May 1, 2020
By Tessa Montoro
“The first week brought a lot of frustration and tears for both of us.”
Like many, Mt. Bethel’s Nursery Director, Tessa Montoro, has had to shift and learn new rhythms when it comes to balancing work and kids. Tessa’s husband and Dylan’s father, Darren Montoro, passed away just a few months ago. Adjusting to life in quarantine brought an entirely new set of challenges for the Montoro family in the midst of trying to navigate life after a loss.
“Trying to figure out how to do his schoolwork is a challenge – YouTube videos have helped a lot with that. I really miss work, too. I’ve always loved what I do. Being without my nursery team and all the kids for so long has been really difficult. A mom sent me a photo of one of our Parents’ Morning Out babies, and I cried!”
Tessa has been a leader of our Sunday Morning Nursery and Parents’ Morning Out programming for over 16 years. Aside from time off for the birth of her son, Dylan, this is the longest consecutive amount of time she has been away from the nursery.
“We’re really just trying to stay busy at home and do anything to keep our sanity!” Tessa laughed. “I talk to my buddy every few days, and she really loves to hear about all the activities Dylan has been doing. We also usually talk about Sunday’s service. She always watches online, and I always watch it online with the kids.”
Also a widower, Tessa’s buddy recounts what a blessing it has been to connect with a new friend during such isolating times.
“With no babies to drop off, she would’ve never had a reason to come down to the nursery. We’ve made a point to make sure we meet up in the nursery as soon as it’s safe! We’re both pretty excited about the opportunity this gave us to make a friend in someone we may have never had the chance to meet!”