When you have kids, it’s only natural to seek out like-minded individuals going through the same kind of thing, especially as first time parents. When I had Braeden, I had a great group of mums I met in prenatal class that I was able to hang out with and connect with over anything and everything. It definitely made maternity leave more fun and we have some great memories of our now four year olds as tiny tots.
But, I seem to have found myself out on an island all alone, occasionally wading into the waters of more populated islands only to realize that I don’t belong there.
Having multiples sets you apart from the world of singletons. No, having babies close together is nothing like having twins. And mono mono twins with the complications, guaranteed c section, and NICU time mean it can be hard to even connect with many a twin mama. You’d think that other mums of preemies would then be a natural place to turn to for support, but most of them don’t always have an older child, and many are coupled. So, to other single parents, yes? Except not many have kids with special needs or different abilities. And to those parents I seek support, as much as possible when they don’t have multiples or an older child, are partnered, and may have had full term babies.
I’m not sure how many other parents fall into the same situation as I do, but it feels pretty lonely out here, never knowing where to turn or who will really get it. Because, unless you live this life, you can’t really ever get it. Not even if you tried your very best. You may understand aspects of our life, but those little pieces feel fractured and shattered from a “normal life” that we will probably never know.
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not writing this as a sob story. Merely expressing how lonely this parenting world can be. How much we hold on our shoulders, how much we smile, holding back tears sometimes over the dumbest things that just tip the scale a little too far. How the nights feel so empty once our babes are in bed, yet we’re too exhausted to imagine doing anything else.
I hope that all of us who find ourselves on an island, too scared or isolated to wade out far enough that our feet no longer touch the ground, are able to have someone to turn to, to grab onto and tread water together, to laugh and cry together, and just scream out to the universe without judgment or fear.