I am Laura Darr, aka: Do it Darrling. Hot mess mom of four exhaustingly amazing kids, and lucky wife of the world’s most patient man. You’ve seen me at the grocery store: baby in a carrier, preschooler in a Spider-Man costume hanging off the back of the cart (because Spider-Man). Struggle bun. Yoga pants that may or may not be right side out.
I’m a mom who’s just doing her best, like everybody else. And also like everybody else, there is so much more that you don’t see.
I am a survivor of what you might call severe childhood trauma: physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; episodic homelessness, neglect, and abandonment. I lived with complex PTSD for my entire life, completely unaware that I had it. I thought I was just not very good at being a functional person.
After my second child was born in 2011, a bout of postpartum depression flipped the switch on that undercurrent of PTSD, and my life became what psychological experts call “an absolute shitshow.” I nearly lost my family, and frankly, my life. I really was not certain that I could do the deep work necessary to uncover and process 20+ years worth of trauma that I really would have rather forgotten.
But I did it! At first, only because I didn’t want to scar my kids with the echoes of my trauma, which I was surely starting to do. But later, as I learned to aim the foglight that helped me find my way, I decided that I was worth fighting for, too.
The reason I bring this up on day one of a blog whose tagline includes the phrase “family fun,” is because this is the lens through which I view Everything. I can’t help it; it is who I am on a cellular level. Every aspiration, every dark joke, every attempt at encouragement that comes out of me, comes from a deep understanding of how bad things can be and how absolutely life-changing it can be to move towards healing.
Also, like, street cred, please. I might wear the Boring Suburban Mom uniform and drive the company car (Toyota Sienna, Cheerios Edition with custom scratch and dent package—jealous?), but I’ve seen some shit, man. I’m not here to be perfect, and WOW do I ever hope you’re not, either, because that is going to be Awkward for both of us.
I’m here to keep improving. I have big goals I’m working on, and pretty much the biggest one (immediately following “try not to raise jerks”), is to offer encouragement to anyone who is trying to incubate a better version of themselves. You are the most important project you will ever work on. You are worth the investment of time and resources…and so am I.
So, it is in that spirit that I would like to start dropping F Bombs:
- Family Fun
- Food + Fitness
- Financial Freedom
- Fearless Flourishing
These are the cornerstones of the Do It Darrling Project. They might seem totally unrelated on the surface, but they all boil down to the same end goal: putting peace in your heart, building a healthier self inside and out, and discovering more joy in this one amazing life you will live.
If it sounds like I’ve got it all figured out, we have a basic misunderstanding about who I am as a person. I am deep, deep in the trenches of this personal-growth business. We are working towards living debt-free, but it has not been all that long since I put a pedicure on a credit card. I am *technically* a fitness instructor today, but I have yo-yo’d from a size 4 to a yikes-tight 14 more times than I would like to admit. I haven’t slept since 2010. I was recently (literally like 72 hours ago) diagnosed with ADHD. And I’m homeschooling in this condition and using my free time to write, so that should give you a pretty good idea of how I keep house.
Anyway, I hope you’ll stick around and grow with me. Learning to fearlessly flourish is hard work, and I could use the company.