting event. Sometimes, we only went to something for the sake of having somewhere to go. This experience has made us slow down. Sometimes it’s good to just sit down and take time out. We’re recognising the importance of family time now more than ever.”
The Carrigaline woman and her husband Andrew are proud parents to Andrea, eight, and Orlaith, four.
“One of the best things about being a mum is the unconditional love. Even on days where you could have played with them more or cooked a better dinner, kids still look up to you.”
Being redeployed to a nursing home to help with efforts during the third wave served as a reminder for Theresa of how precious family is.
“Getting back to working with older people showed me how hard it is for people who don’t have families.”
She pointed out that isolation is not just confined to nursing homes.
“There are still people in the community living completely alone, who have nobody calling to them other than the postman or milkman. It just goes to show the level of isolation that can be present.
“It has made me realise that we need to connect more as a society. We have become very urbanised. A lot of people nowadays are only aware of who their next-door neighbour is and not the people who are living in their row. If there has been one good thing to come out of the pandemic, it’s that it’s brought us back to simpler times.”
Theresa is extremely proud of how her children have coped with the challenges of the last 12 months.
“They are two very strong little women,” she said.
This Mother’s Day will be bittersweet for Theresa, who is eager to be reunited with her own mum, Frances.
“I haven’t seen my mum for a couple of months. She’s full-time on the frontline as a care assistant in a nursing home in Clare. She’s a strong woman who raised strong women and I would like to wish her a happy Mother’s day too.”